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NSF 11-025

Dear Colleague Letter: Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) with Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) Focus

This document has been archived.

This letter is to call your attention to an upcoming opportunity that is anticipated to span the FY2011-FY2012 fiscal years. The Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program, a National Science Foundation program since 2005, will focus its next competition exclusively on the NSF-wide investment area of Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES). Through SEES, NSF seeks to enable the discoveries needed to inform actions that lead to environmental, energy and societal sustainability while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges.

The goals of PIRE are to build strong research and education partnerships with foreign collaborators that enable research excellence, provide strong well-mentored international research experiences for U.S. students, and foster the internationalization of U.S. institutions in science and engineering.

By focusing the PIRE program on the SEES area, the National Science Foundation is investing strategically in research for which many of the intellectual foci are global in scope, require a comparative understanding of international variability, and are best tackled with the sharpest intellects from around the world engaged in leading-edge discovery and innovation. A SEES focus for PIRE will result in a more globally engaged U.S. workforce in the area of sustainability science, engineering and education. It will also enable U.S. institutions to more effectively partner with centers of excellence abroad in these areas of national and global need.

The PIRE program will ask that proposals address sustainability research by making interdisciplinary linkages across natural, social and/or built environments. More information about NSF's SEES investment area can be found on the SEES webpage at: Of particular interest is the recent SEES Dear Colleague letter NSF 11-022 (US NSF - Dear Colleague Letter for the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) NSF-Wide Investment Area).

Information on the first three PIRE competitions is available at: (Please note that previous competitions did not have a disciplinary focus.)

Anticipated revisions to the previous PIRE solicitation include elimination of the requirement to submit a preliminary proposal and a limit of one full proposal from each eligible institution. Once released, the new PIRE solicitation will be posted on the NSF website, including the Office of International Science and Engineering homepage at:


Larry Weber
Director, Office of International Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation