In 2003, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the United States Virgin Islands an EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant to strengthen the capability of researchers in the USVI to conduct nationally competitive research. NSF monies for the research activities - known collectively as The Biocomplexity of Caribbean Coral Reefs (BCCR) Project - were augmented by grants from the Virgin Islands government, local businesses and industry, and private non-profit foundations. Based on the success of the BCCR grant, in 2008, the Territory received its second RII grant from NSF. This allowed further development of its original research focus. The BCCR project expanded and grew into The Integrated Caribbean Coastal Ecosystems (ICCE) Project.
Today, VI-EPSCOR’s primary funding comes from its third NSF RII grant Mare Nostrum Caribbean (Our Caribbean Sea): Stewardship Through Strategic Research and Workforce Development. Awarded in August of 2014, the $20 million Mare Nostrum Caribbean (MNC) grant, is being distributed in $4 million increments over five years. The Virgin Islands was one of only six jurisdictions nation-wide to receive RII grants from the NSF in 2014.
The University of the Virgin Islands Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) supports and facilitates VI-EPSCoR’s efforts to obtain external support for USVI research programs through grants and contracts. For additional details and contact information, please visit the UVI Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) website.