NDSU’s Boudjouk Provides Information on Research Funding to Senate Subcommittee

Philip Boudjouk, board chair of The Coalition of EPSCoR/IDeA States, testified on June 18 before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense. Boudjouk serves as vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer at North Dakota State University, Fargo.

In his testimony, Boudjouk noted the Department of Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) receives grants from the Department to perform research in response to the Department’s priorities. The funding supports basic research, publications and patents, graduate student training, purchase of research equipment and multi-state research collaborations. Past DEPSCoR research has included designing helicoptor rotors, development of critical software systems, wireless communication systems, preventing laser damage to aircraft optical guidance systems and increasing durability of lightweight composite materials.

Boudjouk noted that researchers in DEPSCoR states can make important contributions that support the research needs of the Department of Defense. Examples of such research include: prediction of river currents for Navy operations, determining the effect of exposure of military personnel to extreme physical and climatic conditions and developing small plastic air-vehicles for the Air Force. DEPSCoR is a non-profit organization representing 21 states and two territories currently eligible to receive Department of Defense DEPSCoR research awards.

North Dakota is among the jurisdictions that are designated to participate in DEPSCoR. In addition, 26 states and territories participate in EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. In his role as chair of The EPSCoR Coalition, Boudjouk serves as the coalition’s liaison to federal agencies and non-profit institutions such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and provides testimony to Congressional committees.

In North Dakota, EPSCoR provides funding for research infrastructure such as high performance computing, equipment for research programs, funding for new researchers, financial support for undergraduate and graduate student research, funding to provide technology expertise to businesses in the state, and funding for research in conjunction with North Dakota’s tribal colleges. A positive economic impact of $433 million has occurred in North Dakota due to the $188.4 million awarded to EPSCoR-supported researchers since 1986.

Boudjouk previously served as chairperson for The Coalition of EPSCoR States from 2000-01. Boudjouk also served as project director for the North Dakota EPSCoR program from 1992 to 2000. The ND EPSCoR program is widely recognized for its success in promoting and administering millions of dollars in federal contracts with research faculty throughout the North Dakota University System. In 2008, ND EPSCoR received a five-year $15 million grant to develop and support scientific research infrastructure in the state.

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