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Policy

NRC Calls For Reform To State Research Aid

by Andrea Widener
November 25, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 47

A $500 million federal program designed to improve postsecondary student research opportunities in states with inadequate science infrastructure must be reformed to make the program more fair, according to a National Research Council report. The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and related programs have helped many states improve their research competitiveness. But no states have ever graduated from the program; in fact, more than half of the 50 states receive EPSCoR funding, in part because of congressional requirements, the report says. It recommends changes to program eligibility requirements to factor in criteria such as state population, research funding rates for local professors, and a state’s own commitment to research. The report also recommends that EPSCoR and related programs, which are currently run by five federal agencies, be restructured and better coordinated.

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