Sowing the Seeds of Scientific Discovery

Research Awards offer seed-funding for novel manufacturing research projects at any of Kentucky’s Primarily Undergraduate Institutions.  RA research projects have the potential to be competitive future proposals submitted directly to the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Seed funding for future NSF success.

KY NSF EPSCoR provides faculty seed-funding and hew-hire support for research projects with the goal of enabling future proposal applications submitted to the NSF. Submission of a future research proposal application to the National Science Foundation is an obligation of RA awardees.

Up to $50,000

Faculty seed funding

Future NSF proposal required

New Hire Support

What’s new in 2022:

  • One month of paid summer (off-contract) support can be requested within RA applications.
  • In addition to a paid month of summer support, additional academic year buyout (for example, supporting a course lecturer to free-up time for RA research) can be included in the RA budget application.
  • While not required, RA applications are strongly encouraged to include some academic year release time toward the RA project. This time can be included within the RA application budget in the form of direct support, or lecturer (buyout) support, or, institutionally supported academic year release time is encouraged as well.


Application submissions are due 11:59 p.m. ET on 5/15/22. Void where prohibited.


Request for Proposals


Deadline for Proposals


Funding Decisions

Submission of a future research proposal application to the National Science Foundation is an obligation of RA awardees.

Applications to all EPSCoR programs can include requests for federally-negotiated institutional F&A/indirect costs. Maximum budget request amounts indicated apply to direct costs. F&A costs can be added to these direct cost maximums.

Only one application per investigator per program per year is allowed.

Each institution that applies for financial assistance from the KY NSF EPSCoR must have a formal institutional plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project. KY NSF EPSCoR must receive verification and notification that participants on supported project have received appropriate training consistent with their established institutional policies.

Foreign travel cannot be proposed.

Requests for computers cannot be proposed.

Any proposal submitted to KY NSF EPSCoR and declined for funding can be modified and resubmitted the next year (program cycle) but if declined more than once, can’t be submitted again.

University of Kentucky and University of Louisville faculty cannot apply.

Please be advised that if awarded, a certification of completion of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for all of the aforementioned participants, consistent with the sub-awarded institution’s policies, will need to be provided to KY NSF EPSCoR ( before a subcontracted award can be fully executed.

All KY NSF EPSCoR awardees and funded participants are obligated to complete a Seed Funding Annual Awards Outcomes Report available on our website

Project proposals should be submitted electronically as a single, merged PDF document to