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HomePilotsDEPSCoR: Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

DEPSCoR: Defense Established Programs to Stimulate Competitive Research 
Enhancing Basic Research Capacity & Competitiveness 

Congress reauthorized (FY18 NDAA) and appropriated (FY19 Defense appropriations) $12M for a restructured version of DEPSCoR.

The program statute (Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title II, §219[e][3], Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1331) states that DEPSCoR's objectives are to:

(1) enhance the capabilities of institutions of higher education (IHE) in eligible states and territories (states/territories) to develop, plan, and execute science and engineering (S&E) research that is relevant to the mission of the DoD and competitive under the peer-review systems used for awarding Federal research assistance; 

(2) increase the number of university researchers in eligible states/territories capable of performing S&E research responsive to the needs of the DoD; and

(3) increase the probability of long-term growth in the competitively awarded financial assistance that IHE in eligible states/territories receive from the Federal Government for S&E research.  


The authorization legislation for DEPSCoR included a formula to determine whether a state/territory, is eligible based on how much DoD S&E Research and Development funds were obligated to IHE within the state/territory over a three-year average. Thus, thirty-four states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to participate in DEPSCoR.

*Eligible territories include Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands

DEPSCoR Structure

To achieve the program goals as outlined by Congress, the program is structured into three general thrusts: 1) increase funding to programs in the Services, 2) solicit applications for a standalone competition, and 3) host outreach meetings to educate researchers about the DoD Research Enterprise.