DESPCoR Southern Region logo





How to Engage: DoD Basic Research Enterprise



Louisiana State University

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Digital Media Center Theater, Center for Computation & Technology
Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.


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 first regional meeting took place in the northeast at the University of Rhode Island in September 2019. The second meeting will be in the Southern Region, on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Louisiana State University. The Southern Region of DEPSCoR-eligible states includes states straddling the Appalachian mountains and bordering the Mississippi River and Gulf: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Viriginia. Also in the Southern Region are Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Program managers from the research agencies 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 Louisiana State University. Breakfast, lunch, and refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend this meeting, please register. Please note that this event is only for scientists in DEPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions. 

There will be a poster review session during lunch. Attendees are welcome to bring their poster on its own board. Foam backing boards will not be provided. If you need an easel, please request it on the meeting registration form or by emailing LSU point of contact Holly Carruth. You have the option to submit a research menu prior to the meeting (see Research Menu tab).


Map of the ESPCoR states and the DEPSCoR Southern Region 


LSU point of contact: Holly Carruth, Assistant to the LSU Vice President of Research & Economic Development, (225) 578-7696

DoD point of contact: Rushyannah Killens-Cade, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow

DEPSCoR website

Eligibility map

EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation


Department of Defense logo


Louisiana State University

February 20, 2020


7:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome:
Dr. Samuel J. Bentley, LSU Vice President of Research & Economic Development
8:15 a.m. Opening address: DoD Basic Research Enterprise
Dr. Bindu Nair, Deputy Director for Basic Research in the Office of the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering
8:45 a.m. Basic Research in the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Colonel Jason Mello (Chief, Science & Engineering Division)        
9:00 a.m. Basic Research in the Army Research Office (ARO)
Dr. Stephen Lee, Senior Scientist        
9:15 a.m. Basic Research in the Office of Naval Research (ONR)
Dr. Joan Cleveland, Deputy Chief Scientist        
9:30 a.m. Brainstorming ideas with Program Officers
Dr. Dawanne Poree, Program Officer, Polymer Chemistry (Army Research Office)        
10:00 a.m. Networking break
10:15 a.m. Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR)
Dr. Rushyannah Killens-Cade, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow (Basic Research Office)        
10:45 a.m. Army Educational Outreach Program (high school and undergraduate apprenticeships)
Ms. Jennifer Ardouin, Education Outreach Program Manager (Army Research Office)
11:45 a.m. Lessons learned from DoD grantees (panel discussion)
Moderator: Dr. Ololade "Lola" Fatunmbi, Program Scientist (Strategic Analysis, Inc., DoD Basic Research Office)
Dr. Christoph Brehm, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering (University of Kentucky)
Dr. Kelly Dorgan, Senior Marine Scientist II (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)
Dr. Michael Mislove, Professor and Chairman of Computer Science (Tulane University)
Dr. Chad Risko, Assistant Professor of Chemistry (University of Kentucky)
12:30 p.m. Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Remarks
Dr. Loretta Moore, Chair, EPSCoR Interagency Coordinating Committee (EICC)        
12:45 p.m. Lunch and poster viewing
2:00 p.m. Breakout sessions:

Technical Area 1: Chemistry (Room 1030)
    Dr. Julia Barzyk, Program Officer, Earth Materials and Processes (Army Research Office)
    Dr. Elizabeth King, Program Officer, Environmental Chemistry (Army Research Office)
    Dr. Dawanne Poree, Program Officer, Polymer Chemistry (Army Research Office)

Technical Area 2: Biology and Engineering Biology (Room 1014)
    Dr. Robert Kokoska, Program Officer, Microbiology (Army Research Office)

Technical Area 3: Physics and Materials (Room 1008b)
    Dr. J. Aura Gimm, Program Officer, Natural Materials & Systems (AFOSR)
    Dr. David R. Gonzalez, Program Officer, Aerodynamics (Office of Naval Research)
    Dr. Anisur Rahman, Program Officer, Structures and Materials (Office of Naval Research)
    Dr. Martin Schmidt, Program Officer, Dynamic Materials and Interactions (Air Force Office of Scientific Research)

Technical Area 4: Engineering (Room 1034)
    Dr. Geoffrey L. Main, Program Officer, Underwater Electromagnetics and Sea-Based Logistics (Office of Naval Research)

Technical Area 5: Mathematical, Computer, and Information Sciences (Theatre)
    Dr. Hamid Krim, Program Officer, Information Processing and Fusion (Army Research Office)
3:15 p.m. Closing
3:30 p.m. Speed networking (by invitation only) — please click on the Research Menu tab above




Registration is now open. Please note that this event is only for scientists in DEPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions.















Note: The deadline for submitting research menus is January 31, 2020.

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 Rushyannah Killens-Cade, AAAS Science and Technology Policy fellow supporting the Department of Defense OSD/R&E/R/Basic Research Office, no later than TBA. 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 Program Officer has sufficient knowledge of his/her field and about the needs of the service for which they work (Army, Navy, Air Force). If the Program Officer has questions, follow-up is easy.

The research menu does two things for the Program Officer.

First, the Program Officer 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. Program Officers 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 Program Officer’s interest.

Second, for those ideas that don’t find financial support, at least now the PM 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.


Lodging is available at the Cook Hotel and Conference Center on LSU's main campus at 3848 West Lakeshore Drive in Baton Rouge, LA. You can check availability and book on their website using the booking code 200219DEPS for the nights of February 19 and February 20, 2020.














The Digital Media Center Theater is located in the LSU Center for Computation & Technology at 340 East Parker Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 on the corner of East Parker Boulevard and West Lakeshore Drive (the extension of South Stadium Drive). Parking will be available in the open lot behind the Digital Media Center Building (enter from East Parker Boulevard between Highland Road and South Stadium Drive/West Lakeshore Drive where the sign says Ag Lot). There will be reserved spaces for off-campus participants, and LSU parking tags are valid for all other open spaces.

There will be free transportation available from the Cook Hotel and Conference Center to the Digital Media Center and back at the beginning (starting around 7 a.m.) and end of the day. Look for DEPSCoR decals on the vehicles.

Our local airport is BTR, Baton Rouge, LA.