Air Force promotes basic research capacity at DEPSCOR Day Published Feb. 28, 2020 By Brianna Hodges Air Force Office of Scientific Research ARLINGTON, Va. – The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) joined forces with its Army and Navy counterparts at the Southern Regional meeting for the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 20 to share best practices for better engagement with the Department of Defense basic research enterprise. This outreach event supported the broader goals of the DEPSCoR program, which helps to build the national infrastructure by improving the capacity of institutions of higher education to conduct sustainable and national competitive defense-related basic research in science and engineering in historically-underrepresented states and territories. In 2017, Congress reauthorized and funded the DEPSCoR program in order to enhance the capabilities of institutes of higher education in certain states and to increase their number of university researchers, increasing the probability of long-term growth in competitive federal funding. The outreach meeting for the DEPSCoR Southern Region was hosted by Louisiana State University at the Digital Media Theater, Center for Computation & Technology. The Southern Region of DEPSCoR-eligible states includes states straddling the Appalachian Mountains and bordering the Mississippi River and Gulf: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Also in the Southern Region are Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AFOSR program officers had the opportunity to connect with university researchers and raise awareness about funding opportunities available for DEPSCoR Day attendees. “It was quite an honor to address the DEPSCoR audience to talk about opportunities that are available here at AFOSR,” said Edward Lee, AFOSR Program Coordinator for Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Serving Institutions and DEPSCoR Program Coordinator. DEPSCoR Day presented an open forum with various informational sessions from DOD representatives and program managers from basic research agencies. These sessions focused on an array of topics including but not limited to “How to work with the DOD,” “How to make connections with DOD program officers,” and “How to pursue funding opportunities specific to DEPSCoR.” Attendees were also able to interact with current DOD grantees through an in-depth panel discussion addressing lessons learned through working with basic research agencies. The day concluded with segmented technical area breakout sessions and speed networking. The third regional outreach meeting is scheduled for April 21 at the University of South Dakota. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.