The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. Currently, a jurisdiction is eligible to participate in the NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant Program (RII) if their most recent 3-year level of NSF research support is equal to or less than 0.75% of the total NSF Research and Related Activities (R&RA) budget. (see RII eligibility). Through this program, NSF facilitates the establishment of partnerships among government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, Research and Development (R&D) capacity, and hence, its R&D competitiveness.
Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 (RII Track-1) awards provide up to $20 million total over five years to support research-driven improvements to jurisdictions’ physical and cyber infrastructure and human capital development in topical areas selected by the jurisdiction's EPSCoR steering committee as having the best potential to improve future R&D competitiveness. The project’s research activities must align with the specific research priorities identified in the submitting jurisdiction’s approved Science and Technology (S&T) Plan. Refer to Sections II and V.A.4.1 below for more information on alignment of the research activities of the project with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) research priorities of the S&T Plan.