November 20, 2017
More than 300 participants from around the country gathered in Missoula, MT for the 25th National Science Foundation EPSCoR National Conference, Nov. 5-8. EPSCoR stands for Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The conference focused on “what makes EPSCoR unique within the NSF,” emphasizing inclusion & diversity, science & innovation, partnerships, and longitudinal sustainability.
Presenters from the iUTAH project included Andy Leidolf, assistant director and project administrator, and Ellen Eiriksson, education, outreach, and diversity coordinator, along with Caleb Buahin, iUTAH postdoctoral researcher at Utah State University, and Jordan Maxwell, graduate student at Brigham Young University. Jackie Grant, associate professor of biology at Southern Utah University, and Jeannine Huenemann, iUTAH communications specialist, also participated. Andy was part of a panel discussion on Team Science and Community Development, as well as leading a post-conference program administrator’s meeting, where he serves as an officer. Ellen, Caleb, and Jordan presented posters of their iUTAH work.
"This was a well-planned and well-executed conference,” said Leidolf. “The two-and-a-half days were absolutely packed with interesting talks, panels, exercises, and social events, and there was a lot of opportunity for networking and co-creating with participants from other jurisdictions—it will be an effective catalysts for cross-jurisdictional activities long after the meeting.”
Ellen Eiriksson added that she “always appreciates the opportunity to network, share ideas with, and learn from colleagues in other EPSCoR jurisdictions, especially efforts going on in other states, and was glad to present on the iUTAH iFellows Program to the national EPSCoR community.”
EPSCoR is a federal program designed to improve the research capacity of eligible states or regions, making them nationally competitive for future grants. Currently, 25 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to compete in various NSF EPSCoR program opportunities. Learn more about NSF EPSCoR.
Utah became eligible as an EPSCoR state in 2009. The iUTAH EPSCoR project is a $24MM multi-institutional effort funded through this program, integrating research, training, education, and outreach for water science across the state. As a state, Utah has “graduated” from EPSCoR, having surpassed the NSF funding level for EPSCoR eligibility. This means that Utah cannot compete for future EPSCoR funding opportunities unless the state qualifies for EPSCoR eligibility again.
In addition to executing a well-organized conference, the Montana NSF EPSCoR project will be making many of the conference presentations and support materials available on the conference website in the weeks to come.
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