responsibilities. This assessment of EPSCoR has sought to evaluate the program in terms of its original mandate as well as in its accomplishments that lie both within and beyond what it was initially designed to achieve.


The committee supports the continuation of programs that support the proposition stated in the America COMPETES Act:

“The Nation requires the talent, expertise, and research capabilities of all States in order to prepare sufficient numbers of scientists and engineers, remain globally competitive and support economic development.”

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (111th Congress, 2009–2010, April 22, 2010),


The talent necessary to succeed in science and engineering resides in all states. Thus, it is in the national interest for the federal government to support efforts to develop and utilize this talent to enhance national research capacity.

EPSCoR programs are a part of a broader national and global research enterprise.

Congressional changes in state eligibility requirements and congressional mandates to agencies to create EPSCoR-like programs have resulted in multiple and often competing objectives and policy directives by participating agencies.

oCurrent eligibility criteria have led to more than half the states being included, blurring the programs’ objectives and reducing the likelihood of their success.

oPatterns of eligibility do not align well with other indicators of capacity, such as state population or number of research-intensive universities. As a result, outcomes are difficult to assess, especially on a comparative basis.

EPSCoR programs have enhanced the nation’s human capital by strengthening research infrastructure and by training many future scientists and engineers in states where, in some cases, training opportunities had been scarce and largely inadequate prior to the program’s arrival.

There is some evidence that the EPSCoR programs have not been a good fit for the mission agencies. For example, EPA and DOD terminated their EPSCoR programs. However, the mission agencies are the major

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