Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

Criteria for Eligibility

Eligibility to participate in the NSF EPSCoR program is based on the level of NSF research funding. Currently, EPSCoR compiles annual summary data for the preceding three years of NSF research funding by jurisdiction. Eligibility is restricted to those jurisdictions that receive 0.75% or less of total NSF research funds to recipients within a jurisdiction, averaged over the preceding three-year period. In instances where a single large NSF-funded national or international facility (e.g., arctic or ship operations) skews the data, the funding for that project is exempted from the eligibility calculation.  In addition, any current EPSCoR jurisdiction that no longer meets the eligibility criterion for the RII competitions continues to be eligible to participate in the EPSCoR co-funding and outreach opportunities for a period of three years. The data used for the eligibility calculation is reported by the NSF Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management and listed on the NSF's Budget Internet Information System.

Planning Grants (New Jurisdictions)     

Proposals for EPSCoR planning grants may be considered from new EPSCoR eligible jurisdictions. Here, a "new" EPSCoR eligible jurisdiction is defined as a State, US Territory, or US Commonwealth that previously did not qualify via the established 0.75% criterion, but is declared eligible under the most recent publication of the annual NSF EPSCoR eligibility list. Planning grant proposals can be submitted at any time following the preceding declaration of eligibility.

Eligible jurisdictions may seek such planning support to formulate a documented vision and implementation design for their research, education, and innovation strategies. An expected outcome from any supported planning activity is the submission of regular NSF proposals that combine capacity-building with capability enhancement for addressing bold opportunities characterized by regional relevance and national importance.

A jurisdiction wishing to submit a planning grant proposal must notify NSF EPSCoR with a letter of intention to submit and then meet with NSF EPSCoR officials to discuss the conceptual project, potential partners and estimated cost. Depending on the outcome of these discussions, the jurisdiction may be invited to submit an EPSCoR planning proposal, using NSF's grant proposal guidelines.

EPSCoR, on a case-by-case basis, may consider support for other types of planning activities, e.g., EPSCoR workshops, conferences, and other community based endeavors.