ERI Winter Hours

Winter Hours

ERI and OSPA will be closed from Dec. 23, 2017  – Jan. 1, 2018. All ERI staff will be on vacation and email will not be monitored during this time period.

12/11/17            GoldSheets should arrive in OSPA for proposals with budgets over $2M and due dates between 12/22/17 and 1/05/18.

12/18/17             GoldSheets should arrive in OSPA for proposals with budgets under $2M and due dates between 12/22/17 and 1/05/18.

*New* Proposal Editing Service

ERI has begun a new proposal review service that entails the review and editing of the technical narrative for clarity of argument, grammar and compliance with formatting requirements.

Proposal review requests should be received a minimum of two weeks prior to the submission deadline. Manuscripts must be provided no later than 5 business days prior to the deadline. This service may be requested via the Platinum sheet. Please contact Julienne Krennrich with questions.

Research Development Support Programs re-released for FY18

The College of Engineering is committed to helping our faculty increase and diversify the sources of their research funding. We are re-releasing our support programs for FY18. The active programs are: Exploratory Research Projects, Pursuit Development Funds and the Faculty Travel Program.

More information and application instructions can be found here.

Spring 2017 ERP projects awarded

The Exploratory Research Projects program at Iowa State’s College of Engineering is supporting faculty members as they gather preliminary data for high-risk, high-impact, novel research ideas. This spring, seven projects will receive grants to explore new research areas. The next proposal deadline for the program is April 1, 2017. Read about the latest awards here.

College launches expanded research development support programs

The College of Engineering is committed to helping our faculty increase and diversify the sources of their research funding. It has therefore expanded its research development support and offers the following four programs:

1.) Exploratory Research Projects

2.) Pursuit Development Funds

3.) ACRI: Support for Developing Strategic Research Thrusts

4.) Faculty Travel Program.

More information and application instructions can be found here.

ACRI support helps Martin secure $3 million from ARPA-E

Steve Martin, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is working to create a low-cost, safe and efficient sodium-based battery thanks to $3 million in funding he received from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) OPEN 2015 program. Martin used ACRI funds to obtain external grant consultation when he developed his proposal for the ARPA-E award. The ERI also provided pre-award support in the form of budget preparation for his complex proposal. (Read the full story)

How ACRI can help you pursue external funding

As a College of Engineering faculty member who has to balance research and teaching, there are times when a little extra help could make all the difference in securing funding for your research program. Experts from the Engineering Research Institute (ERI) can help you create a winning proposal or even establish the framework that will help you grow your research program into a center.

ERI’s Accelerating Collaboration in Research Initiative (ACRI) is supported by the dean’s office, and it is available to all faculty members in the College of Engineering.

Rachael Voas, research project manager with ERI, says ACRI grants help facilitate partnerships and identify valuable resources to help engineering faculty succeed in their research. In her role, she supports faculty who have received ACRI grants and helps keep them on track.

“The college and university have so many strong research programs and new ideas that we want to help grow to the next level. Whether that’s through collaborations that may lead to nationally recognized centers of excellence, or through grants from a variety of funding agencies, ACRI can offer support to all levels of faculty.”

To share more about the program, Voas answered a few common questions below.


What are the two grant programs in ACRI?

Strategic Research Thrust Program

Grants for the Strategic Research Thrusts Program are to support multi-year efforts, to help you establish collaborative partnerships that will allow you to build a large research program that addresses emerging needs. Programs awarded this grant will receive $75,000 for first year with a chance to renew for the next year at the same amount.

Proposals are accepted twice a year for this program. The next deadline is March 4, 2016.

 Large Proposal Support Program
ACRI’s Large Proposal Support Program provides one-time funding to support faculty members pursuing large competitive grants (proposal budgets ≥ $750,000) for specific funding opportunities. A team may be granted $10,000-50,000 under this program.

Applications for ACRI support for this program are accepted at anytime.

Unspent funds in either of these programs are reverted back to the college.


What kind of support is provided through an ACRI grant?

There are several ways faculty can use the grants. Many use the funds for hiring external grant writers/consultants as well as hosting guest speakers and partners on campus to build future partnerships. Even hosting a meeting to connect faculty across campus can be a great way to generate new ideas and share excitement for research ideas.

ERI can also help those with ACRI grants find proposal opportunities that would be a good fit, make sure the vision of the research program is being communicated and even help with budget support.


What types of projects have received funding?

ACRI currently supports four Strategic Research Thrust teams:

  • Materials for Extreme Environments (Mufit Akinc, professor of materials science and engineering)
  • Icing Physics and Anti-/De-icing Technology (Hui Hu, professor of aerospace engineering)
  • Multiphase Flow Research (Shankar Subramaniam, professor of mechanical engineering, and Rodney Fox, professor of chemical and biological engineering)
  • Transformative Research on Advanced Thermal Technology (Yue Wu, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering)

The Large Proposal Support Program has helped faculty submit compelling proposals to a variety of agencies:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)


What advice do you have for someone applying for an ACRI grant?

For faculty looking at applying to the Strategic Research Thrust Program, make sure you have a leader with a strong vision who is fully committed to developing the thrust into a full center. These programs don’t necessarily begin with a specific proposal to pursue, but the interdisciplinary team should be aware of current state-of-the-art projects and agency/industry priorities that shape the relevant funding environment. Always keep in mind how your research can impact the world through fundamental advances, new discoveries or technological breakthroughs.

For the Large Proposals Support Program, be sure you thoroughly read and understand the solicitation’s goals so you can provide a response that addresses the defined problem. This is especially pertinent to solicitations released by DoD agencies. In all cases, the identified expertise at Iowa State should be highly relevant to the solicitation.

Also be sure to know and identify what makes your approach to the research idea/problem viable and innovative. We can help even in the initial stages of developing your application to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.


Who can apply for an ACRI grant?

Any faculty member with a primary appointment in the College of Engineering can apply for these grants. You can also have PIs on a team from other colleges. We encourage you to contact Raj Aggarwal with any questions or research ideas you think might qualify for ACRI funding.

To discuss ACRI funding, review the process and understand award criteria, you can contact Raj Aggarwal, director of ERI, at 515 294-9824 or

ERI-managed Hexcrete towers project successfully completes Phase 1.

The ERI-managed Hexcrete Tall Towers for wind turbines project funded by the Dept. of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, successfully completed Phase 1 last month when it wrapped up structural load testing on a full-scale section of a tower at the U. of Minnesota MAST facility. Fatigue testing of a partial section is on-going at the Structural Engineering Laboratory at ISU. The project is led by Professor Sri Sritharan, CCEE; Julienne Krennrich, Asst. Director of ERI, is the project manager. Read more.

Iowa NSF EPSCoR Projects Featured at Wind Energy Symposium

As graduate students slipped into the few remaining seats in a packed room, Iowa State University Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert and College of Engineering Dean Sarah Rajala thanked the presenters and attendees at the Wind Energy Industry Symposium, held September 29 at Iowa State. “Events like this symposium lead us to great ideas,” Rajala said.

Read More.

FY15 Engineering Research Institute Annual Report Now Available

The Engineering Research Institute provides faculty focused research support for College of Engineering faculty and their collaborators. We continue to make steady progress in our mission to help CoE faculty increase and diversify their research portfolios. We accomplish this by spotting pockets of faculty research excellence, identifying viable funding opportunities, engaging faculty to develop compelling and compliant proposals and helping them manage complex proposals.

Last year, we engaged 50 faculty teams to submit 30 proposals to 10 agencies and 3 companies, for a total of $79,341,316. We are especially encouraged by the diversity of federal agencies represented in our data: NSF, DOC, DOD, DOE, DHS & NIH.  For more details about our efforts in the last year, please read our FY15 ERI Annual Report.

2016 ACRI Internal Grant Programs announced

The Accelerating Collaboration in Research Initiative (ACRI) is a program designed to help CoE faculty increase research collaboration and compete for significant external funding. Last year, we funded the following four strategic research initiatives:

  •  Advanced Thermal Technology – PI: Prof. Yue Wu (CBE)
  • Icing Physics & Anti-/ De-icing Technology – PI: Prof. Hui Hu (AE)
  • Materials for Extreme Environments – PI: Prof. Mufit Akinc (MSE)
  • Multiphase Flow Research – PIs: Prof. Shankar Subramaniam (ME) & Prof. Rodney Fox (CBE)

 In addition, eight proposal teams were funded through the large proposal support initiative. For more information about our 2016 programs, please visit our ACRI webpage. The deadline for the First Round of the Strategic Research Thrust Program is October 16, 2015.