The National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of $7.2 billion (FY 2014), we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing. NSF’s goals—discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship—provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation’s research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization. We like to say that NSF is “where discoveries begin.”

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) LogoThe American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) seeks to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.” To fulfill this mission, the AAAS Board has set the following broad goals: Enhance communication among scientists, engineers, and the public;

  • Promote and defend the integrity of science and its use;
  • Strengthen support for the science and technology enterprise;
  • Provide a voice for science on societal issues;
  • Promote the responsible use of science in public policy;
  • Strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce;
  • Foster education in science and technology for everyone;
  • Increase public engagement with science and technology; and
  • Advance international cooperation in science.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology LogoThe American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with over 12,000 members founded in 1906. The Society’s purpose is to advance the science of biochemistry and molecular biology through publication of scientific and educational journals (the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, and the Journal of Lipid Research), organization of scientific meetings, advocacy for funding of basic research and education, support of science education at all levels, and promoting the diversity of individuals entering the scientific workforce.

MU Office of Research

University of Missouri Office of Research LogoMU’s Office of Research exists to foster an academic environment in which MU’s research, instruction, service, and economic development missions are permeated by the joy and rigor of original discovery, creativity, innovation and scholarship.

The Office of Research has dedicated staff who work hard to support three main goals:

  • First and foremost, we exist to facilitate the ability of MU’s faculty, students and staff to engage in research, discovery, creation, scholarship and innovation.
  • Second, we strive to create a research-centered academic environment by developing and articulating connections between MU’s research and all of the institution’s other activities, and by creating a broader foundation for research support with internal and external stakeholders.
  • By doing the first two objectives effectively, and by intelligently managing University resources, we aim to help grow and financially sustain MU’s research enterprise.

We perform several functions to meet these objectives. These include overseeing research compliance relating to federal, state, and local regulations regarding sponsored projects, as well issues relating to the use of human subjects or animals in research; providing proposal submission and award management and proposal preparation services; managing internal funds to invest in seeding research; and protecting, managing, marketing and commercializing MU’s intellectual property.

Furthermore, we actively promote the value and outcomes of MU’s amazing array of research in many ways, including several publications, such as the award-winning research magazine Illumination.

One of MU’s truly special attributes is the interdisciplinary nature of the campus. The Research Office contributes to this wonderful aspect of MU by overseeing and promoting several campus-wide interdisciplinary research centers.

Mizzou Advantage

Mizzou Advantage LogoMizzou Advantage fosters interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, staff, students and external partners to address and solve real-world needs and problems in four areas of strength identified at the University of Missouri:

  • Food for the Future: The culture, economics and production of healthy, affordable food
  • Media of the Future: New ways to communicate, educate and market
  • One Health/One Medicine: The convergence of animal and human health
  • Sustainable Energy: Developing and distributing renewable energy sources

With a wide array of expertise and resources all located on the same campus, MU does things no other university can. By focusing on real-world problems, our collaborative networks secure external funding, recruit top students, attract prominent scholars and scientists, create jobs, and improve quality of life. An educational component within each of the four areas develops and nurtures student-driven programs and gives University of Missouri students a competitive edge in today’s global market place

Northwestern University Office of STEM Education Partnerships

Northwestern University Office of STEM Education Partnerships LogoThe mission of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) is to connect K-12 teachers and students to the world-class science, technology, engineering, and math resources of Northwestern University and beyond. Founded in 2006, OSEP provides professional development programs for 300+ teachers/year and develops hands-on, inquiry-based STEM curricula and programs for both in school and out-of-school time learning. OSEP supports broader impacts and connects Northwestern University faculty and graduate students to K-12 teachers and students through mentoring, research experiences, and capacity building programs. OSEP also develops partnerships that help to enhance its programs and provide authentic, real-world learning experiences in STEM for teachers and students. These partnership initiatives facilitate links between resources at Northwestern University and K-12 schools, industry, nonprofits, libraries, museums, and other community organizations throughout Illinois, the U.S. and the world. Consisting of scientists, education researchers, curriculum development specialists, and experienced K-12 educators, the OSEP staff combines cutting-edge STEM knowledge and research with the pedagogical expertise needed to design innovative teaching and learning programs and resources that invigorate teachers and excite students. For more information please visit: http://osep.northwestern.edu



Harnessing Energy in the Biosphere to Build Sustainable Energy Systems

Iowa EPSCoR LogoIn September 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $20 million, five-year grant to build Iowa's research capacity in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Iowa Power Fund, a state program supporting energy innovation and independence, has also granted the project $2 million to pay for research equipment. Read the orginal press release.

Iowa is among the nation’s leading states in renewable energy resources. Despite ranking 26th in land area, it is 1st in the nation in ethanol fuel production and 4th in wind power generation. As the nation transitions away from fossil fuels, bioenergy and wind energy are logical resources for Iowa to develop. This transition in energy supply from mining and drilling to harnessing renewable energy flows at or near the Earth's surface is not without significant challenges.

Iowa NSF EPSCoR researchers recognize that landscape-scale interventions in the biosphere will impact both human societies and natural ecosystems in ways that will be difficult to predict without collaborations among engineers, life scientists, economists, and sociologists to study all elements of the energy value-chain, from natural resource to human consumer.

NSF EPSCoR Iowa pyramidTo address these challenges, the Iowa NSF EPSCoR research program is composed of four distinct platforms: Bioenergy, Wind Energy, Energy Utilization/Energy Efficiency, and Energy Policy. As a result of this investment, Iowa will be poised to move forward and advance its research and technology agenda and to help lead in overcoming one of the great challenges of the 21st century—energy.

Wind Energy Platform

Uses advanced engineering principles in fluid dynamics, machine design, and control theory to improve the reliability of wind turbines, which are subject to highly variable and sometimes destructive operating environments.

Bioenergy Platform

Investigates both the challenges of producing large quantities of biomass in a sustainable manner and the unanswered questions of how to transport, store and utilize biomass within the current electric power plant infrastructure built in the last century to exploit fossil energy resources.

Energy Utilization platform

Recognizes the important role that social sciences will play in improving energy efficiency sufficiently for diffuse renewable energy resources to replace our profligate expenditure of fossil fuels.

Energy Policy platform

Explores how economists and engineers can collaborate on energy policy and advise policy makers on renewable energy issues.


Missouri EPSCoR LogoThe National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $374,000 EPSCoR planning grant to Missouri in 2012. Since receiving that award Missouri has submitted Track 1 and Track 2 proposals seeking to invest in Missouri’s research infrastructure. Missouri has received NSF EPSCoR co-funding of thirteen projects at five institutions in Missouri totaling over $3.6 million.

RII-Track 1: The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants, and Community

The proposed project will enhance research in the transect from climate to plants to community. These interconnected areas build on research strengths in Missouri and, more importantly, establish a platform for infrastructure investments to fill critical needs. As evidenced by the severe drought of 2012 that afflicted Missouri and other areas of the United States, water availability is the most significant environmental limitation on plants, directly and acutely affecting productivity and consequently the broader society. Climate change will cause periods of drought to become progressively more severe and frequent, which will exacerbate plant water usage and deplete soil moisture, resulting in greater risk of future drought and increased economic and societal impacts.

Climate graphic of USThe Missouri Transect project builds on established capabilities in plant sciences, remote sensing and imaging, atmospheric and environmental sciences, ‘omics approaches, and the social sciences to better understand and predict the responses of plants and society to climate change.

Infrastructure investments in people, technology, approaches, and ideas will enable us to better understand, model, and predict (1) short- and long-term trends in temperature and water availability in the state; (2) the impact of these trends on the productivity of our state’s native flora and agricultural crops; and (3) how different stakeholder communities are likely to respond to these changes. In addition to advancing our research capabilities, the proposed research infrastructure investments will enhance our educational efforts to develop and diversify Missouri’s STEM workforce.

RII-Track 2: Collaborative Research on Plant Stress Response through Innovations in Phenomics and Molecular Imaging Technologies

The proposed AR and MO Plant Bioimaging Consortium will bring together multiple disciplines (synthetic chemistry, radiochemistry, imaging science, plant biology, bioengineering, computational biology and informatics) to address the Grand Challenge of understanding the phenotypic consequences of genotypic variation. Multi-disciplinary teams will work collaboratively on four experimental models (theme projects) to generate new discoveries in plant stress biology and develop bioimaging tools essential to the plant science community. The overarching research theme is to understand how short-term and long-range climate change impacts the resilience and productivity of crop and natural plant ecosystems.

Strengthening the Professoriate @ Iowa State University (SP@ISU)

Strengthening the Professoriate (SP@ISU) LogoStrengthening the Professoriate @ Iowa State University (SP@ISU) supports faculty as they integrate broader impacts activities into their research and promote awareness about broader impacts programs, resources, and evaluation on campus. SP@ISU fosters Iowa State University’s commitment to building and sustaining a creative environment that inspires individuals to meet society’s needs.

SP@ISU provides and coordinates opportunities and resources to assist faculty as they develop broader impacts plans and integrate broader impacts activities into their research programs. Postdoctoral research associates and advanced graduate students also participate as they prepare their professional credentials for the professoriate. SP@ISU fosters collaboration and integration across projects and programs, and it is advancing the conversation on faculty rewards and recognition for broader impacts work. The results of these efforts will include more competitive NSF proposals, a new generation of faculty who integrate broader impacts work with their research, and increased participation of those traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—all outcomes that will strengthen the professoriate.

Background of SP@ISU Development

SP@ISU is funded by a 5-year award from the NSF Innovation through Institutional Integration (I3) program in 2010. Additional institutional support comes from the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research. NSF has currently funded 30 I3 proposals nationwide.