Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive
Research (EPSCoR)


Public Law 102-58, passed in 1992, authorized the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to initiate NASA EPSCoR to strengthen the research capability of jurisdictions that have not in the past participated equably in competitive aerospace research activities. The goal of NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research. This capability will, in turn, contribute to the jurisdiction's economic viability and expand the nation's base for aerospace research and technology development. Since its inception, NASA EPSCoR has been closely linked to the NASA Space Grant Program.

Based on the availability of funding, NASA will continue to help jurisdictions achieve these goals through NASA EPSCoR. Funded jurisdictions will be selected through a merit-based, peer-reviewed competition.

The following are the specific objectives of NASA EPSCoR:

  • Contribute to and promote the development of research infrastructure in NASA EPSCoR jurisdictions in areas of strategic importance to the NASA mission;
  • Improve the capabilities of the NASA EPSCoR jurisdictions to gain support from sources outside NASA EPSCoR;
  • Develop partnerships between NASA research assets, academic institutions, and industry;
  • Contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and/or economic development of the jurisdiction; and
  • Work in close coordination with the NASA Space Grant program to improve the environment for science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education in the jurisdiction.

This NASA EPSCoR juisdiction is one of EPSCoR's success stories.  In 2013, Iowa "graduated" from the program by exceeding the National Science Foundations's research funding percentage eligibility line as shown on their FY2013 and subsequent eligibility tables. Therefore, Iowa is no longer eligible to submit research proposals for national competitions under the NASA EPSCoR program.


Part 1: Research Infrastructure Development (RID)


In August 2009, Iowa was awarded a three year RID grant for $400,000 to fund fellowships and travel grants for researchers in the State of Iowa. In October 2012, Iowa was awarded a second RID grant of $375,000.  The purpose of the fellowship award is to strengthen relationships with NASA or other collaborators for extended periods of time to conduct research. The purpose of the travel grant was to:  strengthen relationships with NASA or other collaborators; discuss specific concept proposals with NASA or other future funding sources; and/or attend important technical conferences to network with possible collaborators. From our academic affiliates of Drake, ISU, U of I and UNI:

  • In year 1 (2009-10), 7 professors were awarded grants.   
  • In year 2 (2010-11), 6 professors were awarded grants.
  • In year 3 (2011-12), 5 professors were awarded grants, plus 4 additional awards in augmentation funding.
  • In year 4 (2013-14), 5 professors were awarded grants.
  • In year 5 (2014-15), 9 professors were awarded grants.
  • In year 6 (through October 16, 2015), 6 professors were awarded grants.

Part 2: Research Awards

In the 2012 cycle, Iowa won one award of $750,000:
Next Generation Lithium Sulfur Batteries for Mission Enabling Energy Storage Systems
at Iowa State University, Dr. Steve Martin - Science PI


In the 2010 cycle, Iowa won one award of $649,612:
Agricultural Soil Erosion and Carbon Cycle Observations in Iowa: Gaps Threaten Climate Mitigating Policies at University of Iowa,
Dr. Athanasios Papanicolaou - Science PI


In the 2009 cycle, Iowa won one award of $700,708:
Multifunctional Polymer Matrix Composites at Iowa State University,
Dr. Michael Kessler - Science PI


For reference:


                                                Maintained by:   Carmen J. Fuchs, Administrative Support

                                                                        Updated: January 21, 2016