EPSCoR information sessions

Delaware EPSCoR to host meetings on upcoming grant application process


2 p.m., May 5, 2016--In 2017, the state of Delaware will be eligible to apply for a new National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Infrastructure Improvement (EPSCoR RII) Track 1 Grant. 

The Delaware EPSCoR State Office will host two meetings in May to present information on the state’s EPSCoR program and on the grant application process and guidelines. 

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The first meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 18, in 204 Gore Hall on the University of Delaware’s Newark campus. The second meeting will take place at 10 a.m., Monday, May 23, in room 111 of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences Agricultural Annex Building, Delaware State University. 

Interested researchers will learn about the purpose and goals of EPSCoR along with details of the application process, including the expected timeline and guidelines for pre-proposal submissions. 

“The process for this round of funding has been established by the Delaware EPSCoR State Committee,” said Delaware EPSCoR Director Donald Sparks. “This steering committee includes business, government, nonprofit and academic leaders whose goal is to ensure that EPSCoR-sponsored research aligns with state priorities and interests.”

Since Delaware’s current five-year, $20 million EPSCoR RII grant began in 2013, the research program has focused on meeting the state’s anticipated environmental and energy challenges. A new grant opens the door for additional or alternative research topics to be considered, according to Sparks.

“NSF has designated a number of research priorities for the nation,” he said. “A successful EPSCoR grant will focus on areas where those priorities, the needs of the state and the expertise available at our higher education institutions all align.”

Amy Slocum, associate director of Delaware EPSCoR, notes that unlike most federal research funding programs, EPSCoR funds, while substantial, must be applied in a way that builds research capacity across the state and meets a number of goals in addition to research, including, but not limited to, cyberinfrastructure development, innovation and economic development initiatives, and education, outreach and diversity programs.

Delaware’s RII grant will be submitted in August 2017. Information and updates on the pre-proposal process will be posted on the Delaware EPSCoR website. 

About EPSCoR

EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, is a federal grant program established by Congress and administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help states develop their research capabilities and institutions. It has served as a successful model for similar programs adopted by a number of federal agencies that sponsor scientific research. 

The University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College and Wesley College have been partners in three EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grants since 2003.

Article by Beth Chajes

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