EPSCoR

(3) Established program to stimulate competitive research (A) Definitions In this paragraph: (i) Eligible jurisdiction The term “eligible jurisdiction” means a State that is determined to be eligible for a grant under this paragraph in accordance with subparagraph (D). (ii) EPSCoR The term “EPSCoR” means the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research operated under subparagraph (B). (iii) National Laboratory The term “National Laboratory” has the meaning given the term in section 15801 of this title . (iv) State The term “State” means— (I) a State; (II) the District of Columbia; (III) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; (IV) Guam; and (V) the United States Virgin Islands. (B) Program operation The Secretary shall operate an Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. (C) Objectives The objectives of EPSCoR shall be— (i) to increase the number of researchers in eligible jurisdictions, especially at institutions of higher education, capable of performing nationally competitive science and engineering research in support of the mission of the Department of Energy in the areas of applied energy research, environmental management, and basic science; (ii) to improve science and engineering research and education programs at institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions and enhance the capabilities of eligible jurisdictions to develop, plan, and execute research that is competitive, including through investing in research equipment and instrumentation; and (iii) to increase the probability of long-term growth of competitive funding to eligible jurisdictions. (D) Eligible jurisdictions (i) In general The Secretary may establish criteria for determining whether a State is eligible for a grant under this paragraph. (ii) Requirement Except as provided in clause (iii), in establishing criteria under clause (i), the Secretary shall ensure that a State is eligible for a grant under this paragraph if the State, as determined by the Secretary, is a State that— (I) historically has received relatively little Federal research and development funding; and (II) has demonstrated a commitment— (aa) to develop the research bases in the State; and (bb) to improve science and engineering research and education programs at institutions of higher education in the State. (iii) Eligibility under NSF EPSCoR At the election of the Secretary, or if the Secretary declines to establish criteria under clause (i), the Secretary may continue to use the eligibility criteria in use on January 1, 2021 , or any successor criteria. (E) Grants (i) In general EPSCoR shall make grants to eligible jurisdictions to carry out and support applied energy research and research in all areas of environmental management and basic science sponsored by the Department of Energy, including— (I) energy efficiency, fossil energy, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and other applied energy research; (II) electricity delivery research; (III) cybersecurity, energy security, and emergency response; (IV) environmental management; and (V) scientific research, including— (aa) advanced scientific computing research; (bb) basic energy sciences; (cc) biological and environmental research; (dd) fusion energy sciences; (ee) high energy physics; (ff) nuclear physics; (gg) isotope research, development, and production; (hh) accelerator research, development, and production; and (ii) other areas of research funded by the Office of Science, as determined by the Secretary. (ii) Activities EPSCoR shall make grants under this subparagraph for activities consistent with the objectives described in subparagraph (C) in the areas of applied energy research, environmental management, and basic science described in clause (i), including— (I) to support research that is carried out in partnership with the National Laboratories; (II) to provide for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and traineeships; (III) to support research by early career faculty and staff; (IV) to improve research capabilities through annual research implementation grants; (V) to develop research clusters for particular areas of expertise; and (VI) to diversify the future workforce. (iii) No cost sharing EPSCoR shall not impose any cost-sharing requirement with respect to a grant made under this subparagraph, but may require letters of commitment from National Laboratories. (F) Research capability enhancement (i) Scholarships and fellowships (I) In general Pursuant to subparagraph (E)(ii), the Secretary shall award grants to institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions for those institutions of higher education to provide scholarships and fellowships. (II) Grant A scholarship or fellowship awarded by an institution of higher education in an eligible jurisdiction using a grant provided under subclause (I)— (aa) in the case of an undergraduate scholarship— (AA) shall be for a period of 1 year; and (BB) may be competitively renewable on an annual basis; and (bb) in the case of a graduate level fellowship, shall be for a period of not more than 5 years. (ii) Early career capacity development (I) In general Pursuant to subparagraph (E)(ii), the Secretary shall award grants to early career faculty and staff at institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions— (aa) to support investigator-initiated research, including associated research equipment and instrumentation; (bb) to support activities associated with identifying and responding to funding opportunities; (cc) to secure technical assistance for the pursuit of funding opportunities; and (dd) to develop and enhance collaboration among National Laboratories, Department of Energy programs, the private sector, and other relevant entities. (II) Grants A grant awarded under subclause (I) shall be— (aa) for a period of not more than 5 years; and (bb) competitively renewable for an additional 5-year period. (iii) Research capacity development (I) In general Pursuant to subparagraph (E)(ii), the Secretary shall award competitive grants to institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions for research capacity development and implementation, including— (aa) developing expertise in key technology areas, including associated equipment and instrumentation; (bb) developing and acquiring novel, state-of-the-art instruments and equipment that range in cost from $500,000 to $20,000,000; (cc) enhancing collaboration with National Laboratories, the Department of Energy, and the private sector through faculty or staff placement programs; and (dd) supporting formal partnership programs with institutions of higher education and National Laboratories. (II) Grants A grant awarded under subclause (I) shall be— (aa) for a period of not more than 5 years; and (bb) renewable for an additional 5-year period. (III) Equipment and instrumentation To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that research equipment and instrumentation developed or acquired pursuant to a grant awarded under subclause (I) may sustain continued operation and be maintained without the need for additional or subsequent funding under this section. (G) Program implementation (i) In general Not later than 270 days after January 1, 2021 , the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Energy and Natural Resources and Appropriations of the Senate and the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Appropriations of the House of Representatives a plan describing how the Secretary shall implement EPSCoR. (ii) Contents of plan The plan described in clause (i) shall include a description of— (I) the management structure of EPSCoR, which shall ensure that all research areas and activities described in this paragraph are incorporated into EPSCoR; (II) efforts to conduct outreach to inform eligible jurisdictions and faculty of changes to, and opportunities under, EPSCoR; (III) how EPSCoR plans to increase engagement with eligible jurisdictions, faculty, and State committees, including by holding regular workshops, to increase participation in EPSCoR; and (IV) any other issues relating to EPSCoR that the Secretary determines appropriate. (iii) Update Not later than 270 days after August 9, 2022 , the Secretary shall— (I) update the plan submitted under clause (i); and (II) submit the updated plan to the committees described in that clause. (H) Program evaluation (i) In general Not later than 5 years after January 1, 2021 , the Secretary shall contract with a federally funded research and development center, the National Academy of Sciences, or a similar organization to carry out an assessment of the effectiveness of EPSCoR, including an assessment of— (I) the tangible progress made towards achieving the objectives described in subparagraph (C); (II) the impact of research supported by EPSCoR on the mission of the Department of Energy; and (III) any other issues relating to EPSCoR that the Secretary determines appropriate. (ii) Limitation The organization with which the Secretary contracts under clause (i) shall not be a National Laboratory. (iii) Report Not later than 6 years after January 1, 2021 , the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report describing the results of the assessment carried out under clause (i), including recommendations for improvements that would enable the Secretary to achieve the objectives described in subparagraph (C). (iv) Annual report At the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report that includes— (I) the total amount of expenditures made by the Department to carry out EPSCoR in each eligible jurisdiction for each of the 3 most recent fiscal years for which such information is available; (II) (aa) the number of EPSCoR awards made to institutions of higher education located in eligible jurisdictions; and (bb) the amount and type of each award; (III) the number of awards that are not EPSCoR awards made by the Secretary to institutions of higher education located in eligible jurisdictions; (IV) (aa) the number of representatives of institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions serving on each Office of Science advisory committee; and (bb) for each such advisory committee, the percentage of committee membership that those individuals constitute; and (V) the number of individuals from institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions serving on peer review committees. (I) Funding (i) Authorization of appropriations There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out EPSCoR, to remain available until expended— (I) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2023; (II) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2024; (III) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2025; (IV) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2026; and (V) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2027. (ii) Grants to consortia In the case of an EPSCoR grant awarded to a consortium that contains institutions of higher education that are not located in eligible jurisdictions, the Secretary may count— (I) the full amount of funds expended to provide the grant towards meeting the funding requirement in clause (iii) if the lead entity of the consortium is an institution of higher education located in an eligible jurisdiction; and (II) only the funds provided to institutions of higher education located in eligible jurisdictions towards meeting the funding requirement in clause (iii) if the lead entity of the consortium is an institution of higher education that is not located in an eligible jurisdiction. (iii) Additional funds for eligible jurisdictions In addition to funds authorized to be appropriated under clause (i), the Secretary, to the maximum extent practicable while maintaining the competitive, merit-based award processes of the Office of Science, shall ensure that, of the research and development funds of the Office of Science that are awarded by the Secretary each year to institutions of higher education, not less than 10 percent is awarded to institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions pursuant to the evaluation and selection criteria in section 605.10 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations). (iv) Additional funds for equipment and instrumentation In addition to funds authorized to be appropriated under clause (i), there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to award grants under subparagraph (F)(iii)(I) for the purpose described in item (bb) of that subparagraph $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2027, to remain available until expended. (v) Accounting To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that each program within the Department of Energy that endorses an EPSCoR grant awardee shall contribute funding to the award to acknowledge the research benefits to the mission of that program.

Source

42 USC § 13503(b)(3)


Scoping language

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