In 2003, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the Virgin Islands an EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant to strengthen the capability of researchers in the USVI to conduct nationally competitive research. NSF monies for the research activities - known collectively as the Biocomplexity of Caribbean Coral Reef (BCCR) program - were augmented by grants from the Virgin Islands government, local business and industry, and private non-profit foundations. In 2008, the Territory received its second RII grant from NSF. This allowed further development of its original research focus. The BCCR program expanded and grew into the Integrated Caribbean Coastal Ecosystems (ICCE) program.
Today, VI-EPSCOR’s primary funding comes from its third NSF RII grant titled "Mare Nostrum Caribbean (Our Caribbean Sea): Stewardship Through Strategic Research and Workforce Development." Awarded in August of 2014, the $20 million Mare Nostrum Caribbean (MNC) grant, is being distributed in $4 million increments over five years. The Virgin Islands was one of only six jurisdictions nation-wide to receive RII grants from the NSF in 2014.
Two key components of the Virgin Islands EPSCoR program are Start-up and Incubator funding to develop new research directions related to the VI-EPSCoR research focus on Integrated Caribbean Coastal Ecosystems. VI-EPSCoR Start-up and Incubator grants support activities that advance research to the point at which it can attract competitive funding.
VI-EPSCoR also works with the UVI Office of Sponsored Programs to provide technical assistance to the VI community and to EPSCoR affiliated researchers with acquiring and managing competitive research grants. The Office of Sponsored Programs can assist researchers in developing research ideas, in identifying potential funding sources, in proposal development, and in post-award compliance.
Areas of Funding
The University of the Virgin Islands Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) supports and facilitates VI-EPSCoR’s efforts to obtain external support for USVI research programs through grants and contracts. For additional details and contact information, please visit the UVI Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) website.