Stimulating sustainable improvements in the quality of academic science and technology

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) started in 1979 at the National Science Foundation (NSF) when five states received planning grants to develop strategies to build their research infrastructures. The primary EPSCoR goal is to stimulate sustainable improvements in the quality of academic science and technology infrastructure. EPSCoR also specifically targets science and engineering projects that have the potential to contribute to economic growth. This objective is expressed in NSF EPSCoR's mission:

"...EPSCoR identifies, develops, and utilizes a state's academic science and technology resources in ways that ultimately will support wealth creation and a more productive and fulfilling way of life for its citizens. To achieve this end the NSF cooperates with state leaders in government, higher education, and business to establish productive long-term partnerships in support of common goals...."

States eligible for EPSCoR funding are those that generally do not perform well in quantitative measures of federally supported research and development. Currently, 25 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands are currently eligible for NSF EPSCoR support. The basic tenant of EPSCoR programs is that all citizens of the United States should have access to cutting-edge science and technology as well as the economic diversification and development that it drives. Therefore, EPSCoR aims to better geographically distribute the nation's science and technology infrastructure.

Nevada received its first NSF EPSCoR planning grant and first NSF EPSCoR infrastructure award in 1986. Since that time, several other agencies have developed EPSCoR or EPSCoR-like programs. These include the Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nevada has received more than $75 million from the EPSCoR programs. Many of these require partnerships that include cost sharing from the state and the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). DRI's success in building such programs as global change biology and environmental computing are rooted in EPSCoR.

To find out more about Nevada's EPSCoR programs, follow these links:

To find out more about federal agency EPSCoR programs, follow these links: