Issue Date: July 11, 2011
Promoting Global Science
A new partnership between the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development will allow scientists from developing countries to apply and compete for support of research projects involving NSF-funded U.S. colleagues. NSF will fund the U.S. component of these projects, while USAID will foot the bill for the international researchers.
Launched on July 7, the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) aims to leverage scientific knowledge and resources of U.S. scientists to build research capacity in developing countries and long-term links with the U.S. On the same day, the two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding outlining their intent to work together to improve higher education and research capacity abroad.
“This is a win-win partnership,” said NSF Director Subra Suresh when launching PEER. “The U.S. scientific community benefits from more robust international partnerships and an increased awareness of how research can be used to address global development challenges. Our foreign partners benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of the U.S. scientific community, the engagement of U.S. universities, and an understanding that science can build bridges.”
PEER is modeled after a pilot program that funded six projects. Of those awards, the USAID grants ranged in size from $15,000 to $30,000, whereas the corresponding NSF awards provided a total of more than $8 million. The scale of support for PEER will be similar to that of the pilot program. PEER will focus on projects in the areas of water, climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, disaster mitigation, and food safety.
“We’re trying to actually change the way people think about what development is, what it could be, and how we can create the kinds of solutions that inspire others to care and to address the needs of the billions of people who live without the benefits of two centuries of science and technology,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said at the launching. “And with the success and lessons learned from our six pilot projects, and the strength and expertise of those assembled here today, one can be sure we’re well on our way.”
- Chemical & Engineering News
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