The mission of EPSCoR is to assist the National Science Foundation in its statutory function "to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." EPSCoR goals are:
a) to provide strategic programs and opportunities for EPSCoR participants that stimulate sustainable improvements in their R&D capacity and competitiveness;
b) to advance science and engineering capabilities in EPSCoR jurisdictions for discovery, innovation and overall knowledge-based prosperity.
- to catalyze key research themes and related activities within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions that empower knowledge generation, dissemination and application;
- to activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits;
- to broaden participation in science and engineering by institutions, organizations and people within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions;
- to use EPSCoR for development, implementation and evaluation of future programmatic experiments that motivate positive change and progression.
EPSCoR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
EPSCoR uses three major investment strategies to achieve its goal of improving the R&D competitiveness of researchers and institutions within EPSCoR jurisdictions. These strategies are:
- Research Infrastructure Improvement Program:
Track-1 (RII Track-1) Awards. RII Track-1 awards provide up to $4 million per year for up to five years. They are intended to improve the research competitiveness of jurisdictions by improving their academic research infrastructure in areas of science and engineering supported by the National Science Foundation and critical to the particular jurisdiction’s science and technology initiative or plan. These areas must be identified by the jurisdiction’s EPSCoR governing committee as having the best potential to improve the jurisdiction’s future R&D competitiveness.
Past solicitations have also included:
Track-2 (RII Track-2) Awards. RII Track-2 awards provide up to $2 million per year for up to three years as collaborative awards to consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions to support innovation-enabling cyberinfrastructure of regional, thematic, or technological importance. These awards facilitate the enhancement of discovery, learning, and economic development of EPSCoR jurisdictions through the use of cyberinfrastructure and other technologies.
Track-3 (RII Track-3) Awards. RII Track-3 awards provide up to $750,000 for up to five years to support the strategic goal of broadening participation to improve future R&D competitiveness of EPSCoR jurisdictions. These awards are intended to broaden participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields supported by NSF - underrepresented minorities, women, persons with disabilities and those in underserved rural regions of the country.
- Co-Funding of Disciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research:
EPSCoR co-invests with NSF Directorates and Offices in the support of meritorious proposals from individual investigators, groups, and centers in EPSCoR jurisdictions that are submitted to the Foundation’s research and education programs, and crosscutting initiatives. These proposals have been merit reviewed and recommended for award, but could not be funded without the combined, leveraged support of EPSCoR and the Research and Education Directorates. Co-funding leverages EPSCoR investment and facilitates participation of EPSCoR scientists and engineers in Foundation-wide programs and initiatives.
- Workshops and Outreach:
The EPSCoR Office solicits requests for support of workshops, conferences, and other community-based activities designed to explore opportunities in emerging areas of science and engineering, and to share best practices in planning and implementation in strategic planning, diversity, communication, cyberinfrastructure, evaluation, and other areas of importance to EPSCoR jurisdictions (See NSF 12-588). The EPSCoR Office also supports outreach travel that enables NSF staff from all Directorates and Offices to work with the EPSCoR research community regarding NSF opportunities, priorities, programs, and policies. Such travel also serves to more fully acquaint NSF staff with the science and engineering accomplishments, ongoing activities, and new directions and opportunities in research and education in the jurisdictions.