NSF and USAID Jointly Announce Next Round of Global Research Collaboration Awardees
54 new projects use science to tackle global development challenges
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today jointly announce 54 new research projects in 32 countries. Funded through a joint initiative, the projects aim to foster collaborative global research in critical areas of development.
USAID directly supports researchers in developing countries who are working with NSF-funded U.S. scientists. Support flows through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science competitive grants program.
Since its beginning just two years ago, PEER Science has invested $12 million in 98 projects in 42 countries. Previous PEER Science awardees already are seeing the positive impacts of collaborative efforts that, for example, model the risk of landslides and earthquakes in Lebanon and Bangladesh, monitor and decrease air pollution in Mongolia, and improve the resilience of coral reefs and related habitats to climate stress in Indonesia.
The 54 new PEER Science awardees will receive nearly $7.5 million in USAID funding to collaborate on a variety of pressing research areas such as sustainable agroforestry systems, groundwater purification, biodiversity conservation, volcano risk reduction, drought and climate change mitigation and pollution remediation, among other scientific education and training-related projects.
PEER Science awardees were selected from nearly 300 high-quality proposals and represent more than $76 million of leveraged NSF funding through collaborations with their U.S. research partners.
DeAndra Beck, NSF's program director for developing countries noted, "PEER Science has advanced U.S. research collaboration globally, both by strengthening existing research partnerships between U.S. and developing-country scientists and by fostering new ones on topics of common interest.
"With two or more parties contributing resources, a true intellectual partnership can be established, maximizing the potential to advance the pursuit of science and development in new and creative ways," she said.
Fifteen countries as geographically divergent as Brazil, Burma, Iraq, Mozambique and West-Bank Gaza are among first-time PEER Science funding recipients. The new PEER Science awards are also supporting projects with regional collaborations among developing country scientists, such as a project in the lower Mekong River region of Southeast Asia to address trans-boundary and regional scientific and technical challenges. A list of new projects may be found on USAID's website.
"We are really excited to see the growth of the PEER Science program," said Alex Dehgan, science and technology adviser to the administrator at USAID. "We are already seeing the tremendous benefits of bringing together developing and developed country researchers to solve some of our greatest global development challenges. PEER Science not only demonstrates the critical role science and technology plays in development, but also the importance of global scientific collaboration."
The third call for PEER Science proposals is expected to be announced in early September 2013.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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