See also Space Grant FAQ and Awards FAQ.
NASA Kentucky EPSCoR Questions
- What is the difference between a letter of endorsement and a letter of support from a NASA Collaborator? A letter of support should include 1) a substantive commitment to participate in the proposed research project, 2) specific plans for regular communications, and 3) an invitation to visit the NASA center or facility. As described below, letters of affirmation or endorsement – “I am familiar with the Professor’s work and I think the proposed research is a great idea” – are insufficient.
From the NASA Guidebook for Proposers: Letters of support do not include “letters of affirmation” (i.e., letters that endorse the value or merit of a proposal). NASA neither solicits nor evaluates such endorsements for proposals. The value of a proposal is determined by peer review. If endorsements are submitted, they may not be submitted as an appendix. They must be included as part of the proposal and must be included within the required page limitations even though they will not be considered in the evaluation of the proposal.
From the NASA EPSCoR RA RFP: Statements of commitment and letters of support are important components of the proposal. NASA does not, however, solicit or evaluate letters of endorsement. Review the NASA Guidebook for Proposers for distinctions among statements of commitment, letters of support, and letters of endorsement.
- How do I know what is aligned with a particular MD or OCT? General descriptions of the Mission Directorates and Office of the Chief Technologist are available on nasa.engr.uky.edu/epscor/ under Additional Resources, or go to NASA Mission Directorates and explore each MD or OCT. Research topics do not need to be aligned with a specific mission. Identify the MD or OCT umbrella that includes the proposed research area.
- What indirect cost rate will these grants allow? For NASA (Federal) funds, full indirects may be included or reduced indirects may be negotiated with your institution and any unrecovered portion of the full rate can be used as match.
- What counts as equipment? (Not allowed on RIDG, allowed on RA) NASA federal guidelines considers anything more than $5000 to be equipment and less than $5000 to be materials and supplies. The proposing institution may set lower limits defining equipment vs. materials and supplies consistent with the institution’s policies and practices.
- How do I find a NASA Collaborator if I do not already have one? Each NASA Center has a University Affairs Officer (UAO) who is available to help connect faculty with NASA researchers. Links to the list of contacts are at the bottom of the Space Grant and EPSCoR webpages.
On NSPIRES, where NASA research and award announcements are made, you can enter keywords from your area and find NASA technical researchers who share your interests. Calling them to talk about your research may lead to the support letter you need for a submission. When talking to researchers there – if it’s not their particular area – they can recommend others who are more aligned with your work.
- How do I find a collaborator at Langley for the Summer Faculty Program? Review the research areas at the Langley Research Center website and then contact Dr. Thomas Pinelli, LaRC University Affairs Officer, to discuss your interests. He will assist in identifying collaborators for the summer program.
- Is it allowable to have Co-PI’s from other states? Co-PIs from outside KY are allowed, as long as the project is building the research capability of KY, i.e. increasing our expertise to be competitive for future funding. Proposals that keep funding inside the jurisdiction (KY) are preferred.
- Are Permanent Residents eligible for Space Grant and/or NASA EPSCoR funding? NASA Space Grant requires US Citizenship but NASA EPSCoR does not have any citizenship requirements.
- Can non-US citizens be co-PIs? Yes. The citizenship requirement only applies to Space Grant. There are no such restrictions on EPSCoR.
- Does XYZU need to be a member of the Space Consortium in order for me to apply for a Grant or do I need to have the Research Grant office at XYZU contact the Consortium? For NASA EPSCoR programs, any institution of higher education in Kentucky may apply for funding.
- I am a teacher at ABC K-12 school interested in adding space-related materials to my clubs and classes. Does ABC need to be a member of the Space Consortium in order for me to apply for a grant? For NASA EPSCoR programs, only institutions of higher education in Kentucky may apply for funding.
NASA EPSCoR RA Questions
- Is the Statewide EPSCoR Committee providing matching funds for RA proposals?
The Statewide EPSCoR Committee has allocated funds to match the NASA EPSCoR Research Area projects, should projects be selected by NASA. For the pre-proposal, please assume $75K state match per year for the research portion of the award. Note that these funds are awarded excluding indirect costs, so you should also include as match uncollected indirect costs associated with this element of cost-sharing.
Federal funds: $625,000 over 3 years including applicant’s full indirect costs.
Required cost-share: $312,500 over 3 years (50% of Federal funds amount from non-Federal sources).
State provided cost-share: $225,000 over 3 years without indirect cost.
Unrecovered indirect costs used as cost-share: With a Direct Cost Base of $225,000 x indirect rate.
For example, with a 48% F&A rate, the state funds generate an additional $108,000 of cost-share. The total cost-share is then $333,000 of non-Federal funds which is more than the required cost-share.
- Would a project based around XYZ be a viable proposal to this RFP? Any research topic for an RA proposal is allowed as long as it is a priority to NASA and the PI already has a NASA collaborator involved. Without an existing collaboration, it would be better to propose a RIDG to build the partnership for a future RA proposal.
- The RA pre-proposal guidelines ask us to include info on prior NASA EPSCoR Research Support. Does this include KY NASA EPSCoR funding (rather than the national NASA EPSCoR funds) as well? Yes.
- Under the RA 10-page limit, PIs are asked to provide info on “Partnerships and Interactions” and then on “Additional Pages” we are asked to provide “Team Management Summary” up to 2 pages. What is the difference? Can the first just be included in the second under additional pages? Partnerships and interactions are with your NASA Collaborator, PI and Co-PIs. Team Management is how the work will be organized and coordinated among all team members including subawardees, subcontractors, staff, students, etc.
- Can we have multiple NASA researchers included in the pre-proposals?
Does it give us any advantage? Yes.
- As it stated in the RFP we are not going to provide any detailed numerical approved budget for the RA pre-proposal. Instead, we will provide a budget narrative. Would you like to see any rough numbers in the budget narrative anyway or not? Rough numbers are not necessary. The narrative should give the reviewers enough information to decide if the proposed scope of work is reasonable within the total budget. Detailed budgets will be developed after selecting the candidate to be submitted to the national competition.
- Does the $3000 international travel limit include subawardee travel? Yes, the $3K limit is for the entire award, therefore it includes the subawardees.
- Are international subawards allowed? International subawards are allowed for services (vendors). International subawards may not perform the proposed research.
Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith, Director
Dr. Janet K. Lumpp, Associate Director
Jacob Owen, Assistant Director
Mark Pittman, Program Manager
NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs
University of Kentucky College of Engineering
112 Robotics Bldg (RMB)
Lexington, KY 40506-0108
Phone: 859-218-6272 (859-218-NASA)