Skip to main content

InDEPENDENT research & development

innovation for mission-essential research


NSRI is offering up to six awards of $15,000 - $25,000 in funding to University of Nebraska researchers, faculty, students and staff for research, development and training programs in its mission focus areas.

Download the 2021 RFP

NSRI IRAD 2021 Priorities

Download the full 2021 RFP (above) for extended descriptions.

chem bio graphic

Chemical Science

The elimination of stockpiles of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) is a slow, expensive process that typically utilizes chemical neutralization and/or incineration of the CWA. Chemical neutralization uses a gross excess (greater than 10x molar ratio) of neutralization material to CWA. During this process, large quantities of highly hazardous waste are produced.

NSRI seeks proposals to develop catalytic methods that have the potential to safely and rapidly eliminate stockpiles of chemical warfare agents such as sulfur mustard, sarin, and/or VX.
chess illustration

Nuclear Matters

Both of the two great power competitors to the U.S., Russia and China, have intimated in their most recent political and doctrinal writings that their escalation philosophy would entail an extremely rapid, intense burst of military power in order to achieve and consolidate gains before the United States is able to effectively respond with potentially overwhelming military might … the so-called fait accompli.  The United States has adequately studied neither the escalation philosophies of these great power competitors nor the mathematical modeling and visualization of multi-modal escalation dynamics.

NSRI seeks proposals aimed at research and exploration into escalation visualization methods for rapid and accurate understanding at the decision-maker level.

Strategic Mission Systems

To understand how close we are to “strategic deterrence failure,” we may need to develop a new framework to bring together diverse data streams (hard and soft data, along with context-based sentiment) to help make assessments about our how well our strategic deterrence strategy is working.

NSRI seeks proposals to develop analytic products to track "metrics" or "trends,” in the aforementioned diverse data streams, to explore algorithms to determine how close we are we to strategic deterrence failure (5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years), and to construct analytic frameworks to answer senior leader questions, and novel approaches to present information to senior leaders.
NSRI Scientist in Lab

Biological Sciences

The current COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that natural mutations or engineered mutations to a virus can enhance pathogenicity. However, genetic alterations of biological organisms can also provide benefits.

NSRI seeks proposals the examine the use of synthetic biology to combat WMD through the development of modified organisms that could be used to protect warfighters from exposure to threats or to destroy threat agents (chemical, biological radiological). NSRI also seeks proposals to examine the ability to understand and predict the impact of mutations on viral phenotypes.
mobile training


NSRI seeks proposals to identify and address critical gaps in national capability to address public health and medical needs during pandemics and WMD events. A successful proposal would demonstrate a plan to develop an adaptable, regional and programmatic approach to align core competencies and SOP's across applicable units.
Generic handshake background

Additional Areas of Interest

In addition to the specific areas identified above, NSRI will review proposals covering a broad range of topics that address various areas of need across the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction community. Other example areas are: self-decontaminating materials for any or all hazards; waterless decontamination for chemical and biological agents; biosurveillance; novel chemical and biological detection approaches; fieldable point of care diagnostics; nuclear command and control.

Selection Process

Phase I proposal submission has closed. Proposers will receive direct communication from NSRI.

The review process for submissions reflects both a rigorous programmatic review and technical review to ensure that IRAD projects map clearly to NSRI’s mission.

Programmatic review: Applications — which must be led by a University of Nebraska researcher, faculty, students or staff — will be reviewed by the appropriate NSRI director. Up to 10 finalists will be selected to move on to the technical merit review round.

Technical merit review: NSRI directors with project proposers will present to a technical review committee comprised of subject matter experts.


November 16, 2020
RFP available (above)
Open question period (see form below)

January 15, 2021
Phase I proposal due (left)

February 15, 2021
Finalist(s) notified

March 15, 2021
Phase II proposal due

June 2021
Announcement of NSRI IRAD recipients

July 1, 2021
Funds distributed

July 1, 2021
Anticipated start of award

13 months after start date
Final report due

Have a question? Ask it here, and we'll get back to you soon. Please note, NSRI IRAD only funds projects led by University of Nebraska researchers, faculty, students and staff.
Thank you for your question!


The University of Nebraska uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By clicking "I Agree" and/or continuing to use this website without adjusting your browser settings, you accept the use of cookies.