The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in a state’s or region’s research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness.

The EPSCoR program is directed at those jurisdictions that have not in the past participated equably in competitive aerospace and aerospace-related research activities. Twenty-four states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam currently participate. Five federal agencies conduct EPSCoR programs, including NASA.

NASA EPSCoR Jurisdictions and their Directors
View EPSCoR Directors by State/Jurisdiction

The South Carolina NASA EPSCoR office is housed at the College of Charleston.  Dr. Cassandra Runyon, Director, and Tara B. Scozzaro, Program Manager, manage all projects within South Carolina.

The goal of EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research.
NASA EPSCoR objectives are to:

  • Contribute to and promote the development of research infrastructure in EPSCoR jurisdictions in areas of strategic importance to the NASA mission.
  • Improve the capabilities of the jurisdictions to gain support from sources outside the NASA EPSCoR program.
  • Develop partnerships between NASA research assets, industry, and EPSCoR jurisdictions’ academic institutions.
  • Contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and/or economic development of the jurisdiction.

The two main components of EPSCoR are:

  • EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development awards, or RID. This component enables jurisdictions to build and strengthen relationships with NASA researchers. The RID has a three-year base period of performance with a potential one-year no cost extension. Awards are $125,000 per year. NASA intends to announce the RID opportunity every three to five years, pending funding availability.
  • EPSCoR Research Awards solicits topic-specific proposals addressing high-priority NASA research and technology development needs. Awards are up to $750,000 for a three-year performance period. NASA intends to announce the EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement Notice, or CAN, for Research Awards yearly, pending funding availability.


The SC NASA EPCoR program is designed to further research and improve the quality of South Carolina’s future workforce.  We will provide support for research and subsequent proposal preparation for scientists, engineers and students working to fulfill NASA’s mission requirements in support of NASA’s Vision to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown.  In South Carolina, the NASA EPSCoR program’s goal is to foster academic research that enables faculty to meet NASA mission objectives and to develop a self-sustaining, nationally competitive research program that can successfully compete for non-EPSCoR funds.

The SC NASA EPSCoR opportunities provide grant support for competitively selected projects of benefit to both NASA and the South Carolina jurisdiction. Each proposals receives a high quality external peer review as a part of the competitive process. Those proposals selected for funding include strong research components, and successfully demonstrate: 1) strong NASA ties; 2) the significance of their research to SC’s vision for competitiveness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and 3) make evident their potential for growth and sustainability.