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Dear Colleague:

Supporting international activities is an integral part of NSF’s mission to sustain and strengthen the nation’s science, mathematics and engineering capabilities, and to promote the use of those capabilities in service to society. Because science and engineering are increasingly global, NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) is implementing changes to its programs to ensure that U.S. institutions and scientists are globally engaged and able to more fully advance their research via international collaboration.

When OISE was established in January 2002, it was given responsibility for developing international programs that are innovative, catalytic, and responsive to the broad range of NSF interests. Consequently, OISE’s portfolio of activities will employ three approaches to enable international collaboration: supporting planning visits and workshops that are likely to be catalytic and lead to innovative international projects; providing international research opportunities for U.S. students and early-career scientists and engineers; and supporting international partnerships with larger, longer-term awards in which research and educational activities build on institutional strengths to provide an international collaborative experience that can involve U.S. researchers at all career levels. These approaches, combined with OISE support of international activities in NSF’s priority areas, are designed to capitalize on unique opportunities afforded by international collaboration and enhance broad-based NSF support for international collaborative research. OISE will foster mutually beneficial and sustainable collaborations that will yield high benefits because of the vital and integral nature of the foreign collaboration.

To implement its new portfolio of activities, OISE will no longer accept proposals that request funding for small-scale international collaborative research as defined in program solicitation NSF 03-559. The new portfolio of OISE activities will include the following:

  1. Planning Visits and Workshops: A new solicitation, International Research and Education: Planning Visits and Workshops (NSF 04-035), invites proposals for workshops and planning visits that are catalytic and may lead to innovative international partnerships, training activities or collaborative research that could be funded by OISE and/or by NSF research directorates.

  2. Global Scientists and Engineers: OISE supports a set of activities designed to provide international research and education experience for U.S. students and early-career scientists and engineers. They include:
    1. Developing Global Scientists and Engineers (NSF 04-036), another new solicitation which invites proposals to provide international research experiences for small groups of undergraduates and/or graduate students and for enhancement of doctoral dissertation research.
    2. Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) (NSF 04-584), an NSF-wide activity, which can support international REU Sites or add international dimensions to domestic activities.
    3. East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students (NSF 03-608), an 8-week program that introduces students to East Asia and Pacific science and engineering within a research context and provides personal contacts on which to build future collaborations.
    4. Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (NSF 03-506), 2-4 week courses that disseminate advanced knowledge and stimulate cooperation among researchers of the Americas in engineering and in the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences.
    5. International Research Postdoctoral Fellowships (NSF 02-149), which provide support for post-doctoral researchers or young faculty to conduct international research in any discipline that NSF funds.

  3. Partnerships for International Research and Education: This new program, planned to begin in FY2005 and subject to availability of funds, will invite proposals in which long-term international research and educational activities build on institutional strengths to provide an international collaborative experience that can involve U.S. researchers at all levels.

OISE, in partnership with NSF’s research directorates, will also continue to support international collaboration across the full range of NSF’s disciplinary programs and priority areas. Researchers may either include an international dimension in their proposals to these programs, or request supplementary funding to active awards for international activities by contacting the managing program officer for their award. They can also contact OISE staff with expertise in the country or region of interest for information about institutions and counterpart agencies. (Contacts for cognizant program manager(s) are available from the OISE home page – OISE will work with the disciplinary programs to support the strongest of these activities.

Kerri-Ann Jones, Ph.D.
Office of International Science and Engineering




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