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This document has been archived and replaced by NSF 18-037.

NSF 17-043

Dear Colleague Letter: 2017 Division of Chemistry Supplemental Funding Proposals for International Collaboration

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Strategic Plan (2014-2018) outlines a vision for the agency:

A Nation that creates and exploits new concepts in science and engineering and provides global leadership in research and education.

NSF's Division of Chemistry seeks to fulfill this vision by advancing research and education in chemistry and ensuring that the U.S. research community remains at the forefront of the field by providing access to the knowledge and resources that exist globally.

In this context, the Division of Chemistry is inviting proposals for supplemental funding from its existing awardees who may wish to add a new, or strengthen an existing, international dimension of their award when such collaboration advances the field of chemistry and enhances the U.S. investigator's own research and/or education objectives. NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VI.E.4, provides specific guidance on preparing a request for supplemental funding. Principal Investigators supported by NSF Division of Chemistry awards are advised to consult with their NSF program director prior to submitting a supplemental funding request. Supplemental funding requests should be submitted no later than March 1, 2017.


Requests for supplemental funding for international collaboration should fully address these two criteria:

  • True intellectual collaboration with the foreign research partner; and
  • Benefit to the U.S. science/engineering community from expertise, facilities, or resources of the international collaborator.

Additionally, one or both of the following criteria may be described but are not required:

  • New international collaborations;
  • Active engagement of U.S. students and postdoctoral researchers at the foreign site.

Note: Funding requests for travel to international conferences will not be considered for this supplemental funding opportunity.


The description of project activities in the supplemental funding request should include the following information:

  • Summary of the research problem. Provide a succinct statement of the research problem, describing both the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activities.
  • Relevance and justification. Provide a justification of the need for the proposed collaborative research in the context of your NSF award, based on the aforementioned criteria.
  • Research plan. Summarize the major goals of the work, the scientific and technical approaches to be used, and the expected outcomes.
  • Nature of research collaboration. Describe collaborative arrangements including the roles for the international investigator(s). If applicable, provide information on the history of collaborative efforts between the proposed partners (new versus existing collaborations).
  • Qualifications of the research partners. Provide two page biosketches for the U.S. and international investigators named in the proposal.
  • Endorsement from the international investigator's institution(s). Provide a letter of endorsement signed by the senior personnel of the home institution of the international partner. If a foreign institution will provide resources, the endorsement letter from the foreign institution should describe such resources.
  • Responsibilities of Principal Investigators (PIs). PIs are responsible for obtaining any required visas for foreign travel and, through the U.S. host research institution or laboratories, for providing documentation in support of U.S. visas for foreign counterpart investigators. Information about obtaining visas for foreign visitors to the U.S. can be found here: PIs are also responsible for obtaining research permits and import/export documents, where necessary.


As applicable, provide details on the number of international trips and whose travel (students, postdoctoral researchers, and/or research scientists) will be supported by the supplemental funding.


NSF can support costs associated only with participation of U.S.-based investigators (including students) engaged in international collaboration, which may include the following activities:

  • Travel expenses for the U.S. investigators and/or students
  • Research-related expenses for the U.S. investigators and/or students to conduct research at the partner's home institution
  • Research-related expenses such as supplies that are necessary for the international partner's research at the U.S. host institution

NSF funds may not be used to support research and training activities of international scientists and students at their home institution.


Supplemental requests can be submitted after consultation with the cognizant NSF program director, in accordance with NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VI.E.4. Supplement requests should be submitted no later than March 1, 2017.


NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) lists a number of additional OISE-managed and NSF-wide funding opportunities for U.S. investigators, postdoctoral scientists, and students who wish to collaborate internationally.

F. Fleming Crim
Assistant Director
Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences