To accelerate the movement of EPSCoR researchers and institutions into the mainstream of NSF support, EPSCoR Co-funding is available to provide joint support for certain meritorious proposals submitted to NSF’s research, education and cross-cutting competitions. The objectives of the EPSCoR Co-funding mechanism are:
- To increase the number of EPSCoR jurisdiction investigators and institutions who participate in NSF research, technology, and education programs;
- To increase the participation of EPSCoR jurisdiction researchers and institutions in regional alliances and national collaborations;
- To broaden participation in science and engineering by institutions, organizations and people within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions.
Co-funding is not a program to which proposals can be submitted. Instead, it is a funding mechanism that operates internally within NSF and does not involve any action on the part of the proposer. The EPSCoR Co-funding mechanism focuses on those "Fund-if-Possible" proposals, which the NSF merit review process finds to lie at or near the cutoff for funding by the programs to which they were submitted. EPSCoR funds meritorious proposals that would otherwise not be supported due to availability of funds or other overriding program priorities.
For such proposals, the Program Officer for the reviewing program first decides whether to make an award recommendation and the amount and duration to be recommended for the award. The decision to recommend an award or declination rests with the reviewing program. Once these decisions are made, a request for partial support via EPSCoR Co-funding can be forwarded to the EPSCoR Office for consideration.
Proposal characteristics that will enhance the likelihood of EPSCoR co-funding are: (a) researchers who have not previously or recently (e.g., during the last three years) received NSF awards; (b) requests reflecting collaborative efforts within and across participating jurisdictions and at regional, national and/or international levels; (c) projects submitted to cross-discipline or cross-directorate programs; (d) projects with synergism to research focus areas within the corresponding EPSCoR jurisdiction; (e) projects that increase participation of members of underrepresented groups and/or institutions; (f) requests for instrumentation; (g) U.S. graduate student programs that will significantly enhance institutional research capability and competitiveness; and (h) programs that exemplify NSF’s commitment to the integration of research and education.
Proposals that do not match one or more of these characteristics directly will also be considered for their suitability for Co-funding. The overall annual amount committed to the NSF EPSCoR Co-funding Mechanism is dependent on the number and quality of proposals submitted from EPSCoR jurisdictions and the availability of EPSCoR funds for Co-funding. In FY 2012, the amount of EPSCoR Co-funding was about $38.3 million.