EPSCoR/IDeA expands and improves the research capability of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technologists, and institutions in states that historically have received less funding than other states have through federal research grants.

EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1979 to enhance the research competitiveness of targeted jurisdictions (state, territory or commonwealth) by strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) capacity and capability through a diverse portfolio of investments from talent development to local infrastructure.

IDeA (Institutional Development Award) program builds research capacity in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding. It supports competitive basic, clinical, and translational research, faculty development, and infrastructure improvements. The program aims to strengthen an institution’s ability to support biomedical research, enhance the competitiveness of investigators in securing research funding, and enable clinical and translational research that addresses the needs of medically underserved communities.

EPSCoR-type programs also have been developed by other federal agencies:

Agency Program
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) EPSCoR
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) AFRI FASE/EPSCoR
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)


DEPSCoR Resources

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) EPSCoR
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPSCoR*

* Discontinued


history, goals, and impact of the EPSCoR/IDeA program


EPSCoR and IDeA in New Hampshire

UNH was instrumental in securing New Hampshire's status as an NSF EPSCoR jurisdiction in 2004, and leads the State in the research, education, outreach, and economic development activities that have followed.


NH BioMade logo - Advancing Biomaterials

The NSF NH EPSCoR program is based at UNH, and administered by the UNH Senior Vice Provost for Research and a Statewide Committee composed of representatives from industry, academia and government.

The mission of NH EPSCoR is to advance New Hampshire's competitiveness in science and engineering by strategically investing in research infrastructure, promoting education in the STEM disciplines, and fostering partnerships with technology-based businesses that enhance job creation and economic development.

NH BioMade, a five-year $20 million EPSCoR RII Track 1 project funded by the National Science Foundation, will advance the rapidly growing New Hampshire biomaterials industry through knowledge generation, academic-industrial research partnerships, and workforce development. Addressing opportunities identified in the 2016 NH University Research and Industry Plan, this  grant is being used to develop innovative approaches for design and manufacturing of biomaterials, such as those used in implants and tissue engineering, which hold the potential to save lives and improve overall quality of life for patients.


2023 NH EPSCoR Brochure




Dartmouth College and UNH are the lead institutions for the New Hampshire Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE), an NIH-sponsored IDeA collaborative network of 2-year and 4-year colleges in the state of New Hampshire.


2023 NH IDeA Brochure

    NASA EPSCoR logo

    The New Hampshire NASA EPSCoR program is coordinated through the NH Space Grant Consortium of which UNH is a founding affiliate and administrator.  The NH Space Grant director is the NH NASA EPSCoR director. The UNH Senior Vice Provost for Research and a UNH Space Grant Affiliate representative are members of the NH NASA EPSCoR Technical Advisory Committee.

    New Hampshire NASA EPSCoR

    USDA NIFA logo

    UNH is eligible to apply for Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational and Applied Science Program (AFRI). FASE Grants include seed grants and sabbatical funding.

    Fifteen percent of AFRI funding is set aside for Strengthening Grants and Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants. 

    USDA and FASE Overview


    Dept. of Defense logo

    Revived in 2018, the DEPSCoR program is structured into 3 general thrusts:

    • Solicit applications for DEPSCoR Research Collaboration (RC) competition
    • Solicit applications for DEPSCoR Capacity Building (CB) competition
    • Host outreach meetings to educate researchers about the DoD research enterprise
      • Northeast Regional Meeting was held September, 26, 2019 at the University of Rhode
      • Virtual DEPSCoR Webinar on June 23, 2021     Slides

    UNH has received funding from many of the agencies’ EPSCoR/IDeA programs in the form of support for individual research projects, research and cyber infrastructure improvements, and through collaborations with other institutions and community partners across the state and northern New England.

    The types of funding awarded by the various programs are shown below.


            Types of Support/Award Mechanisms

    • Research Collaborative Competition
    • Capacity Building Competition (new in 2021)
    • State/National Laboratory Partnerships
    • EPSCoR Implementation Grants
    • Co-funding for selected DOE Office of Science Early Career Awards and applications to the Office of Science annual FOA
    • Research Implementation Awards Research
    • Infrastructure Development Awards
    NIH IDeA
    • Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)
    • IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)
    • Research Infrastructure Improvement Awards
      • Track 1 (RII Track-1)
      • Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (RII Track-2 FEC)
      • EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4:NSF)
    • Workshop Opportunities

    • Co-funding for selected proposals to all NSF programs
    • New Investigator Grants
    • Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants
    • Strengthening Grants
      • Sabbatical Grants
      • Equipment Grants
      • Seed Grants
      • Strengthening Standard Grants
      • Strengthening CAP (Coordinated Agricultural Project) Grants
      • Strengthening Conference Grants