The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

The Alabama EPSCoR (ALEPSCoR) Program is dedicated to the advancement of economic development via scientific and engineering research through a collaborative effort among the state’s research universities. The focus of activities is designed to attract and retain distinguished scientists and researchers for Alabama; to develop new cutting-edge technologies, companies and opportunities; and to stimulate state competitiveness in medicine, biotechnology, engineering, mathematics and other applied sciences.

Alabama’s investment in the ALEPSCoR Program has led to over $7.1 M in new federal awards and $ 17.9 M in research expenditures (CY 2012) being brought into the state. In 2006, the Alabama Legislature also increased the Commission line item appropriation to EPSCoR for the purpose of funding a Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP). The goal of the GRSP is to attract high quality graduate students to Alabama’s research universities and to increase the pool of highly trained Master’s and Ph.D. graduates available to Alabama industry. The program has implemented seven successful rounds of competitive GRSP grant awards. This next generation of GRSP research scholars is destined to become Alabama’s industrial and academic leaders of tomorrow. Over 187 students have been supported with a state investment exceeding7M to date with 21new awardees beginning Fall 2013. This state support has assisted students in their achievement of 100 Ph.D. and 34 Master’s degrees as of December 2013.

GRSP research topics range from biomedical and life sciences to nano-materials and engineering. Five GRSP brochures (the sixth will be available in December 2013), that chronicle accomplishments of this project to date and provide an historical reference to the ongoing work, have been published and distributed to state and national audiences.

Thus, the state supported GRSP program is providing vital support for graduate students, i.e., students performing research in those areas targeted by the state as high priority development areas.