Sending Office: Honorable Bill Foster
The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) was first authorized by Congress in 1978 with the potentially noble goal of redistributing federal research dollars into states that did not get their “fair share” of research dollars.
However, because the “fair share” was determined on a per state basis rather than a
per capita basis, it has devolved into just another program that steers money into states that already get far more than their fair share of federal spending.
H.R. 3763, the Smarter EPSCoR Act fixes the formula so that eligibility is based on per-capita research funding instead of per-state
research funding, thereby giving priority to researchers in under-represented states irrespective of their populations. Eligibility to participate in NSF EPSCoR opportunities is currently based solely on whether or not a
state has received less than 0.75% of NSF research funding in the previous three years. The same formula is used for both NSF’s EPSCoR and NASA’s EPSCoR set-asides.
Since no allowance is made for whether the state has a big or small population, the EPSCoR program systematically discriminates against researchers simply because they come from states with large populations. How does one justify a program that excludes
researchers in states like Florida or Texas, which over the past three years got an average of only about $7 per capita in NSF funding, while steering money into states that already get five times more?
I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3763, the Smarter EPSCoR Act to help make the most rational and fair use of our limited research resources. If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, please contact Samantha Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with Rep. Foster.
Member of Congress
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