Maine EPSCoR Featured in Mainebiz Article on Boosting Science, Technology Workforce

Maine EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, was mentioned in the Mainebiz article “Training budding scientists: Federal funding boosts Maine’s science and technology workforce.” EPSCoR was established by the National Science Foundation in 1978 for states that typically receive small amounts of federal R&D funding, according to the article. Maine became an EPSCoR state in 1980, with the program that is based at the University of Maine. “Since then, more than $97 million has been used to expand our research capacity as a state,” said Laurie Bragg, outreach and program manager for Maine EPSCoR. From 2009–15, more than 100 faculty and 752 high school, undergraduate and graduate students have taken advantage of the program, which is largely hands-on field work, according to the article. Bragg expects about 5,000 students, from kindergarten through high school, to participate in the program annually over the next five years, she said. “We want to build capacity to build a larger STEM workforce in Maine. We need scientists and consumers of science,” she said. “You need science just to operate your cellphone.”