U.S. Department of Agriculture EPSCoR Program


FY16 AppropriationFY17 AppropriationFY18 Budget RequestFY18 Coalition GoalFY18 House Appropriations CommitteeFY18 Senate Appropriations Committee
$52.5m*$56.25m*n/a15% of AFRI$56.25m*$56.25m*

*Not a direct appropriation, represents 15% of total Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) funding

OBJECTIVE: Continuing to ensure that the Subcommittee provides report language for the program. The language is important for the ongoing effort with USDA to continue the success of the EPSCoR program within the agency.


  • The USDA Experimental Program for Stimulating Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program is designed to help institutions develop competitive research, education and extension/outreach programs in high-priority areas of national need in agriculture, food, and environmental sciences. 
  • Strengthening Awards consist of Sabbatical Grants, Equipment Grants, Seed Grants, and Strengthening Standard Project Awards. 
  • Not less than fifteen percent of the AFRI budget is set aside for strengthening awards and post-doctoral fellowships. 
  • Every year, NIFA determines the states that are eligible for USDA EPSCoR funding. This list includes states having a funding level no higher than the 38th percentile of all States based on a 3-year rolling average of AFRI funding levels, excluding FASE Strengthening funds granted to EPSCoR States and small-mid-sized and minority-serving degree-granting institutions. Since the complete award data is not available for FY 2015, the eligibility determinations are based on the data obtained from grants made through the AFRI program from FY 2012 through FY 2014. 

FY17 Eligibility, USDA EPSCoR States*

AlaskaNew HampshireSouth Dakota
IdahoNew JerseyUtah
LouisianaNew MexicoVermont
MaineNorth DakotaWest Virginia
MontanaRhode Island
NevadaSouth Carolina

*Other entities eligible for USDA EPSCoR include:  American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the U.S.

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