The University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical & Community College, and Wesley College are partners in Delaware’s EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program (RII-2) grant.
EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, is a federal grant program led 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.
NSF has the largest EPSCoR initiative and is the lead agency for this program. Five other agencies participate in EPSCoR (the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and the Department of Agriculture). Delaware has received EPSCoR awards from NSF, DOE, DoD, NASA and EPA, and the state of Delaware has provided matching funds to help the program realize its objectives.
EPSCoR in Delaware
Delaware’s EPSCoR program has three main goals: to build research and education capacity at all four partner institutions; to broaden the participation of Delaware’s diverse student population in science and technology career pathways; and to bridge the gap between discovery research and application to help solve Delaware’s environmental problems and create jobs.
Program funds are used to hire new research faculty; provide education opportunities for K-12, undergraduate and graduate students; purchase research instrumentation; catalyze new research initiatives; and create networking opportunities across the participating organizations.
Two distinguishing features of the program are its integration of ethics, policy, economics, legal/regulatory knowledge, and discovery research and its emphasis on collaboration with local and regional government agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations.
Delaware EPSCoR History
Delaware was designated an EPSCoR state in January 2003 and awarded its first EPSCoR RII grant in 2005 to create a statewide, interdisciplinary network of people, programs, and instrumentation focused on the theme of complex environmental systems and ecosystem health.
The theme was carefully selected for its potential to build on existing capabilities and expertise within the state, to help meet state and national research and development goals, and to contribute to economic growth.
Delaware's second EPSCoR RII grant was awarded by NSF in September 2008.