Montana NSF EPSCoR

Montana NSF EPSCoR is a Montana University System (MUS) program focused on stimulating sustainable improvements in Montana's R&D capacity and competitiveness in science and engineering research. We partner with the National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Established* Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program to develop and manage strategic projects funded by competitive NSF EPSCoR awards to the state. We work collaboratively across the state's higher education institutions, including 7 tribal colleges, and with partners from business, government, and non-profit organizations. With offices at the University of Montana and Montana State University, MT EPSCoR is a program designed to develop, manage, and link projects over time.

NSF EPSCoR was established in 1978, and in 1980 Montana was one of five initial states to participate. Over the years Montana NSF EPSCoR has played an important role in enhancing research capacity and competitiveness for Montana, supporting innovative education for development of Montana's STEM workforce, and linking science outcomes to business opportunities and solutions for pressing issues.

Current NFS ESPCoR RII Track-1 Project

RII Track-1 projects are the core of our work focus. The Consortium for Research on Environmental Water Systems (CREWS) is a five-year, $20M NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 partnership between the University of Montana, Montana State University, Montana Technological University, Salish Kootenai College, Little Bighorn College, and business and government partners to study Montana’s environmental water systems and specific water quality issues. The PI is Dr. Ray Callaway (UM) and the co-PIs are Dr. Rob Walker (MSU)Dr. Maury Valett (UM)Dr. Jerry Downey (MTech), and Dr. Stephanie Ewing (MSU)

Montana State Science and Technology Plan

Montana NSF EPSCoR is governed by the Montana Science and Technology Committee (MSTC) which is led by the MUS Research Director Janelle Booth. The EPSCoR program is guided by the state Science and Technology plan (2022). Research areas for project proposals are selected on a competitive basis by the MSTC as (1) being one of the most compelling long-term issues for Montana; and (2) having the best potential to improve the future research and development (R&D) competitiveness of the State.

About the NSF EPSCoR program

The U.S. National Science Foundation's EPSCoR program pursues a mission to enhance the research competitiveness of targeted jurisdictions (state, territory or commonwealth) by strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) capacity and capability through a diverse portfolio of investments from talent development to local infrastructure.  The EPSCoR program envisions its jurisdictions as recognized contributors to the national and global STEM research enterprise. The program:

  • Catalyzes research capability across and among jurisdictions.
  • Establishes STEM professional development pathways.
  • Broadens participation of diverse groups and institutions in STEM.
  • Effects engagement in STEM at national and global levels.
  • Impacts jurisdictional economic development.

EPSCoR is part of NSF's Broadening Participation portfolio.


*The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA) (S. 3084) signed Jan 7, 2017 changed the "E" in EPSCoR from Experimental to Established.