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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 awarded $20M from NSF EPSCoR

May 8 2023
NSF EPSCoR awards Montana a 5-year $20 million Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 project.
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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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New article from CREWS JRW Natural Resource Social Science team focuses on challenges rural communities face with public water systems

Jul 10 2023
A recent publication from the Natural Resource Social Science team highlights the challenges facing rural communities in the arena of public water systems—namely, the…
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Online college simulation game introduces players to STEM concepts and pathways

Jun 23 2023
The online learning game, Crash Course, is a virtual college simulation that introduces players to various STEM concepts and pathways.
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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