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U.S.-China Collaboration in Mathematical Research

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Dear Colleague:

The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has a long history of supporting basic research in mathematical and statistical sciences. This letter is to inform the community of U.S. scientists that DMS has entered into an agreement with the Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (DMPS) of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in supporting joint projects between U.S.-based mathematicians/statisticians and China-based mathematicians in all research areas of mathematical and statistical sciences.

To promote direct collaboration between U.S.- and China-based researchers in mathematical and statistical sciences, both NSF and NSFC will consider collaborative research projects that are innovative and beneficial to both sides. Because face to face interaction is important to effective collaborations, NSF expects visits of U.S.-based researchers to Chinese institutions for a period of two or more weeks, sufficient to establish new and innovative research collaborations. NSFC also expects visits of China-based researchers to U.S. institutions for a period of two or more weeks. The participation of junior researchers is highly encouraged. NSF encourages U.S. graduate student participation and NSFC encourages postdoctoral participation from China. Attendance of workshops/conferences closely related to the collaborative activities is encouraged during the exchange visits. However, exchange visits should not be used for participation in workshops/conferences not related to the collaborative effort.

NSF will accept requests for funding from collaborative teams in the form of a supplement to an existing award to DMS disciplinary programs. Supplemental funding requests should be submitted by the U.S. partners of the collaborative team to the NSF via FastLane. Supplements addressing this collaboration should include the phrase, “U.S.-China CMR:” at the beginning of the proposal title. Such requests should be submitted to the disciplinary programs designated by the Principal Investigator (PI) before January 19, 2007. Proposals submitted after 5:00 pm local time will be returned without review. See the NSF web site, for information about DMS disciplinary programs and their contact information.

In preparing budgets, research partners must adhere to the “receiving-side pays principle” whereby the sending side covers international travel costs (e.g., airfare and shuttle/taxi) and the receiving side bears local living expenses. Supplements will be evaluated independently by NSF and NSFC on the basis of each agency’s review criteria, and jointly according to the following additional criteria: (1) mutual scientific benefit and impact, (2) feasibility of the management plan, and (3) contribution to capacity development through international collaboration for researchers early in their careers.

In order to support and promote such collaborations, research partners may request up to $20,000 U.S. and 80,000 RMB from their respective national funding agency (NSF or NSFC) per year for no more than two years. The supplemental funding requests recommended for support will have an appropriate mix of new collaborations and enhancement of existing collaborations. Principal Investigators of proposals that are recommended for funding by NSF will be contacted by NSFC in order that they submit the identical proposal and other required forms to NSFC for award recommendation by NSFC.  


Primary Contacts:

Dr. Rong Chen, 703-292-4868,
Dr. Joanna Kania-Bartoszynska, 703-292-4881,
Dr. Junping Wang, 703-292-4488,



Dr. Peter March
Division Director
Division of Mathematical Sciences
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
National Science Foundation