National Science Foundation (NSF)
EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 Awards:

2014-2020 NSF EPSCoR Track-1 Cooperative Agreement

What is the Track-1?

Innovative and Strategic Program Initiatives for Research and Education-North Dakota (INSPIRE-ND), ND EPSCoR’s most recent NSF cooperative agreement, is a five-year cooperative agreement that carries an 80/20% federal/state match.[1]

Track-1 Impact

  • Building on strategic NSF and ND investments made since ND EPSCoR began, INSPIRE-ND is:
    • developing two new research platforms through the Center for Regional Climate Change (CRCS) and the Center for Sustainable Materials Science (CSMS)
    • fostering critical research infrastructure, and
    • integrating research, education and human resources with workforce development initiatives to strengthen the state’s overall research competitiveness across 11 institutions of higher education.
  • ND EPSCoR participating institutions:
    Research universities North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota are collaborating with primarily undergraduate institutions (Dickinson State University, Mayville State University, and Valley City State University), master’s college/university Minot State University, and five tribal colleges (Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College and United Tribes Technical College).
    The collective impact has been active involvement in research, outreach, education and diversity activities throughout the state.

[1] Unlike a grant, a cooperative agreement is “a type of assistance award which may be used when the project being supported requires substantial agency involvement during the project performance period”. As a result, shown by the documents below, NSF has been substantially involved in the technical, managerial, and coordination activities of ND EPSCoR’s INSPIRE-ND project.

Track-1 Centers and Participants

Logo image for the Center for Regional Climate Studies



Center for Regional Climate Studies  


Logo image for the Center for Sustainable Materials Science



  Center for Sustainable Materials Science




  • Center for Regional Climate Studies (CRCS)
    • CRCS faculty
    • CRCS students
    • Additional support from:
      • Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC, located at Belcourt, ND)
        Campus EPSCoR PI: Dr. Terri Martin-Parisien, Academic Dean
      • United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, located in Bismarck, ND)
        Campus EPSCoR PI: Dr. Jeremy Guinn, Tribal Environmental Science (TES) Chair/Instructor


Track-1 Strategic Plan:


Track-1 Report Booklet


Track-1 Report Booklet - 2017

Cover page image of the July 2017 Track-1 Research Report Booklet



Research Impacts

Year 5 (August 2018 - July 2019)

  • Center for Regional Climate Studies (CRCS)   

         Improved Macro-scale Hydrologic Modeling and Applications in Cold Climate Regions

  • Center for Sustainable Materials Science (CSMS) 

         Novel Thermally Degradable Polymers

  • Education and Workforce Development

         Training the Workforce for the 21st Century

Year 4 (August 2017 - July 2018)

Year 3 (August 2016 - July 2017)

Year 2 (August 2015 - July 2016)

Year 1 (August 2014 - July 2015)

Track-1 Research Documents

State Strategic Plan for Science & Technology in North Dakota: