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NSF 17-012

Dear Colleague Letter: Special Guidelines for Submitting Proposals for NSF/GEO/EAR - Taiwan Collaborative Research

This document has been archived and replaced by NSF 19-012.


The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) of the National Science Foundation is pleased to announce a US-Taiwan collaborative research opportunity. Through a lead agency model, NSF/GEO/EAR will allow U.S. and Taiwan researchers to submit a joint collaborative proposal that will undergo the NSF review process. The Department of Natural Sciences and Sustainable Development (DNSSD) of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan (MOST1) serves as a partner and will support the cost of the Taiwan scientists. The initial research area is interdisciplinary research on the feedbacks between climate, erosion, and tectonics (FACET), but these research areas are expected to evolve over time.


Division of Earth Sciences Programs:

Proposals are expected to adhere to the funding limits and grant duration for NSF/GEO/EAR program from which the funding is sought and must represent an integrated collaborative effort. This document provides guidelines for the preparation, submission, review, and award of NSF/GEO/EAR-MOST/DNSSD collaborative proposals. During an initial two-year phase (fiscal years 2017 and 2018), both agencies will evaluate the interest and success of the activities.

Proposers are advised that all documents submitted to NSF or MOST may be shared with the counterpart agency in order to coordinate the implementation of the joint activities.

Proposals will be reviewed in competition with other proposals received for the same funding round by NSF using NSF's merit review process. It is important to note that there are no separate NSF funds available for these efforts; proposals must compete with all other proposals within the NSF program and must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and broader impacts. MOST/DNSSD will check the role of the Taiwan scientist and his/her eligibility at the onset of the process; MOST/DNSSD is likely to be favorably inclined to support any Taiwan scientist whose research partner is funded by NSF.


  1. Prior to submission, NSF proposers may contact the relevant EAR program officer to discuss the research focus of the international project.
  2. Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the Tectonics or Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics program requirements.
  3. The NSF proposal must be submitted to the EAR Tectonics or Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics program by a U.S. institution. The Taiwan institution submits a parallel proposal to MOST/DNSSD via its submission system.
  4. Proposals to NSF must be submitted via FastLane in accordance with proposal preparation guidelines in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide or via in accordance with proposal preparation guidelines in the NSF Application Guide.
  5. The proposal title should be prefaced with "FACET:"
  6. The project description must describe the nature of the collaboration and the role of the Taiwan partners.
  7. Taiwan investigators should not be listed as co-PIs on the NSF cover sheet. The NSF proposal should include biographical sketches of all senior personnel, including Taiwan partners, in accordance with the NSF standard biographical sketch format. Information on collaborators and other affiliations of the Taiwan partners should be provided separately.
  8. The budget forms submitted to NSF should only indicate the amount requested by the U.S. institution. The NSF proposal should also include a PDF of the MOST/DNSSD budget form as a supplementary document. The parallel proposal submitted to DNSSD indicates the amount requested from MOST/DNSSD for the Taiwanese side of the collaboration. Taiwanese proposers should follow directions set out by MOST/DNSSD and submit the proposal via its system.
  9. The NSF budget justification must clearly differentiate between the U.S. and Taiwan project budgets; proposals that request duplicative funding may be returned without review.


  1. NSF/GEO/EAR-MOST/DNSSD collaborative proposals will be reviewed alongside all other standard proposals received in the same funding round or call and will not undergo a separate or special review process.
  2. Proposals will be reviewed in accordance with NSF's merit review criteria; reviewers are asked to evaluate the proposed project on both its intellectual merit and broader impacts. A description of the NSF merit review process is provided on the NSF merit review website at:
  3. NSF/GEO/EAR will be responsible for implementing the merit review process. MOST/DNSSD will be given the opportunity to suggest names of qualified reviewers and possible panelists.
  4. MOST/DNSSD is likely to fund Taiwan researchers whose partner in this program is funded by NSF. Unattributed reviews may be shared with MOST/DNSSD.


  1. The funding recommendations will be discussed with the partner agency. Each agency will use its usual internal procedures to determine whether a proposal will be awarded or declined. Funding decisions are subject to the availability of funds.
  2. If a decision is made to fund a proposal, the US institution(s) will be supported by NSF and the Taiwan institution(s) will be supported by MOST/DNSSD.
  3. All proposers will be advised whether their proposals have been recommended for funding or declined by the appropriate funding agency. U.S. proposers will receive from NSF copies of the reviewers' unattributed comments and, where applicable, a panel summary. Should a proposal be declined for funding, proposers should refer to the respective agency resubmission policies.
  4. Because the participating organizations have different funding cycles, it is possible that some projects will have delayed start dates in order to wait until funds become available.


  1. Awardees will comply with the award conditions and reporting requirements of the agency from which they receive funding.
  2. Awardees will be required to acknowledge both NSF and MOST in any reports or publications arising from the grant.
  3. Extension and supplement requests will be considered using standard procedures. Requests for changes to awards pertaining to changes in scope in research or changes or delays to the research will be discussed with MOST/DNSSD before a mutual decision is reached.

Dr. Scott R. Borg
Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Geosciences

1MOST will be listed as TECRO's (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) designated representative and a foreign agency partner.