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International Collaboration


April 6, 2018

Important Notice

From April 2018, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will be created as a result of the UK Higher Education and Research Act. This will be the new funding organisation for research and innovation in the UK. It brings together the seven UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. 

The creation of UKRI replaces the need for a strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils, in the form of Research Councils UK (RCUK). As a result, the functions of RCUK will be replaced by UKRI, and the management of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NSF and RCUK will be transferred to UKRI effective 1 April 2018.  

NSF is working with our colleagues in the UK to update individual agreements under this MoU as needed. Activities and processes that have been agreed under the MoU between NSF Directorates and individual Research Councils will not be impacted. 

Please note that the seven UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

April 22, 2016

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) have a long history of collaboration in supporting research through both bilateral activities and multilateral arrangements. Both organizations agree that - as research becomes increasingly global in nature - it is important for funding agencies to continue to identify and develop flexible mechanisms to foster and support collaborative international research.

The Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE) of the NSF and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) are pleased to announce the SBE-RCUK Lead Agency Funding Opportunity. The goal of this funding opportunity is to reduce some of the barriers to working internationally that researchers currently encounter. This funding opportunity builds upon an existing Lead Agency Agreement between SBE and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) of the UK that was started in 2009. It expands upon that agreement to include other United Kingdom Research Councils that fund research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

If you are interested in US-UK collaborative research opportunities, please review the Dear Colleague Letter: NSF Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under the SBE-RCUK Lead Agency Agreement to learn more about the review process and criteria established under the SBE-RCUK Lead Agency Agreement.

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) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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