Gov. Joe Manchin today joined National Science Foundation (NSF) Deputy Director Dr. Kathie Olsen in announcing a $8,999,903 NSF grant award to the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (WV EPSCoR) to fund higher education research at three West Virginia universities. 


The state of West Virginia will match this grant with an additional $4.5 million bringing the total funds available to $13.5 million. The $9 million award represents the largest science and technology research grant ever awarded to West Virginia by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and brings the total amount of federal funding WV EPSCoR has secured during the past four years to nearly $20 million.


  WV EPSCoR is highly competitive among eligible states and large wins are difficult to achieve. Awards are based on potential benefits and meritorious cutting-edge science proposed by West Virginia’s brightest scientists. This grant will provide support for new research in molecular recognition and engineering over the next three years at West Virginia University and Marshall University . It also will support efforts with West Virginia State University in an expanded collaboration among the three state universities.


“This large grant shows that we can achieve great things by working together,”the governor said.”WVU, Marshall, and WVSU have collaborated on this effort to win the award and will continue to reinforce collaboration as they make new discoveries in science that benefit our state. I am extremely proud of our faculty who not only seek new knowledge but are attempting to turn their ideas into high-tech jobs here in West Virginia .”


EPSCoR’s funding is a seed for greater technology based economic development (TBED) in the Mountain State .”We know that 75 percent of all new companies started through university research establish themselves in the state where the research was done,”the governor added,”and this demonstrates we can grow our own.”


“Expanding the educational base across the state and the research efforts at WVU , Marshall and WVSU will help to create new job opportunities in the future. This grant will build on the growing momentum for new high-tech industries to form, grow or locate in the Mountain State ,”said U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, whose close work with the many federal agencies has significantly enhanced the research underway at the state’s universities.”I applaud Governor Manchin for his strong commitment to new educational opportunities, economic development and diversification of jobs for West Virginia’s students.”


“This $9 million represents an enormous infusion to the great research that so many of our universities and companies are doing,”said U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller.”In West Virginia , we have already seen major successes from EPSCoR. Today’s unprecedented grant will mean more victories for West Virginia in the coming years. We will see WVU and Marshall be better able to carry out the research they want to, and we will see a real economic windfall as our companies develop new technologies and create new jobs.”


As a result of this NSF award, new faculty at WVU and Marshall University will be recruited. Also, undergraduate and graduate students, research associates, and specialized technical support staff will be hired to complete focused research teams. Women and underrepresented minority students and faculty will be supported in their scientific investigations leading to advanced careers in research.


“Our success in diversifying West Virginia’s economy will depend, in large part, on our ability to carry out robust research in growth fields such as molecular biometrics,”said Congressman Alan B. Mollohan.”This NSF award, coupled with the matching funds announced by Gov. Manchin in his Vision 2015 plan, is a timely investment in technology in our state. I look forward to the dividends it will pay in the form of increased research capabilities at our universities and non-profit centers, and new economic activity across West Virginia .”


The economic impact of this grant will be felt across many high technology fields. This statewide award is administered by the WV EPSCoR Program office in the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, by Dr. Paul Hill, WV EPSCoR executive director, who is also the principal investigator, team leader, and manager of the research grant. For more information, visitwww.wvepscor.org.