The Montana NSF RII Track-1 EPSCoR CREWS project seeks proposals from Montana 2 and 4-year primarily undergraduate campuses that expand STEM and water quality education and workforce development opportunities for students.



The Consortium for Research on Environmental Water Systems (CREWS), funded by NSF EPSCoR’s RII Track-1 award to the state of Montana, focuses on environmental water systems and water quality issues stemming from the impact of land-resource use. The CREWS project targets three study-sites, each representative of a different land-resource use: 1) hard rock mining in the Upper Clark Fork River (; 2) agriculture and grazing in the Judith River Watershed (; and 3) energy extraction in the Powder River Basin ( The research approach integrates the site-based activities with four thematic teams: 1) systems ecology and earth sciences; 2) molecular engineering and environmental science; 3) environmental synoptic signals and sensors; and 4) natural resource social sciences. The project includes workforce development and education activities, as well as STEM outreach and inclusion initiatives. For more information:



CREWS’ Seed Award program for Montana’s two and four-year campuses is designed to support new ideas and enhance existing opportunities for undergraduate student education and workforce development in water quality science and STEM areas across Montana’s academic institutions. The awards can be used to support student education programs that support Montana’s STEM workforce needs, particularly related to water quality. Proposals for faculty development in these areas will also be considered. For example, this funding opportunity could support a new course in water quality, funding for students or faculty to conduct independent projects on water quality, professional development for faculty, or other innovative ideas through which CREWS could promote water quality-related education capacity and workforce development goals at 2-4 year institutions in Montana. Faculty and instructors from Montana’s two or four-year higher education campuses are encouraged to submit applications. Priority will be given to projects that clearly link to the goals of the CREWS project.



Anticipated Funding Range Per Award: $4,000 - $10,000, which must include any allowable indirect costs (F&A).

Estimated Number of Awards: the number of awards will be based on evaluation of proposals and available funding.

Anticipated Award Period: October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. Funds must be spent by September 30, 2021.



Any instructor/faculty member at a two or four-year campus MUS institution (UM, MSU, and MTU are excluded), Tribal College, or private college in Montana may submit a proposal. Current participation in a Montana EPSCoR–funded project is not required. Funded participants on the CREWS project are not eligible to apply. However, developing a partnership proposal with one of the existing CREWS research and education teams is encouraged but not required. All supported investigators and students must be from Montana institutions.



Proposals must be submitted in digital format in MS Word and Excel formats, using a standard font in 11 point or larger, with one-inch margins. PDF files are discouraged. A maximum of 3 pages for the Cover Page and Project Description, not including budget and appendices, is allowed and must include the information below. Proposals that exceed the page limit will not be reviewed. The Excel budget template document referenced below can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.


Proposal Cover Page (1 page)

  • Proposal Title
  • Project Lead, Co-lead(s), primary affiliation, and all contact information
  • Half-page summary statement appropriate for general audiences (maximum 250 words)


Project Description (maximum 2 pages)

  • Objectives of proposed work and how they relate to CREWS’ priorities and goals and/or Montana STEM workforce development.
  • Describe the proposed activities, and include a timetable for their completion. If relevant, include how any specialized supplies or materials will be used to carry out the work.
  • Outcomes and benefits: State anticipated outcomes and benefits (e.g., knowledge created, program or course developed, number and type of undergraduate research opportunities created, number of students impacted, etc.).


Additional Required Information (not included in the 3-page limit)

  • Budget and 1-page Justification. Budgets are to be submitted using the Excel budget template provided (link below). Budgets may include: salaries and wages, supplies, contracted services, travel, and tuition (no fees). Budgets must include appropriate fringe benefits on all personnel salary and institutional F&A (Facility & Administration/Indirect Costs). Proposers should use the approved F&A rate for their institution; F&A cannot be waived.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume of project lead (maximum 2 pages per person).
  • References cited (if applicable).



Grantees are required to provide information to the Montana EPSCoR State Office when requested, including project updatesand supported participant information. Grantees are also required to submit a final report (1–3 pages) within 2 months of the end of the award period. The report should detail the activities, supplies purchased, publications, new courses developed, extramural grant application(s), and/or extramural grant awards arising from support. Include names, degrees, and demographic information for any students supported by the award.



A CREWS multi-institutional panel will review proposals. Proposals will be reviewed for potential impact on faculty and students; relevance to CREWS project goals and objectives; justification of budget; institutional diversity; and potential for increasing students’ access to research and education experiences, especially for undergraduates, women, and underrepresented minority students.



Proposals should be submitted in word format with any graphics embedded in the document; budgets must use the excel template. Submit the proposal document(s) by email to:

Proposals must be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm MDT September 18, 2020.

Proposers are encouraged to questions to or contact CREWS team members directly.