Table of Contents

Project Contacts

Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC; also known as Central Office): Staff includes Tom Chilton, Jennifer Fowler, and Cathy Ma. The central EPSCoR office at AEDC is the primary awardee and will manage all project related communication with NSF. Any items that need to be discussed with the NSF program office need to go through AEDC. AEDC will also serve as a liaison between the SSC and Management Team/SAC.

Tom Chilton, TChilton@ArkansasEDC.com
Jennifer Fowler, JFowler@ArkansasEDC.com
Cathy Ma, cma@arkansasedc.com

Science & Research Lead Contacts: Staff includes Jackson Cothren and Hanna Ford. Both are located at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and serve as the primary organizational lead for the science and research program.

Jackson Cothren, jcothre@uark.edu
Hanna Ford, hlford@uark.edu


This is not a grant. This is a cooperative agreement and is performance-based. Per DART award Terms and Conditions, NSF reserves the right to phase-out, suspend or terminate this cooperative agreement at any time should progress be deemed unsatisfactory. Both the project as a whole and the performance of individuals are evaluated annually.

Eligible organizations and institutions: Funded collaborations are limited to those within the EPSCoR jurisdiction (Arkansas). For more details, please see: NSF 19-580, Section II. Program Description, Item B. Eligible Organizations and Information

Project Organizational Structure

Roles and Responsibilities

NSF-related Project Roles

  • Program Director (PI), Vacant: Responsible for the overall statewide project management, which includes administration of the central office, overall management of science, outreach, and workforce development efforts, cyberinfrastructure, and evaluation, developing new funding opportunities to leverage or add support and linkage with other federal grants, and providing progress report to and communicating with NSF EPSCoR Office.
  • Science Director (CoPI), Jackson Cothren: Serves as executive director for the Science Steering Committee (Leadership Team). Oversees research activities within and across the topic areas ensuring that collaborative activities are ongoing, productive, and fall within the defined research goals of the project.
  • All other members submitted on the NSF proposal are listed as Sr. Personnel.

Research Theme Roles

  • Research Theme CoLead: A CoLead has two important administrative roles: 1) serve as liaison between SSC and the respective research theme faculty groups; 2) lead the respective research theme in maintaining synchronous progress across all activities within the research theme and integrated research themes, including but not limited to: coordinating meetings and distributing communications among research theme faculty members; communicating progress to the SSC; communicating upcoming or existing personnel vacancies to the SSC. The CoLead role is primarily an administrative role and does not include any additional resources or support.
  • Research Theme Activity PI and CoPIs: Each research them includes several activities. For each activity there is one PI. The PI should communicate with the activity team regularly to ensure the project is performing satisfactorily. The PI should liaison with the research theme CoLead. In cases where multiple CoPIs lead a research theme activity, it is their collective responsibility to perform the duties of research theme activity PI.
  • Research Theme Sr. Personnel: In each research theme activity, a number of faculty within that theme are assigned as senior personnel. They each have particular expertise and skills needed to accomplish the milestones in that activity. Faculty may be senior pesonnel in multiple activities and many also serve as PI or CoPI in other activities.
  • Research Theme Liaison: Liaisons have the task of disseminating information between research themes. Individuals with this role have subject area expertise that is relevant in multiple themes and across multiple activities. While they are not necessarily responsible for milestones in their cross-theme activity, they should: 1) attend meetings and keep up with progress in that activity, and 2) inform their theme of relevant results and possible collaborations.

Other Project Roles

  • Science Steering Committee (SSC; also known as: Leadership Team): Comprised of CoLeads from each research theme. Provides oversight for the scientific aspects of the program and is responsible for ensuring research theme milestones and objectives are being met annually. The SSC is also responsible for participating in NSF Site Visits, annual conferences, and communicating progress to the external evaluation board and external evaluator via annual reports and presentations.The SSC works closely with the EAB, PI, and CoPI to provide technical and/or scientific guidance as lead researchers on the project. Each SSC member is responsible for at least one planned activity in Section 4.3 of the proposal, and is responsible for planning, execution, reporting, and dissemination via inter-institutional workshops.
  • Management Team: Comprised of vice-provost level administrators from each campus receiving a subaward. The PI, CoPI, and Management Team are responsible for financial decisions and other administrative duties.
  • Science Advisory Committee (SAC; also known as the Arkansas EPSCoR Steering Committee): Committee is composed of representatives from academia, government, and the private sector. The SAC selects the topical areas for each Track-1 Proposal, designates the fiscal agent/proposing organization as the responsible recipient for the RII Track-1 award, and must provide support for the Track-1 Proposal for NSF acceptance.
  • External Advisory Board (EAB): The EAB will include researchers from peer and aspirant universities or national labs who serve as technical consultants providing recommendations on research progress and strategic and long-term sustainability planning during annual site visits. The EAB will serve a critical role in the seed grant program as well as in mentoring and commercialization efforts.
  • Industry Advisory Board (IAB): The IAB members will serve as an intermediary between academia and industry. The IAB will include representatives from Arkansas industry sectors who will be impacted by DART research. Ex-officio members include the project Co-PI (to communicate scientific results), the project PI (to serve as the liaison to government and policy organizations), and members from related organizations like the Arkansas Center for Data Science and the Arkansas Research Alliance. The IAB will meet annually in conjunction with the Annual All-Hands Meeting, and they will meet quarterly to review results and recommend new areas of research and collaboration based on industry needs. One member of the IAB (rotating annually) will serve as a member of the EAB during site visits.

Personnel Changes and Vacancies

  • Personnel replacement should only be considered if a researcher has: 1) left their position; 2) over-allocated their available research time and will not be able to fulfill their role in the project; or 3) is not performing satisfactorily.
  • CoLead Vacancies: Suggestions for Research Theme CoLead replacements should be submitted via email to the Arkansas EPSCoR Office at arkansasepscor@gmail.com; Jackson Cothren (Project Science Director) at jcothre@uark.edu; and copying Hanna Ford (DART Science Project Manager) hlford@uark.edu; please include the following for a proposed replacement: 1) NSH-formatted biosketch; 2) NSF-formatted Current and Pending; and 3) a brief statement on how the proposed replacement will serve the project. The SSC should review all requests for CoLead replacement and make a recommendation to the AEDC Central Office for approval. The AEDC Cental Office will notify the Management Team, SAC, and NSF of the final decision.
  • Sr. Personnel Vacancies: Suggestions for Sr. Personnel replacements should be submitted via email to the Arkansas EPSCoR Office at arkansasepscor@gmail.com; Jackson Cothren (Project Science Director) at jcothre@uark.edu; and copying Hanna Ford (DART Science Project Manager) hlford@uark.edu; please include the following for a proposed replacement: 1) NSH-formatted biosketch; 2) NSF-formatted Current and Pending; and 3) a brief statement on how the proposed replacement will serve the project. Requests for Sr. Personnel replacements will be reviewed and approved the AEDC Central Office if they are not a direct replacement (same institution and research theme activities). If the replacement is a direct replacement the DART PI and CoPI can approve this replacement. The AEDC Cental Office will notify the Management Team, SAC, and NSF of the final decision.

Project Reporting

All faculty are required to submit data to the project’s reporting website, ER Core (dartreporting.org). Annual reports are generated using the input provided in ER Core. Any information not submitted to ER Core will not be reported to NSF. Data collected includes but is not limited to:

  1. Project participants- faculty, graduate students, undergrads, postdocs, collaborators
  2. Publications related to the project
  3. Any additional proposals submitted during the project
  4. Honors and awards to any project participant
  5. Outreach activities
  6. Patents related to the project
  7. Startup companies related to the project
  8. Presentations of project related data
  9. Collaborations with people outside the project or related activities among participants that are not listed in the strategic plan
  10. Other research products including data, databases, software, educational aids, instruments, equipment, etc.

All project participants are also expected to participate in the AR EPSCoR annual conference. Graduate students, postdocs, and faculty participants are expected to participate in the annual retreat. Students will be expected to present their research at least once per year in a poster competition.

The project will be evaluated annually by a panel of external advisors and a contract external evaluator. The two culminating reports will be filed with NSF and the project will be expected to accept any feedback and incorporate changes as suggested.

Acknowledgement of NSF Support/Disclaimer

Acknowledgment of NSF Support/Disclaimer in compliance with NSF PAPPG, Chapter XI – Other Post Award Requirements and Considerations, Section E. Publication/Distribution of Grant Materials, Item 4. Grantee Obligations.

  • Suggested Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. OIA-1946391.
  • Suggested Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

  • For each year of funding we hope to support 40 graduate student stipends and tuition (either M.S. level or PhD level).
  • GRA funding will not be on the same subaward as your research funding. GRA funding will be paid to your Institution separately, as a standalone project to your institution at the beginning of each project year.
  • Graduate student funds are not available for re-allocation to other categories. Support will be provided for the number of graduate students assigned at each institution.
  • Students should be assigned to individual advisors at their home institution but may be co-advised by faculty at other institutions.
  • Advisors must identify students by name. If an advisor is not able to identify a student who can support the project, research theme CoLeads may reallocate the GRA slot to another advisor with a named student within the research theme.
  • Support for graduate students will only be provided for GRAs that can be identified by name at your institution. Please be prepared to supply this information to your Office of Sponsored Programs or equivalent at the beginning of each funding year.
  • If a GRA students graduates and/or leaves the project, PIs can name other students who are qualified to work on DART. PIs are required to notify AEDC and get approval before new students receive GRA funds.