Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR): Background and Selected Issues [November 15, 2016] [open pdf - 926KB]
"The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) was established at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1978 to address congressional concerns about an 'undue concentration' of federal research and development (R&D) funding in certain states. The program is designed to help institutions in eligible states build infrastructure, research capabilities, and training and human resource capacities to enable them to compete more successfully for open federal R&D funding awards. Eligibility for NSF EPSCOR funding is limited to states (including some territories and the District of Columbia) that received 0.75% or less of total NSF research and related activities (RRA) funds over the most recent three-year period. EPSCoR awards are made through merit-based proposal reviews. [...] Congress has a long-standing interest in the EPSCoR program. Some Members of Congress have questioned the fairness of the program, which is unique at NSF in its state-targeted approach. Additionally, some have expressed concern that the EPSCoR approach does not fit within the broader merit-based grant-making process at NSF. Others Members of Congress have supported the program, stating that it has been successful in contributing to research of national interest, helping to balance federal R&D funding among states, and providing broader research education opportunities to create a skilled workforce."
CRS Report for Congress, R44689
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html