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. Each year, NSF EPSCoR compiles summary data for the preceding three years of NSF research funding by State. The data are reported by the NSF Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management and listed on the NSF's Budget Internet Information System.

Twenty-four states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are currently eligible to compete in various NSF EPSCoR program opportunities. (See Investment Strategies for more information.) The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Data detailing the eligibility of each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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.