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(CLOSED) Call for proposals:Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER)

Proposal Deadline:   November 30, 2011, 11:59 PM (U.S. Eastern Standard Time)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced a new funding programme to support the work of scientists in (among other developing countries) the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica, particularly those doing research about food security, climate change and sustainable development:

USAID and NSF are now pleased to announce the launching of a new and broader program called Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER). This competitive grants program will allow scientists in developing countries to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities in partnership with their NSF-funded collaborators on topics of importance to USAID. Areas in which both NSF and USAID have strong mutual interests include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Food security topics such as agricultural development, fisheries, and plant genomics
• Global health issues such as ecology of infectious disease, biomedical engineering, and natural/human system interactions
• Climate change impacts such as water sustainability, hydrology, ocean acidification, climate process and modeling, and environmental engineering
• Other development topics including disaster mitigation, biodiversity, water, and renewable energy

When writing their proposals, developing country applicants should consider how their research will contribute to USAID’s development objectives. Additionally, collaborative projects involving multiple developing countries to explore regional issues related to these development projects are encouraged.

For more information on the funding and how to apply, see the PEER website. As mentioned above, there are four eligible Caribbean countries: the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica. The application deadline is November 30, 2011.

See Details Below:

Program Background and Objective

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is exploring new opportunities to use science and technology to meet the world’s development challenges. As part of its science and technology strategy, USAID is developing mechanisms to leverage the investments that other U.S. government agencies make in scientific research and training. Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between USAID and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the two agencies implemented a pilot program to assess the potential for USAID-funded collaborative research projects. Based on the program’s success, USAID and NSF are now pleased to announce the launching of a new and broader program called Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER). This competitive grants program will allow scientists in developing countries to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities in partnership with their NSF-funded collaborators on topics of importance to USAID. Areas in which both NSF and USAID have strong mutual interests include, but are not limited to, the following:

Apply Now!

Please contact peer@nas.edu if you have questions after reviewing all program documents.

If you need help finding a U.S. partner, please see NSF’s award search database at www.nsf.gov/awardsearch. There you can enter key words relating to your project topic and receive a list of current NSF award recipients in those fields.

* Food security topics such as agricultural development, fisheries, and plant genomics
* Global health issues such as ecology of infectious disease, biomedical engineering, and natural/human system interactions
* Climate change impacts such as water sustainability, hydrology, ocean acidification, climate process and modeling, and environmental engineering
* Other development topics including disaster mitigation, biodiversity, water, and renewable energy

When writing their proposals, developing country applicants should consider how their research will contribute to USAID’s development objectives. Additionally, collaborative projects involving multiple developing countries to explore regional issues related to these development projects are encouraged. Pending the availability of funds and the receipt of meritorious proposals, the majority of the PEER funding will be awarded to projects related to the USAID development areas of interest specified above. In addition to projects in these global areas of interest, which may be based in any eligible country, the program encourages projects in the following three specific countries:

* Indonesia: research projects in any technical area supported under PEER. Projects should be consistent with the objectives of USAID/Indonesia (http://indonesia.usaid.gov/en/home) and should also contribute to USAID/Indonesia’s higher education objectives by addressing one or more of the following:

1. Improving instructional delivery through better teaching methods and more relevant curricula in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field;
2. Enhancing research skills and methods in a STEM field;
3. Building quality extension services that engage external stakeholders on topics related to STEM.

* Lebanon: research projects in any technical area, particularly those that promote the participation of female scientists, involve large collaborations that include graduate students, and contribute to the strategic development objectives of Lebanon and the USAID mission (see http://www.usaid.gov/lb/).

* Philippines: research projects that support biodiversity conservation and improved natural resource management while contributing to the development objectives of USAID/Philippines (see http://philippines.usaid.gov/).

PEER is designed to leverage NSF funds awarded to U.S. researchers with funds from USAID that can be distributed to developing country researchers so that both sides have the resources they need to work together productively. Therefore, research topics proposed under PEER must be collaborative in nature and must complement research goals specified in the NSF award, as well as the technical and developmental goals of USAID. Only proposals building upon active NSF-funded awards will be considered. PEER proposals should expand the scope of the NSF-funded research by including research and training activities to be carried out by developing country counterparts, the costs for which cannot be supported under NSF awards. Examples of the types of activities that may be funded under PEER include education and training; technology dissemination; application and adaptation of new technologies; support for students, postdoctoral associates, and researchers; international travel; communications; equipment, materials, and supplies for developing country institutions; research networks; and international workshops. An illustration of the PEER model is provided below:

PEER is being implemented by the National Academies, which will manage the proposal review process and disburse and monitor grants awarded. Beyond the current program cycle, it is expected that solicitations for PEER will be issued at least annually, with details to be posted at http://www.nationalacademies.org/peer. In addition to future open calls for proposals, PEER also anticipates issuing a special call for proposals in 2012 for projects involving collaboration with potential U.S. recipients of NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) awards. U.S. researchers who have submitted PIRE pre-proposals will receive further information about the special PEER solicitation to share with their developing country counterparts if and when they are invited to submit full PIRE proposals.

Eligibility Information

Principal investigators (PIs) submitting proposals to PEER must be affiliated with and based at an academic, non-profit, or government-managed research institution in a developing country on the PEER-eligible country list. Researchers from non-eligible countries and employees of for-profit firms in PEER-eligible countries may participate in projects using their own resources but are not permitted to serve as principal investigators, as PEER grants will not be issued to such organizations. A current list of PEER-eligible countries is available on the PEER program website.

Proposals are not accepted from U.S. researchers. Developing country PIs who apply should either be actively engaged in or plan to be engaged in a collaborative research project with an NSF-funded U.S. researcher. Developing country scientists without existing partners are encouraged to search NSF’s public database of awards to identify potential U.S. collaborators (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/). Please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of the program Web site for additional details, or e-mail peer@nas.edu with other eligibility questions.

Award Information

Budget requests should be developed commensurate with the support needed to achieve the project goals. Most projects are anticipated to run for one to three years, with release of each funding increment contingent on the project meeting annual financial and technical reporting requirements. The number of awards is subject to the availability of funds. The primary focus of PEER is to support research collaborations. However, the program will consider a limited number of workshops on innovative or novel areas of research in which NSF-funded projects intersect with USAID’s development interests. These workshops must be designed to help create new research collaborations between U.S. and developing country researchers, so proposals requesting support for workshops must clearly explain how they would lead to sustained research partnerships.

Awards are anticipated to range in size from $30,000 to $50,000 per year for one to three years. A few larger and more complex projects may receive up to $100,000 per year for up to three years. Projects may involve more than one developing country institution, with one serving as the lead. Applicants whose funding requests do not fit within these parameters are encouraged to contact PEER staff at the National Academies (peer@nas.edu) before preparing their proposals.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the relevant discipline to be convened by the National Academies in collaboration with USAID. Proposals will be evaluated primarily on developmental impacts, including the following:

* Relevance to USAID’s global and country-specific programmatic interests
* PI’s demonstrated ability to achieve proposed project goals
* Strength of the international collaboration and potential for continued interaction after the proposed project ends
* Consistency of the proposed project with the existing NSF-funded project of the U.S. partner
* Number and type of developing country scientists involved (for example, students, postdoctoral and other beginning researchers, and/or female participants)
* Potential to build sustained capacity at the applicant’s institution (for example, through acquisition of new equipment, development of new courses, or capacity building of research personnel and students)
* Prospect for broader development impacts by accelerating progress towards innovative solutions to global development challenges
* Cost-effectiveness of proposed budget
* Administrative and financial management capabilities of the applicant’s institution

Further Information and Program Contacts

The PEER application form, proposal preparation instructions, and FAQs are available online at http://www.nationalacademies.org/peer. Applicants who have questions after reviewing these materials are encouraged to contact PEER staff by e-mail at peer@nas.edu or by telephone at +1-202-334-3656 or +1-202-334-1728.



Category/ies:Guyana News, Jamaica News, Request for Proposals.
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