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Montana NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

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SMART FIRES RII Track-1 Project

Montana NSF EPSCoR is a Montana University System program focused on stimulating sustainable improvements in Montana's R&D capacity and competitiveness in science and engineering research. We partner with the National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program to develop and manage strategic projects funded by competitive NSF EPSCoR awards to the state.



News and CREWS Blog

Montana STEM Summit 2023 findings and next steps will be presented online Dec. 12

Dec 7 2023

Key findings from the 2023 Montana STEM Summit will be shared in an online presentation on Tuesday, Dec.

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Montana State part of new regional tech hub focused on critical technologies for U.S. national security

Oct 31 2023
Montana State University will be part of a new, federally designated regional technology hub focused on photonics and smart sensor technology, research areas in which…
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Project Highlight: "The Future Isn't Written"

Oct 2 2023
Dr. Arica Crootof of UM Western assists in a project surrounding effective communication about contamination and remediation efforts of the Warm Springs Ponds at the…
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Montana State research team receives new funding to examine nitrogen processing in riparian areas

Sep 28 2023
Building off preliminary work conducted through the Montana NSF EPSCoR Track-1 CREWS project, a team of Montana State University researchers recently received funding…
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Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Report

Sep 28 2023

The Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission final report was submitted to Congress on September 27, 2023 and reflects one of the most sweeping and…

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What we do

We develop and manage NSF ESPCoR Research Improvement Investment (RII) Awards to Montana to promote development of science and technology capacity across the Montana University System. With RII support we have:

  • 125 faculty hired in strategic areas
  • 300+ graduate students supported on projects
  • 1K+ undergraduate students supported on projects
  • 100+ Native American Students supported on projects

Featured Projects

  • RII Track-1: 2023-2028

    PI: Robert Walker (MSU) PI/PD
    Sensors, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence in Real Time Fire Science (SMART FireS) is a partnership among Montana State University, University of Montana, Salish Kootenai College, Little Big Horn College, Montana Technical University and Flathead Valley Community College. The vision of this partnership is to expand jurisdictional research capacity in order to address knowledge gaps associated with prescribed fire usage and to understand prescribed fire’s impact on individuals and communities.
  • RII Track-1: 2018-2023

    PI: Ragan Callaway (UM) Project Director
    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-2 FEC: 2022-2026

    PI: Jesse Johnson (UM)
    The University of Montana and the University of Alaska, Anchorage will conduct scientific research that is responsive to the needs of their natural resource based economies