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Office of the Vice President for Research
120 Fairchild Hall
1601 Vattier St.


NSF's 10 Big Ideas, Part I

One of the process ideas, the Mid-scale Research Infrastructure program, is intended to address the national need for investment in research infrastructure. It is designed to provide funding in the gap that previously existed between the established Major Research Instrumentation program, which supports development or acquisition of instruments costing between $100,000 and $4M, and the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction program that funds very large projects such as the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, polar research stations, ocean-going research vessels, or closer to home, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), which has a node on the Konza Praire Biological Station.

Two Mid-scale Research Infrastructure solicitations are currently open. Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-1 supports design or implementation projects with a total project cost of $6 million to $20 million, and Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-2 is intended to fund implementation of projects comprising any combination of equipment, instrumentation, computational hardware and software, and commissioning in the cost range of $20 million to $70 million. Both require preliminary proposals, which will be reviewed, and the RI-2 program also requires a letter of intent, due February 8. If you are interested in submitting to either of these programs, we suggest that you contact the Office of Research Development at 532-6195 or ord@ksu.edu as soon as possible.

The six research ideas are intended to stimulate cross-disciplinary activity with cutting-edge research. NSF has been issuing solicitations aligned with one or more of these research ideas over the last year. Some currently open solicitations under Harnessing the Data Revolution are NSF 19-518, Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Data Science Corps and NSF 19-453, HDR: Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Ideas Labs.

The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier is another research idea that is intended to facilitate convergent research incorporating aspects of computer science, engineering, learning sciences, and social sciences to study the impact of emerging technologies on the future workforce and workplaces. A Core Research solicitation in this area, NSF-19-541, was recently posted.

These opportunities and others which will be upcoming regarding the 10 Big Ideas will be highlighted in future editions of the Funding Connection, so keep watching!

— Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research