Kansas NASA EPSCoR Program (KNEP)

A jurisdiction of the NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, the Kansas NASA EPSCoR Program (KNEP) is managed through the NASA in Kansas office. The goal of NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research. This capability will, in turn, contribute to the jurisdiction’s economic viability and expand the nation’s base for aerospace research and development. Since its inception, NASA EPSCoR has been closely linked to the NASA Space Grant Program.

Based on the availability of funding, NASA will continue to help jurisdictions achieve these goals through the NASA EPSCoR program. Funded jurisdictions will be selected through a merit-based, peer-reviewed competition.

KNEP Grants include four main components: annually solicited Research Infrastructure Development awards in two categories; Partnership Development Grant (PDG) and Seed Research Initiation (SRI), Cooperative Agreement Notices (CAN), International Space Station (ISS) Flight Opportunity Awards, and Rapid Response Research (R3) Awards.

Kansas Strategic Interests

State science and technology strategic interests are outlined in a strategic planning document entitled Kansas Building an Environment for Science and Technology for Innovation or Kansas B.E.S.T. for Innovation.

Kansas’ relevant areas of strength and focus include:

Health and 

Energy and 

Aviation and



NASA Strategic Interests

The following goals and objectives come from NASA Strategic Plan 2020-2023:
Strategic Goal 1: Create unique opportunities for a diverse set of
students to contribute to NASA’s work in exploration and discovery.

Objective 1.1 Provide student work experiences that enable students to contribute to
NASA’s missions and programs, embedded with NASA’s STEM practitioners.
Objective 1.2 Create structured and widely-accessible, experiential learning
opportunities for students to engage with NASA’s experts and help solve
problems that are critical to NASA’s mission.
Strategic Goal 2: Build a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging
students in authentic learning experiences with NASA’s people, content
and facilities.

Objective 2.1 Develop and deploy a continuum of STEM experiences through authentic
learning and research opportunities with NASA’s people and work to cultivate
student interest, including students from underrepresented and underserved
communities, in pursuing STEM careers and foster interest in aerospace
Objective 2.2 Design the portfolio of NASA STEM engagement opportunities to
contribute toward meeting Agency workforce requirements and serving the
nation’s aerospace and relevant STEM needs.
Strategic Goal 3: Attract diverse groups of students to STEM through
learning opportunities that spark interest and provide connections to NASA’s
mission and work.

Objective 3.1 Develop and deploy targeted opportunities and readily available NASA
STEM engagement resources and content, to attract students to STEM.
Objective 3.2 Foster student exposure to STEM careers through direct and virtual
experiences with NASA’s people and work.

Executive Committee

Wichita State University
(Lead Institution)

Dr.  Linda Kliment

Kansas State University

Dr. Mary Lou Marino

Pittsburg State University

Dr. Erik Mayer

University of Kansas

Dr. Richard Hale
NASA in Kansas
Wichita State University
113B Wallace Hall
1845 Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260
(316) 978-3890