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NSF 12-114

Dear Colleague Letter: French-US Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience

This document has been archived and replaced by NSF 14-504.

Rapid advances in empirical methods, together with powerful mathematical and computational techniques, and an unprecedented ability to store and analyze large quantities of data, place computational neuroscience at the threshold of paradigm-shifting discoveries. Computational neuroscience thrives from integrating expertise across multiple disciplines and, therefore, is well suited for funding mechanisms specifically designed to foster integrative research and collaboration between different investigators, institutions, and countries. Both France and the United States are strongly interested in fostering collaboration in emerging interdisciplinary topics, and realizing the opportunities posed specifically by computational neuroscience.

A binational workshop on Opportunities for US-French Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience addressed key challenges as the field moves forward into the next decade, and characterized the need for a joint process to support collaboration between the United States and France. Therefore, under the terms of this Dear Colleague Letter, both countries announce their support for French-US joint research projects in computational neuroscience. A parallel Call for proposals is being issued by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).

NSF and ANR will accept proposals for US-French collaborative research projects in computational neuroscience in November 2012. Collaborating investigators at French and US institutions may submit proposals for joint research projects in computational neuroscience. Computational neuroscience is inclusively defined, encompassing a broad range of computational and biological goals and approaches. Collaborations are expected to exploit complementary expertise, enabling the collaborating investigators to pursue innovative research approaches and make significant advances on important and challenging problems. Proposals will be evaluated according to their intellectual merit, broader impacts, and the quality and value of the international collaboration. NSF and ANR will implement a joint evaluation process, with reviewers identified by both organizations.

Proposal budgets should include travel funds for the PI to attend an annual meeting, in either the United States or France, to exchange views about the ongoing research activities and their results, and to ensure close links and sharing of ideas among research groups. The US components of joint research projects selected for funding will be funded under the Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience program; the French components will be funded by ANR.

To apply for funding for US-French joint research projects, French and US investigators should submit proposals with identical project descriptions to NSF and ANR as follows:

  1. The proposal to NSF should be submitted according to the guidelines of NSF solicitation 11-505: Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience by the deadline date of November 2, 2012. Proposal titles should begin with the phrase, "US-French Collaboration:". The NSF proposal should be submitted by the US partner in the collaboration. The NSF proposal should describe the combined US-French project as a unified entity. Budget pages for the French partner should be submitted as a supplementary document. Proposal preparation requirements exactly parallel those described in NSF 11-505 for US-German Research Proposals.

Agency Representative
Kenneth Whang
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems
National Science Foundation
Arlington VA 22230
Tel.: +1 (703) 292-5149
Fax: +1 (703) 292-9073

  1. A French annex with French personnel and budget details should be submitted together with an electronic copy of the proposal, by the deadline date of November 2, 2012, to:

Agency Representative
Mathieu Girerd
Agence nationale de la recherche
Tel: + 33 (1) 73 54 82 13

Further instructions for French investigators are detailed at:

Collaborating investigators in US-French joint projects selected for funding will develop a consortium agreement, covering issues including intellectual property, and provide a copy of this agreement to ANR.