Call for Proposals: NSF Regional Innovation Engines Teambuilding Support

May 9th, 2022

Concept Outlines due 30 June! See for details.  Concept outlines are not limited submission.  

The CALS Office of Research and Discovery invites small internal grants to support team building for an anticipated "Limited Submission Opportunity" called "NSF Regional Innovation Engines".  Your mission is to develop a two-pager describing your ideas and outlining how you would bring ISU personnel and partners together as teams to create a successful submission for the ISU Internal Competition. If selected, the CALS Office of Research and Discovery will award funds and administrative support to assist developing your concept for submission.  (Once the request for proposals from the VPR's office is released, it will appear here.)  

Note well:

(1) selection for this support does not preclude others in CALS from applying for the internal competition. This funding is simply intended to facilitate team building with short-term financial and administrative support.

(2) your team does not need to be led by a CALS faculty member (though we especially encourage it!) but rather has to include at least one CALS facutly member to be responsive to this support opportunity.

From the NSF Regional Innovation Engines website:

Facing global competition for talent and leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research and education, the U.S. must expand its innovation capacity by leveraging the resources, creativity, and ingenuity that exists across all geographic regions of the country.

Through a bold, new U.S. National Science Foundation initiative, the Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, program catalyzes and fosters innovation ecosystems across the U.S. to: 

  • Advance critical technologies
  • Address national and societal challenges
  • Foster partnerships across industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society, and communities of practice
  • Promote and stimulate economic growth and job creation
  • Spur regional innovation and talent

The NSF Engines program uniquely harnesses the nation’s science and technology research and development enterprise and regional-level resources. NSF Engines can catalyze robust partnerships rooted in scientific and technological innovation to positively impact the economy within a geographic region, address societal challenges, and advance national competitiveness.

Two proposal types are accepted: 

    Type-1 Awards: Up to $1M and Up to Two Years

    Type-2 Awards: Up to $160M and Up to Ten Years

    The NSF "Dear Colleague Letter" is here:

    The full NSF request for propsals is here:

    May 17 at 12 PM (noon) Central: NSF Webinar

The principal investigator (PI) must have a regular appointment at ISU and be eligible to serve as PI under existing eligibility guidelines ( Investigators relevant to the research but employed by State (e.g., DNR), federal (e.g., USDA ARS) agencies or other appropriate stakeholders may serve as Co-Investigators and cross-organizational collaborations are strongly encouraged.

Award and Timeline
Request appropriate funds to support specific activities necessary to convene your team and to develop a plan that enables your team to become the ISU selectee from the VPR's internal competition.  The Office of Research and Discovery can assist with organizational aspects and account administration.

Proposal Guidelines
A. Cover Page:

  • Project title
  • Name, and department of PI and Co-Investigators already in agreement. List also additional Co-Investigators you intend to bring into your group, if funded.
  • Amount of Funds requested (direct costs only; no IDC will be included for the use of these internal funds)
  • An email from department chair acknowledging endorsement of the project

B. Project Summary

  • Provide a summary (250 words or less) of the project that includes a statement of the problem, hypothesis to be tested, research plan, and expected results.

C. Body of Proposal/Basis for Project Assessment (maximum of 2 pages, single-spaced) including:

  • Statement of the problem/hypothesis and objectives/aims
  • Relevant background information and preliminary data (where available)
  • Significance and relevance to regional innovation toward economic progress
  • Plan of work: approach and methodologies
  • Expected outcomes and impact
  • Potential for generating additional extramural funds (i.e., relevant other funding opportunities beyond the Regional Innovation Engines call for proposals).

D. Key References (one page, single-spaced).

E. List of Anticipated or Desired Partnerships that would bring in critical collaborators whose efforts and products are required for successful project execution.  Rather than a simple list of partners, describe each partner's anticipated mechanisms of engagement and benefits to the Regional Innovation Engine.

F. Biographical Sketch NSF-format.

G. Budget and Budget Justification (one page total; no indirect costs).  Cost-share from other sources (funding from individual PI, dept resources, or external organizations; and/or in-kind contribution) will be considered advantageous, but is not required.

Submission Deadline
Submit the entire proposal as a PDF package at your earliest convenience here:

Proposed team-building applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  

Proposal review
The CALS leadership team plus invited experts will review submitted proposals and make funding decisions on a rolling basis.


Carolyn Lawrence-Dill,