Representatives of two Oklahoma programs, the National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) and National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award Programs (IDeA), recently met with members of the state’s federal congressional delegation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. They were there as part of the coalition to support continued program funding.

The Oklahoma representatives provided our congressional delegation, including Congressman Tom Cole, evidence of NSF EPSCoR and IDeA programs’ impact in the Sooner State.

NSF EPSCoR increases the state’s competitive edge in research growth and tech-based business development. To support the state’s emerging high tech businesses and research labs, Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR is developing a highly qualified and diverse applicant pool. In 2017, more than 21,800 Oklahomans, representing every group in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pipeline, were served through EPSCoR outreach and education programs.

Oklahoma is ranked 43rd in the United Health Foundation’s 2017 U.S. Health Rankings report. The IDeA program is rising to meet the state’s health needs through translational research and by producing world-class scientists, educators, and physicians.

The Oklahoma coalition was led by Oklahoma EPSCoR State Director Dr. Jerry Malayer, Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR Project Director and Principal Investigator Dr. Ray Huhnke, and Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Principal Investigator Dr. Darrin Akins. They were accompanied by representatives of two highly successful EPSCoR outreach and research partnerships: Science Museum Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma. The distinguished partner representatives were Sherry Marshall, president of Science Museum Oklahoma, and Dr. Wei Chen, professor of biomedical engineering and dean of the College of Mathematics and Science at the University of Central Oklahoma.