Through Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) awards from NSF EPSCoR, we develop and manage integrated science and engineering projects that strategically build research capacity and competitiveness for Montana. 

MT NSF ESPCoR Research

Montana EPSCoR develops and manages integrated science and engineering projects that address Montana priorities and build new research capacity and increase research competitive for the Montana University System and partners, including Montana's 7 tribal colleges. These projects are funded through competitive Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) awards through four different Tracks. NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 awards are the core of Montana EPSCoR activities, currently providing $20M over 5 years. Track-1 RII awards align with state priorities developed through the Montana Science & Technology Plan with oversight from the Montana Science & Technology Committee. These RII awards build on existing research capacity and form a partnership between Montana and the NSF. 

Current Montana Track-1 project (2011-2017): INSTEP III - Infrastructure via Science and Technology Enhanced Partnerships III

This project focused on climate and ecosystem linkages from scales of microbes to landscapes and helped to create the statewide Montana Institute on Ecosystems.

Project Overview: MT EPSCoR is committed to addressing one of the critical scientific and social issues facing the nation: the effects of climate change in sustaining healthy ecosystems and economic growth. By bridging the worlds of microbiology, ecology, and climatology, the MT EPSCoR program seeks to understand the dynamics and linkages of ecosystem processes that govern how an ecosystem responds to climate change. Through this interdisciplinary and ecosystem-centric approach, the program will provide an innovative model that is both regionally relevant and nationally significant, while capitalizing on the unique resources and scientific strengths found in Montana. Read more about this project here and at the Montana IoE website.

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Featured Projects

  • RII Track-1: 2018-2023

    PI: Ragan Callaway (UM)
    The Consortium for Research on Environmental Water Systems (CREWS) is a five-year, $20M NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 partnership between the University of Montana, Montana State University, Montana Technological University, Salish Kootenai College, Little Bighorn College, and business and government partners to study Montana’s environmental water systems and specific water quality issues.
  • RII Track-1: 2011-2018

    PI: Ray Callaway (UM)
    Montana research on ecosystems from microbes to landscapes, including creation of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems (IoE)
  • RII Track-2 FEC: 2017-2021

    PI: Rajesh Sani (SDSMT) PI
    The NSF awarded a total of $6 million in August 2017 for a collaboration at MSU as well as the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the University of Oklahoma. The project’s abbreviated name is BuG ReMeDEE (pronounced “bug remedy”).