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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
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Evaluation of EPSCoR and similar Federal Agency Programs

An ad hoc committee will review and evaluate the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and similar programs for seven federal agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In particular, the committee will:

  • Evaluate the management and effectiveness of the programs in achieving their goals;
  • Explore how well they are integrated with other activities and initiatives of the respective agencies; and
  • Assess how well the overall efforts align with the larger federal mission of nurturing the health and productivity of the nation’s scientific and engineering research enterprise.



Project Scope

This study was mandated by the America Competes Act Reauthorization of 2010. This legistlation mandates a National Academy of Sciences study that is to explore the following questions:

  • What is the mission of the program as intended by Congress?
  • Is this mission incorporated into the program designs of the seven agencies being examined?
  • Are these programs organized appropriately to achieve their goals?
  • Are the programs integrated with other agency activities?
  • What are the specific outcomes they are aiming to produce, and are they succeeding? For example, are the programs conducting high-quality research, enhancing research capacity, educating students and preparing them for careers, creating useful technology and high-quality jobs, or attracting young people to STEM careers?
  • Are the programs achieving their stated goals?
  • What metrics are being used to evaluate success? Are these metrics appropriate and sufficient?
  • Are existing methods a cost-effective way to achieve programmatic goals?
  • Are any adjustments needed to the overall mission of the program to improve its effectiveness in contributing to the strength of the national research enterprise?
  • What changes are needed in the individual agency programs to improve their effectiveness?

At the conclusion of the study, the committee will produce a consensus report.


Meetings & Events

Meeting I
24-25 May 2012
Washington, DC

Meeting II
12-13 September 2012
Washington, DC
Meeting III
17-18 December 2012
Washington, DC
Meeting IV
27-28 March 2013
Washington, DC

Committee Members


Norine Noonan
Vice Chancellor, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

William Spencer
Chairman Emeritus, SEMATECH


Roger Beachy
President Emeritus, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis

John Linehan
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University

Richard F. Celeste
President Emeritus, Colorado College

Percy A. Pierre
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan State University

Robert Duncan
Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Missouri

Subhash Singhal
Battelle Fellow and Director, Fuel Cells, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Irwin Feller
Senior Visiting Scientist, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Charles Staben
Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Biology, University of South Dakota

Elisabeth Gantt
Distinguished University Professor Emerita, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland

George R. Stark
Distinguished Scientist, Lerner Research Institute and Emeritus Professor of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University

C. Judson King
Director, Center for Studies in Higher Education; Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Albert Teich
Research Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs, Center for International Science and Technology Policy, George Washington University


Kevin Finneran
Study Director

Marion Ramsey
Administrative Associate

Dan Schaffer
Consultant Writer

David J. Proctor
Research Associate (until September 2012)

Gail Greenfield
Senior Program Officer (until October 2012)

Maria Lund Dahlberg
Research Associate



National Science Foundation