CONCUR Teamed with staff from North Dakota EPSCoR, UND, NDSU, and the National Science Foundation to organize and facilitate a 2-day workshop for the primary investigators and researchers to plan and develop the strategic plan in support of the Innovative and Strategic Program Initiatives for Research and Education-North Dakota (INSPIRE-ND) set forth in North Dakota’s NSF EPSCoR Track I award.

Through INSPIRE-ND, the state’s two research universities, North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the University of North Dakota (UND) will lead a dually-focused research effort that capitalizes on the growing research capabilities of the state’s Tribal Colleges (TC) and the Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI).

The UND EPSCoR RII Track-1 program is designed to build and sustain a transformative, multifaceted, synergistic academic research and education enterprise, anchored by a more diverse skilled workforce to drive UND’s emerging knowledge-driven economy. With these outcomes in mind, the program will: 1) develop two new research themes/platforms in regional climate studies and sustainable material science; 2) build physical and human research infrastructure; and 3) integrate research, education and human resources, with statewide workforce development initiatives to increase public scientific literacy through a coordinated initiative titled: Emerging Programs for Workforce Development Outreach, Education and Diversity-North Dakota (EMPOWERED-ND).

Their final Strategic Plan document was submitted to the National Science Foundation in December 2014.