Over the past 5 years, CONCUR has worked with 5 states (Nevada, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Mississippi) in  developing proposals or strategic plans for NSF Funding under the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, designed to institute partnerships with higher education, government and industry to increase states’ scientific capacity and competitiveness.

Our work has involved convening meetings of consortia of researchers, devising agendas, facilitating discussions, and helping participants step through the development of goals, objectives, and specific milestones. In some cases, these conversations are preparatory to submitting proposals; in other cases, they are to help complete a required step in the launch of their program.

Our strategic planning work with the South Dakota EPSCoR Program involved convening representatives from eight educational institutions, two state government offices, program evaluators and NSF.

CONCUR was earlier hired by the South Dakota research team to facilitate a one-day workshop in September 2009 designed to provide an update on existing cyber infrastructure activities in the state and support partnerships across the states research and education stakeholders

In Mississippi, the NSF funding targeted three scientific goals: (1) multi-scale simulation of biological systems; (2) modeling biological networks; and (3) modeling and simulation of nanoscale chemistry.

Participants in the strategic planning sessions included representatives of the states four research universities: Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi. In South Dakota, the RII funding is focused primarily on building infrastructure to support research and education in photo active nanoscale systems.

Scott McCreary lead the facilitation team in convening and facilitating the strategic planning meeting for the NSF EPSCoR Missouri: Research Infrastructure Improvement Program held in Columbia, MO.

This strategic planning  meeting included broad discussion of the overview of EPSCoR grant proposal requirements and budget considerations, and perspectives of both the Steering Committee and the Concept Papers scientists. These discussions combined with a series of break-­out and brainstorming sessions of smaller work-teams to lay the foundation and next steps of the Proposal development. This is Missouri’s first year of eligibility for an NSF EPSCoR grant.

In Nevada, CONCUR facilitated a series of strategic planning workshops to support a new, $15 million–the Nevada Infrastructure for Climate Change Science, Education and Outreach.

Members of the initiative’s 30-person task force include research faculty, teaching and education professionals, and business community leaders affiliated with Nevada’s Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada at Reno, University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Nevada State College. Participants identified the key activities to be conducted during five year project and the significant outcomes to be measured for each project component. Discussions centered on how to best integrate climate change, water resources and ecology research into cyber infrastructure, policy-making, education and outreach. The participants also reached agreement on the elements, structure, and criteria for a stakeholder advisory committee.