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News Release 13-091

Ireland, Netherlands Are Latest to Partner With NSF Through GROW

Research collaborations between NSF and Irish and Dutch counterparts offer new international opportunities for NSF Graduate Research Fellows

NSF Acting Director Cora Marrett is shown with SFI Director General Mark Ferguson.

NSF Acting Director Cora Marrett is shown with SFI Director General Mark Ferguson.

May 28, 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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The Global Research Council annual meeting in Berlin, Germany was the setting for announcing two new research partnerships between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its sister agencies in Ireland and the Netherlands through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW). 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 12 countries.

Yesterday, NSF Acting Director Cora B. Marrett and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Director General Mark Ferguson announced a GROW partnership with Ireland, and today Marrett and Jos Engelen, Chairman of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) announced a GROW partnership with the Netherlands.

GROW was first 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.

"GROW sets the stage for increased collaboration between NSF Graduate Research Fellows and their peers around the globe," said Marrett. "This will help them engage successfully in the global research enterprise by connecting them to leading scientists and research infrastructure around the world."

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 create new opportunities for young, talented researchers while strengthening the academic ties between Ireland and the USA," said Ferguson. "Over the last decade, Ireland has become a key destination for researchers and for international businesses that require an expertise in research and development, supported by proactive Government policy of investing in research and innovation. We welcome the opportunity to establish new relationships among young researchers and to enhance Irish-American collaboration that delivers excellent science with economic and societal impact."

"The GROW program is a wonderful initiative to allow young, promising researchers working in the USA to collaborate with researchers in the Netherlands," said Engelen. "The USA is a very important partner for our scientists, and we value this opportunity to strengthen collaboration between our nations. We also look forward to the fruitful and long-term contacts that will emerge from this initiative.

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. The partnerships with Ireland and the Netherlands add to existing collaborations with NSF partner agencies in Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland 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 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 and Integrative Activities website.


  • Marrett is shown with Jos Engelen, Chairman of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
    Credit and Larger Version

Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:
Alva O’Cleirigh, Science Foundation Ireland, 00 353 (1) 607 3249, email: Alva.O'
Joyce Kuipers, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, (+31) 070-344-0624, email:

Program Contacts
Anne L. Emig, NSF, (703) 292-7241, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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