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About New Mexico EPSCoR


The New Mexico Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM EPSCoR) is building the state's capacity to conduct scientific research and is training a diverse, well-qualified Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. We do this through multi-year, federally funded projects that include New Mexico's research universities, primarily undergraduate higher education institutions, national laboratories, and other organizations.

Our current focus is the NM SMART Grid Center, an interdisciplinary National Science Foundation (NSF) project that is pursuing research and workforce training for next-generation electric power production and delivery.

Transmission lines, NM EPSCoR, Higher Education STEM New Mexico

History of New Mexico EPSCoR

NM EPSCoR was established with a successful National Science Foundation (NSF) planning grant in 2000. The first NSF Track 1 Research Infrastructure Improvement grant was awarded in 2002. For more information on the history of NM EPSCoR NSF funding and research areas, please view our historical timeline by clicking below.

NM EPSCoR Timeline

History of NM EPSCoR, Higher Education STEM New Mexico
Mission & Vision

Mission & Vision

The mission of New Mexico's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM EPSCoR) is to build the state's capacity to conduct scientific research while cultivating a diverse, well-qualified STEM workforce. We envision New Mexico as a state that has achieved self-sufficiency in a sustainable manner through its research and development enterprise, has a strong STEM pipeline between community colleges and the research universities, promotes innovation, new business, and economic development, and is recognized contributors to the national and global STEM research enterprise.

Mission and Vision, NM EPSCoR, Higher Education STEM New Mexico
Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion Statement

The diversity of the people of New Mexico has been a source of innovation and creativity throughout our state’s history. NM EPSCoR respects and values diversity of all types, including race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic status, ability, and more. We see diversity as a source of strength, and we strive to create an inclusive, collaborative, and equitable environment where everyone can realize their full potential. NM EPSCoR particularly acknowledges the acute need to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented.



The National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) supports 25 states, two territories, and one commonwealth in its efforts to build sustainable research and human infrastructure. The mission of EPSCoR is to advance excellence in science and engineering research and education in order to achieve sustainable increases in research, education, and training capacity and competitiveness that will enable EPSCoR jurisdictions to have increased engagement in areas supported by the NSF. Of all NSF EPSCoR faculty hires, 78% remain in their original jurisdictions, creating a return on investment for each jurisdiction.

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NSF EPSCoR Map, NM EPSCoR, Higher Education STEM New Mexico


Impacts on New Mexico

Research Infrastructure

Research Infrastructure

One of the main goals of NM EPSCoR is to support research infrastructure through shared-use equipment. Several higher education institutions across the state benefit from state-of-the-art equipment purchases using NM EPSCoR funding, including a magnetotelluric system, laser-based isotope systems, gas chromatography systems, mass spectrometers, and more. These equipment purchases will remain available for faculty and students at their home universities, and will support their research projects for years to come.

Current Research

Research Infrastructure
Natives in STEM

Natives in STEM

Natives in STEM is a collaborative project between NM EPSCoR and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). The project aims to increase Native American identity and sense of belonging in STEM by creating and sharing positive images and stories of Native STEM professionals. Natives in STEM provides access to Native STEM professionals, creates an educational tool for teachers and schools, increases understanding of and interest in STEM for Native communities, broadens educational and career choices for Native students, and strengthens the Native STEM community network.

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Natives in STEM
Museum Exhibits

Museum Exhibits

In order to communicate research broadly to the public, NM EPSCoR funded three exhibits at science museums in Albuquerque: a bioalgal exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, a solar energy exhibit at Explora Science Center, and a uranium exhibit at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. These museum exhibits provide a vehicle for NM EPSCoR research to be shared with hundreds of thousands of members of the general public, on a much larger scale than could be accomplished through traditional outreach activities.

Museum Exhibits
Creative Startups

Creative Startups

The Creative Startups Accelerator was launched in 2014 with seed funding from NM EPSCoR to help jump-start the careers and businesses of creative entrepreneurs. The program is now located in three sites domestically (Albuquerque; Winston-Salem, NC; Baltimore, MD) and recently expanded internationally in Kuwait and Malaysia. To date, they have graduated 40 startups from the New Mexico Accelerator program. So far, the startup companies that participated in the accelerator have raised $11 million in private investment, generated $10 million in new revenues, and created over 160 new jobs in New Mexico (210 jobs globally).

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Creative Startups
By the Numbers

By the Numbers

Since 2001, EPSCoR programs have provided $183 million to New Mexico to build capacity in research infrastructure, cyberinfrastructure, and STEM workforce development and education. In the last National Science Foundation (NSF) Track 1 project (Energize New Mexico), NM EPSCoR participants brought in over $58 million in external funding, published over 200 peer-reviewed publications, and reached over 10,000 people through museum exhibits and public events.

By the Numbers


People of NM EPSCoR

Research Team Leads
SMART Grid Research Team Leads

Research Team Leads

  1. Architecture: Olga Lavrova (NMSU), Ali Bidram (UNM), Jane Lehr (UNM)
  2. Networking: Jay Misra (NMSU), Jun Zheng (NM Tech), Michael Devetsikiotis (UNM)
  3. Decision-Support: Huiping Cao (NMSU), Enrico Pontelli (NMSU), Abdullah Mueen (UNM), Manel Martínez-Ramón (UNM)
  4. Deployment: Ali Bidram (UNM), Jun Zheng (NM Tech), Enrico Pontelli (NMSU), Jane Lehr (UNM)
  5. Cyberinfrastructure: Diana Dugas (NMSU), Karl Benedict (UNM), Patrick Bridges (UNM), Jon Wheeler (UNM)

More About Research

State Committee

State Committee

New Mexico EPSCoR’s State Committee ensures accountability and responsibility. The members ensure the current project promotes engagement, includes diverse participants, and facilitates communication and coordination among the project components.

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State Office

State Office

The NM EPSCoR State Office is located on UNM South Campus as part of the Science & Technology Park. We are one block west of University Blvd. and one block north of Avenida Cesar Chavez. Our address is 1312 Basehart SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

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Contact Us

General Project Inquiries

William Michener
Director & Principal Investigator of the NM SMART Grid Center

Selena Connealy
Associate Director

Education and Outreach Inquiries

Sara Pichette
Education and Outreach Specialist

Communication and Media Inquiries

Brittney Van Der Werff
Communication and Outreach Specialist



Financial and Reimbursement Inquiries

Andra Kiscaden
Senior Business Manager

Reporting and Website Inquiries

Isis Serna
Website Administrator

Dustin Allen
Systems & Network Analyst