The ND EPSCoR State Office funds faculty and students for STEM research and education activities, and supports the STEM pathway at 11 higher education institutions within the North Dakota University System (NDUS) and the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges (NDATC), including:
Primarily undergraduate institutions:
Two research universities:
In the early years, the EPSCoR emphasis was on building research infrastructure and capacity, primarily at the two research universities. Since that time, the ND EPSCoR State Office expanded its scope beyond the research universities to campuses across the state, helping train students and support researchers through various programs:
- NATURE programs help primarily American Indian students to develop an awareness, interest, and perseverance in STEM disciplines.
- The STTAR program helps support student internships at ND-based businesses, providing both valuable industry experience and an opportunity to develop workplace skills.
- The CIRCLES Alliance is a collaboration between six EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) jurisdictions [Idaho (ID), Montana (MT - prime institution), New Mexico (NM), North Dakota (ND), South Dakota (SD), and Wyoming (WY)] to address the underrepresentation of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the STEM disciplines and within the STEM workforce of those states. The CIRCLES Alliance states are home to 19 tribal colleges/universities (TCUs) and span 49 tribes/nations. The shared vision for the Alliance is to increase the number of AI/AN students who enter and persist in STEM-related fields and to become a leader in advancing AI/AN preparation and success.
- STEM at Home: Finding engaging STEM projects for elementary students that families can facilitate is not always easy. The ND EPSCoR State Office is collecting and sharing simple and fun projects for young students help to teach important critical thinking skills and potentially spark a lifetime interest in STEM.
- Other EPSCoR/IDeA Programs: According to the EPSCoR Interagency Coordinating Committee (EICC), the success of the NSF EPSCoR program during the 1980s prompted the creation of EPSCoR and similar programs in five other federal agencies. The ND EPSCoR State Office submits an annual report to the EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation about the impact these programs have on our state.
- The NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 cooperative agreements (INSPIRE-ND and ND-ACES) provide important resources for ND.
- Through the ND University System, the state has provided matching funds which result in state benefits of improved research infrastructure, better-equipped students, enhanced researcher capabilities to obtain added federal funding, high-value skills and knowledge, and a STEM pathway that will benefit the state for decades ahead. In addition, collaborations and interaction with industry will ensure ongoing impacts.
- Thanks to the federal and state funds, ND EPSCoR-funded researchers have been able to expand expertise and capacity, providing new opportunities to generate external research awards from federal and other sources.