Comments requested to help shape future NSF EPSCoR

October 15, 2021

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has embarked on a year-long visioning activity to guide the future of NSF's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), led by an external committee of national experts. The states, territories, and commonwealths served by NSF EPSCoR have made impressive advances in their efforts to achieve sustainable competitiveness in STEM research. The program continues to employ several investment strategies to advance its mission, helping to build a culture of research excellence across institutions and disciplines among its jurisdictional partners.

However, while overall progress has been positive, evidence for the impact of specific program strategies is not always clear. Some jurisdictions have risen to a level of competitiveness such that they are no longer eligible for NSF EPSCoR support; others are making significant strides. But it can be challenging to measure the many improvements over the years in jurisdictional research competitiveness, and even more difficult to attribute them to specific strategic choices. At the same time, the landscape of issues facing the nation's STEM research and education enterprise continues to evolve, and novel strategies may be required for the program to continue to serve its jurisdictional partners most effectively.

There are several opportunities for stakeholders to provide input on the Future of NSF EPSCoR over the next few months, including this public comment request, several listening sessions, and a virtual workshop. The visioning process will culminate with a final report on key findings.


The visioning process is guided by two major motivating questions.

  1. What does the available evidence tell us about the effectiveness of NSF EPSCoR's current investment strategies, both individually and collectively, in advancing scalable, jurisdiction-wide solutions and best practices to achieve the program's goals?

  2. Based on the answers to the above question, are there novel strategies or changes to the current strategies that would enable NSF EPSCoR and its jurisdictional partners to achieve its mission more effectively?


NSF is inviting the broad EPSCoR stakeholder community to provide input on NSF EPSCoR’s investment strategies and opportunities for increased success.

Consideration will be given to all comments submitted online by October 29, 2021. Stakeholders can submit comments anonymously. Stakeholders who include their contact information may receive an email to follow up on their input and/or an invitation to participate in a future opportunity through the Future of NSF EPSCoR visioning activity.

Comments can be submitted without providing contact information. Name and email entries are optional.

Please enter your comments here, to help shape the future of NSF's EPSCoR program: