Several Kansans traveled to the headquarters of the U.S. National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 20-21 for the 2024 NSF EPSCoR PI meeting.

The purpose of the gathering was to shine light on the NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The big take away for this year’s meeting: leveraging investment.

A total of 25 states and 3 U.S. territories are eligible to compete for EPSCoR investments. Kansas is one of those states, along with our neighbors to the north (Nebraska) and south (Oklahoma), and a host of other regions of the country that have been historically underfunded in scientific research.

This conference highlighted the many ways that EPSCoR creates opportunities for more citizens to engage in, benefit from, and advance scientific discovery regardless of where they live in the country.

Professor Sharda sits on panel with 2 other faculty

Leveraging EPSCoR

Vaishali Sharda, Kansas State University engineer and collabotor on the ARISE project, was a panelist for a session focused on leveraging NSF EPSCoR investments.

Dr. Sharda said, “There are so many helpers at NSF… Once you call [them], it gives you confidence. And as you write more, you learn… For me the leverage came from understanding the grant writing process.”

14 people having dinner together

Connecting across jurisdictions

Two staff members at the Kansas NSF EPSCoR office also attended the meeting, including education and outreach director Claudia Bode (second from left) and program assistant Doug Byers (second from right).

Both Claudia and Doug chair their respective EPSCoR-wide leadership councils. They are shown here with EPSCoR colleagues from Oklahoma, Idaho, Louisiana, Deleware, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Maine, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Montana.