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Immediate Release

Department of Defense Announces Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) Awards

The DoD announced today $14.6 million in DEPSCoR awards to 23 collaborative teams following two FY2021 competitions.  DEPSCoR is a capacity-building program that is designed to strengthen the basic research infrastructure at institutions of higher education in under-utilized states/territories.

“The Department’s research mission relies on an ecosystem of creative and insightful researchers in every State of the nation. DEPSCoR enhances our science and engineering research capacity both now and in the long term, and increases the number of researchers pursing research in DoD-relevant areas. It is crucial that we build a research infrastructure that strategically uses the research capabilities found across the country,” said Dr. Bindu Nair, Director of the DoD’s Basic Research Office.

The Research Collaboration competition of DEPSCoR was open to tenured and tenure-track faculty members with appointments in the 37 States/Territories eligible to compete for DEPSCoR funds, helping to introduce potential researchers to the DoD’s unique research challenges and its supportive research ecosystem.

For the FY21 Research Collaboration competition, the DoD received over 120 white papers, from which subject-matter experts in the military services selected the final 21 collaborative teams. The selected teams will be led by universities in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 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.

DEPSCoR’s Capacity Building competition supports the strategic objectives of Institutes of Higher Education (either individually or in partnership with others) in DEPSCoR States/Territories to enhance their academic research and development competitiveness and achieve basic research excellence in areas that are relevant to the DoD.

For the FY21 Capacity Building competition, the DoD received over 20 white papers, from which subject-matter experts in the DoD selected the two team finalists.  The selected teams will be led by the Executive Offices at New Mexico State University and the University of North Dakota.  Each team will receive up to $1,000,000 over a two-year period of performance to pursue capacity-building activities to build basic research excellence in areas relevant to the DoD. 

Here is a list of the winning Research Collaboration teams.

About USD(R&E)

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at