Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR): Background and Selected Issues [January 12, 2017] [open pdf - 1MB]
"The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)--originally named 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. EPSCoR funding and program reach have increased over the years. Congress first directed funding for the NSF EPSCoR program in FY1979 at a level of around $1 million. EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs are now active at five agencies and have a collective annual program budget of over $500 million. In addition to NSF, agencies with active programs include the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, whose program is called the Institutional Development Award [IDeA] program)."
CRS Report for Congress, R44689
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html