NASA EPSCoR Awards Rapid Response Research (R3) Grants

Posted on: July 14, 2023   |   Categories: Announcements, News & Updates

By providing resources to STEM research, NASA helps create a stronger and more vibrant scientific community to drive innovation and push the boundaries of what is possible in space exploration.

NASA announced the recipients of its annual STEM grants, providing nearly $4 million in total funding, to support scientific and technical research that aligns with the agency’s strategic research and technology development priorities.

The grantees include South Dakota Mines, of Rapid City, proposing to conduct research that advances the state-of-the-art and increases knowledge to support in-space welding to revolutionize how orbiting platforms are designed, manufactured, and assembled. The results from this study will be critical for future development of suitable friction stir welding (FSW) systems for in-space welding and repair applications.

“We’re excited to announce the awardees of this year’s grants that will help the agency answer some difficult questions regarding research capabilities,” said Kathy Loftin, manager for NASA’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) project. “These grants are a vital component of NASA’s science, technology, engineering, and math strategy to foster collaboration and stimulate growth in research and development in underserved areas across the country.”

NASA STEM provides a unique opportunity for researchers to solve science and exploration issues impacting its programs and missions. Forty research projects from 21 universities and organizations were selected based on their merit and alignment with agency missions. Each grantee will focus on a range of agency research needs, including repair, manufacturing, and fabrication technology for deep space missions; methods for detecting and eliminating bacteria in spacecraft; and studies on lunar and Martian regolith, including potential toxicity, suitability as soil for crops, and its ability to be used as construction material.

The grants are funded through NASA’s EPSCoR’s R3 (Rapid Response Research) project. The EPSCoR project is directed at jurisdictions that have not participated evenly in competitive aerospace and aerospace-related research activities. For the EPSCoR R3 grants, universities and schools across the country submitted proposals, with each jurisdiction eligible to submit a total of six proposals for competitive agreement awards of up to $100,000 each. Twenty-five states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam currently participate in the program.

NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, in collaboration with several of the agency’s mission directorate programs and offices, established these grants to support research and development in areas critical to NASA’s mission and to contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science, and technology capabilities of higher education and economic development in the jurisdictions receiving funding.

View more information on the recipients of this year’s awards.

2024 NASA EPSCoR Rapid Response Research Funding Opportunity

NASA EPSCoR plans to solicit brief proposals (generally 2-3 pages) to address topics outlined in this document (see pages 38-43 for a brief tabulation of topics).

The FY2024 RFP has not been released, but this document lists the research topics that will be included. The full RFP is scheduled for release in August 2023, with a probable due date in November 2023.

For further information contact:

Edward F. Duke, Director
South Dakota NASA EPSCoR