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Estab­lished Program to Stim­u­late Com­pet­i­tive Research (EPSCoR)


The U.S. National Science Foundation's EPSCoR program pursues a mission to enhance the research competitiveness of targeted jurisdictions (state, territory or commonwealth) by strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) capacity and capability through a diverse portfolio of investments from talent development to local infrastructure.  The EPSCoR program envisions its jurisdictions as recognized contributors to the national and global STEM research enterprise. The program seeks to:


  • Catalyze the development of research capabilities and the creation of new knowledge that expands jurisdictions’ contributions to scientific discovery, innovation, learning, and knowledge-based prosperity
  • Establish sustainable STEM education, training, and professional development pathways that advance jurisdiction-identified research areas and workforce development
  • Broaden direct participation of diverse individuals, institutions, and organizations in the project’s science and engineering research and education initiatives
  • Effect sustainable engagement of project participants and partners, the jurisdiction, the national research community, and the general public through data-sharing, communication, outreach, and dissemination
  • Impact research, education, and economic development beyond the project at academic, government, and private sector levels.

EPSCoR is part of NSF's Broadening Participation portfolio.


Want to know more? Read about it in NSF's Science Matters blog post, "NSF 101: Geographic diversity through EPSCoR."

Impacts and outcomes

NSF EPSCoR has impacted researchers across the nation.  In the past five years alone, the program's RII awards have accomplished the following:

  • EPSCoR-supported outreach engaged over 6,800 faculty in academic institutions, more than 18,000 K-12 teachers and over 309,000 K-12 students.

  • 486 underrepresented minority graduate and undergraduate students involved in EPSCoR projects attained their degrees.

  • EPSCoR jurisdictions have received 64 new patents and leveraged over $1.4 billion in new awards.

Learn more about EPSCoR's impact on the Impacts and Outcomes webpage.

Read the latest featured research news


Latest news

NSF announces 6 new EPSCoR Track-1 awards to expand the geography of innovation across the nation

2023 EPSCoR RII Track-1 Awards

Credit: NSF

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded six jurisdictions $20 million each through ESPCoR, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program that aims to build and bolster infrastructure to advance scientific progress and elevate discovery nationwide.  

"For the United States to remain the global leader in science, engineering and technology, we must energize talent in every region and every state in our nation. Through EPSCoR, NSF catalyzes the development of research capabilities across the country, creating sustainable scientific infrastructure and communities of innovation," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "This year's EPSCoR awards will serve individual states and the country as a whole with critical research on wildfire management, climate change resilience, biomanufacturing and advanced biomedical devices, and data science in the service of all disciplines." 

The five-year Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 awardees will pursue ambitious research that addresses the impact of climate change on energy-water systems, biomanufacturing, wildfire management, using artificial intelligence to revolutionize health care and transdisciplinary research into transformative language-based data science.  

The  awardees and summary of each project are listed below: 

EPSCoR Research Fellows Informational Webinar
In this webinar, the NSF EPSCoR team shares information about the EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows funding opportunity.
Credit: National Science Foundation

NSF Hosts EPSCoR Workshop on Quantum Computing, Information, Science, and Engineering

NSF Hosts EPSCoR Workshop on Quantum Computing, Information, Science, and Engineering

Bringing together researchers and administrators from the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research states and territories to identify how their institutions can better contribute to the field of quantum computing and quantum information science and engineering. 

Award # OIA-2202377

Special report

NSF EPSCoR seeks to expand opportunities for diverse faculty, staff, and student populations through a geographic approach focused on strengthening research capabilities and competitiveness. The Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) established a subcommittee to conduct a visioning activity for the future of NSF EPSCoR. The subcommittee recently completed its report. A summary handout was developed to provide an overview of the report and the eight recommendations to inform the future of NSF EPSCoR. See additional videos and learn more about the Future of EPSCoR here

Envisioning the future of NSF EPSCoR video
Drs. Sethuraman Panchanathan (Director, NSF), Alicia J. Knoedler (Head, NSF Office of Integrative Activities), Sandra Richardson (Head, EPSCoR), and Kelly Rusch (co-chair Future of EPSCoR visioning committee) highlight the outcomes of the year-long visioning process and NSF’s continued dedication to creating and supporting ongoing and new NSF opportunities for EPSCoR jurisdictions. The video reviews the report’s recommendation on pathways for EPSCoR jurisdictions to build research infrastructure, support education and workforce development, and foster economic development and broadening participation in STEM across jurisdictions.
Credit: National Science Foundation

EPSCoR jurisdiction websites

Each EPSCoR jurisdiction (state, territory or commonwealth) tailors its programs to the needs of its community.  Learn more about each jurisdiction below.

View jurisdiction websites

Credit: NSF

More about EPSCoR

Investment strategies

Learn about EPSCoR's three major investment strategies to improve the R&D competitiveness of researchers and institutions within EPSCoR jurisdictions.

Criteria for eligibility

Find out more about who is eligible for EPSCoR funding.

EPSCoR impacts and outcomes

Since 1979, NSF EPSCoR has served its community through investment across the STEM enterprise.