Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Awards

Arlington, VA – Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced $10.2 million in Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) awards to 17 collaborative teams for the FY2020 competition.
DEPSCoR is a congressionally mandated, capacity building program that is designed to strengthen the basic research infrastructure at institutions of higher education in underutilized states and territories. The program is managed by the Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology (DDRE(R&T)) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The competition was open to tenure and tenure-track faculty members with appointments in the 37 states and territories determined to be eligible to compete for DEPSCoR funds, and was intended to introduce potential researchers to the DoD’s unique research challenges and its supportive research ecosystem.

Dr. Bindu Nair, director of the DoD’s Basic Research Office, notes, “States have a vital role to play in America’s research competitiveness, and each state has researchers with important contributions to the Department of Defense's scientific enterprise. DEPSCoR aims to enhance science and engineering research capabilities at institutions of higher education and to increase the number of researchers pursing research in DoD relevant areas to increase the long-term research growth and capability. It is crucial that we build a Department of Defense research infrastructure that strategically uses the research capabilities found across the country.”

For the FY20 competition, the DoD received over 150 white papers, from which subject-matter experts in the military services selected the final 17 collaborative teams. The selected teams will be led by universities in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island. Each team will receive up to $600,000 over a three-year period of performance to pursue science and engineering research in areas relevant to DoD initiatives supporting the National Defense Strategy.

In addition to these awards, as part of the DEPSCoR initiative, the program also provided supplemental funds to increase the representation of DEPSCoR-eligible researchers within the DoD basic research enterprise. These funds were awarded to the Services’ Defense University Research Instrumentation Program.


The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) is responsible for the research, development, and prototyping activities across the Department of Defense. OUSD(R&E) fosters technological dominance across the DoD enterprise to ensure the advantage of the American warfighter. Learn more at www.cto.mil/ or follow us on Twitter: @DoDCTO.

USD(R&E)