The mission of ND EPSCoR is to increase the competitiveness of North Dakota for merit-based federal grants and contracts supporting research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In this mission, ND EPSCoR seeks to provide leadership and teamwork that supports workforce development and enhances and broadens the K-12 STEM pathway.


Over the past three decades, NSF has awarded a total of $63.5 million in RII Track-1 awards to ND EPSCoR. These awards, matched by state dollars from the ND University System, have helped improve our state’s research infrastructure and enhance the capabilities and competiveness of researchers in obtaining additional federal funding. The result? For every $1 of state investment, ND EPSCoR has generated over $6.80 in external awards from federal and other sources. That’s a sound investment strategy, and one that has benefited North Dakota by helping students, supporting quality faculty and assisting with innovative research that positively impacts the state’s economy and population.

ND EPSCoR History

Past: The National Science Foundation (NSF) established the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) in 1978. The name was updated in 2017 to the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The program was designed in response to Congressional concerns about the geographic concentration of federal support for academic research and development outside of states that, like ND, traditionally have lacked strong university-based research efforts. The goal was to help these states compete more successfully for a portion of the federal academic budgets.

Present: Today there are a family of competitive merit-based programs at federal research and development agencies whose goal is to enhance STEM science and education along with supporting diversity and partnerships across the individual state jurisdictions. Since ND became eligible, ND EPSCoR has received over $63.5 million in NSF EPSCoR Track-1 awards, including $18.7 million in the current award.

Future: Through EPSCoR and the Institutional Development Award (IDeA), North Dakota is building a high-quality, university-based research effort that serves as the backbone of the state’s scientific and technological enterprise, ensuring a strong and stable economic base for the future.


ND EPSCoR is the result of a federal-state partnership to manage a comprehensive research development plan, supported by the National Science Foundation and by the State of North Dakota. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Current funding is provided by the State of North Dakota and NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1) Cooperative Agreement Award OIA-1355466.

For more information on federal programs, visit the EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation website, which provides information on the following federal agencies that have EPSCoR or IDeA programs:

  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

EPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions can change based on their level of research and other federally defined factors.

For information about each EPSCoR jurisdiction please visit the NSF EPSCoR jurisdiction page.