The ND EPSCoR State Office provides leadership and coordination to broaden and diversify ND's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce pathway from elementary through graduate school; supports and grows statewide STEM research efforts and competitiveness at participating institutions of higher education; and conveys the impact of STEM research, outreach, and workforce efforts to ND stakeholders.
The ND EPSCoR State Office funds STEM workforce development programs across the educational continuum from elementary through graduate school.
Since 2014, 2,762 students (of whom 2,723 were American Indian) have participated in our Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research Experience (NATURE) programs. NATURE components include university and tribal college summer camps, a monthly STEM series known as Sunday Academy, and a high school-to-college Bridge camp.
During that same timeframe, ND EPSCoR has partnered with 20 ND-based companies who sponsored 51 postsecondary student internships in the Students in Technology Transfer And Research (STTAR) program. Benefits include:
- support for companies in technical areas
- practical work experience for students
- better trained workforce
Students along the continuum also benefited from the current INSPIRE-ND program. Professional development was provided for K-12 teachers, in addition to providing access to STEM classroom modules.
Over 650 students had active roles from undergraduate to graduate research within two statewide research efforts:
- The Center for Regional Climate Studies (CRCS) has developed improved models for agricultural land use, hydrology, climate patterns, soil health, and economic forecasting for various ND crops.
- The Center for Sustainable Materials Science (CSMS) research has resulted in new discoveries in bio-based materials. Their research has developed ways to replace petrochemicals in common materials and coatings with sustainable biomass sources using ND agricultural products. The development of sustainable materials has the potential for a positive impact on the state's agricultural community.
For the state:
The impact of ND EPSCoR reaches across the state, through research and activities at 11 institutions. Over the past three decades, for every $1 the state has contributed for EPSCoR support, researchers at institutions of higher education across the state have successfully competed for $7.72 in external award funding. This sound investment strategy has benefited North Dakota by helping students, supporting quality faculty, growing research infrastructure capacity, and assisting with innovative research that positively impacts the state’s economy and its citizens.
The ND EPSCoR State Office was established by the ND University System (NDUS) in September 2017 to 1) administer STEM student pathway development efforts (elementary to graduate level), 2) manage competitive research match dollars in support of STEM initiatives/programs at participating institutions of higher education across the state, and 3) inform ND stakeholders. Through the support of state funding, the ND EPSCoR State Office is helping generate STEM interests among students, which helps build a diverse, skilled workforce and grow college/university-based research efforts that provide a backbone for the state's scientific and technological enterprise, united in a common goal of ensuring a strong, stable economic future for North Dakota.