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News Release 13-009

Switzerland Is Latest to Partner With NSF Through GROW

Research collaboration between NSF and Switzerland offers new international opportunity for NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Dell'Ambrogio and Suresh sign GROW agreement

Swiss official Mauro Dell'Ambrogio is shown with NSF Director Subra Suresh in Davos, Switzerland.

January 25, 2013

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Subra Suresh and Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Mauro Dell'Ambrogio announced today a new research partnership with Switzerland through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW). The agreement was signed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. GROW is a coordinated effort that enhances international collaborative research opportunities for NSF Graduate Research Fellows. There are currently GROW agreements between NSF and science agencies in nine countries.

GROW was announced in Dec. 2012, at the 60th anniversary celebration of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program, NSF's flagship program for graduate students in the science and engineering fields within NSF's mission.

"Today's graduate students being trained as scientists and engineers in the U.S. will increasingly collaborate and compete with their peers from around the globe throughout their career," said Suresh. "Through GROW, we are connecting NSF Graduate Research Fellows (GRFs) with leading scientists and research infrastructure around the world. GROW will thus provide the NSF GRFs with new opportunities for research collaboration during their graduate training, and will prepare them to engage in the global research enterprise."

Under GROW, a streamlined and well-coordinated process has been developed to connect NSF GRFs to a number of strategically selected educational and research institutions around the world.

 "This partnership will open new mobility opportunities for young, talented researchers while strengthening the academic ties between our two countries, said Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, the Swiss Secretary of State for Education, Research and Innovation. "This new partnership is in line with the strategic goals defined by the scientific and technological cooperation agreement signed in Washington on April 1, 2009, between Switzerland and the United States. It will definitely contribute to establishing new relationships among young researchers of both countries, thus paving the way to long-term Swiss-American collaboration at a very high level of excellence."

The Fellows, selected through the normal process through the NSF GRF Program and invited to participate in GROW, are hosted by a science agency in a partner country for a period of three to 12 months. While overseas, they receive a living allowance from the host country as they pursue their research in a host institution. They are also eligible to receive an international travel allowance from NSF. This partnership with Switzerland adds to existing collaborations with NSF partner agencies in Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and South Korea. It is anticipated that additional partners from other countries will join GROW in the months ahead.

GROW supports NSF's broader commitment to address the internationalization of science and engineering and to provide multiple pathways to engagement with top researchers worldwide. GROW joins other recent NSF efforts such as Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) and Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) in providing mechanisms to foster international partnerships and address global challenges.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program has continued to evolve over six decades, and is now providing opportunities for students to conduct research that is increasingly interdisciplinary. Today's Graduate Research Fellows can also gain experience and mentoring outside the lab--in entrepreneurship, business, industry or government.

More information about NSF international opportunities is available on the Office of International Science and Engineering website.


  • It is anticipated that additional partners from other countries will join GROW in the months ahead.
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Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:

Program Contacts
Anne L. Emig, NSF, (703) 292-7241, email:
Olivier Brighenti, Swiss State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI), +41 313232675, email:

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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