DEPSCoR DoD Day

The University of South Dakota will host DEPSCoR DoD Day, presented by the Department of Defense, on July 19, 2022. The DEPSCoR Day will include overviews of basic research opportunities within the DoD, the DEPSCoR program, the Tri-Service Basic Research Offices and working with DoD Basic Research Program Officers. The DEPSCoR Day will also include breakout sessions in various scientific areas of DoD relevance (session areas will be announced in early June), a poster session, and speed networking opportunities.

Program officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and other DoD representatives will participate in the meeting, which will cover the following topics:

  • How to work with the DoD, especially ARO, ONR, AFOSR
  • How to make connections with DoD program officers
  • How to pursue funding opportunities specific to DEPSCoR
  • How to pursue other programs within the Basic Research Office

This is a free event presented by the Department of Defense and hosted by the University of South Dakota. Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

There will be a poster networking session during lunch, attendees are welcome to bring their poster. Easels and foam backing boards will be provided.

Register for DEPSCoR DoD Day

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About DEPSCoR

In 2017, Congress reauthorized and funded the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) 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.

To meet the directives outlined by Congress, the Department of Defense (DoD) is hosting outreach meetings to educate researchers about the DoD Research Enterprise. The Central Region of DEPSCoR-eligible states includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana.

Learn More About DEPSCoR

Speed Networking

A speed networking session is scheduled as a one-on-one opportunity for invited researchers to flesh out ideas with Program Officers (POs) for future solicitations. To ensure a concise dialogue in the allotted time (10 minutes), it is recommended that researchers submit a research menu ahead of the meeting. If you are interested in participating in the speed networking session, please email your research menu as an attachment to Elizabeth Melenbrink (elizabeth.l.melenbrink.ctr@mail.mil), no later than June 24. She will notify invited researchers via email.

Essentially, a research menu is a 1-2 page document describing 3-4 research ideas. Each idea is a paragraph or two and highlights a well-defined scientific question that you have an interest in answering. A graphic is fine if it’s illustrative, but please keep the total scope to 2 pages so that it can be reviewed quickly.

Questions to keep in mind:

  • Is it basic research?
  • What are the scientific questions?
  • Why is it a hard question?
  • Why you? Why now? (What's the novelty of your skills/abilities/approach, etc., that makes you think you can get in the vicinity of an answer?) 
  • So what? (Why does it matter to the scientific community?)
  • Where's the risk?
  • What will it take?

Please don't belabor background and motivation. Assume each PO has sufficient knowledge of his/her field and about the needs of the service for which they work (Army, Navy, Air Force). If the PO has questions, follow-up is easy. 

The research menu does two things for the PO.

First, the PO can quickly get a sense of the scope of your interests and where they might overlap with programmatic priorities. Please make sure that at least one of your ideas is something other than the topic areas listed on the website/in the BAA. POs are scientists and engineers and enjoy being surprised by things they don’t know about. Also, if you have an idea that’s scientifically risky, include that too! If there is interest, a whitepaper will be encouraged. Refer to the specific organization’s open BAA for basic research to make sure the ideas you present are more or less on target to capture the PO’s interest.

Second, for those ideas that don’t find financial support, at least now the PO is aware of them and can promote them to others within the DoD science and technology community who might find them interesting. Scientific match-making is among the top duties of DoD Program Officers. We can’t promote you to others if we don’t know about the new ideas you have. Scanning the literature only tells us about what you have done, not about the bold new ideas you might have.

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