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NSF 19-077

Dear Colleague Letter: National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Collaborative Research Opportunity in Smart and Connected Communities

June 28, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Research Cooperation. The MOC provides an overarching framework to encourage collaboration between the US and Japanese research communities. NSF and JST are pleased to announce a collaborative research opportunity aligned with the goals of the NSF Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) Program.

Complementary expertise and resources in the US and Japan enable research in areas which are fundamental to smart and connected community solutions. Specific areas include, but are not limited to, disaster response and emergency management, precision agriculture, cybersecurity of the electric grid and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, and wired and wireless networking.

Proposals are expected to adhere to the solicitation guidelines for the NSF and JST programs from which the funding is sought and must represent an integrated, well-coordinated collaborative effort. This document provides guidelines for the preparation, submission, review, and award of NSF-JST collaborative proposals. Proposers are advised that all documents submitted to NSF or JST may be shared with the other agency in order to implement the two-way agency activities

NSF Solicitation

Smart and Connected Communities, NSF 19-564. Eligible award category: Planning Grants. Deadline: September 6, 2019.

JST Solicitation

Japan (JST) - US (NSF) Joint Research 2019. Deadline: September 8, 2019.

Proposal Preparation and Submission

A well-integrated proposal showing contributions of the entire research team with both US and Japanese research contributions is expected. The NSF proposal must be compliant with the requirements of the solicitation for the specific category proposed (i.e., Planning Grants for NSF's S&CC solicitation). S&CC Planning Grant proposals must include in the Project Description subsections that describe an integrated, joint US and Japanese plan for Integrative Research, Research Questions, Intellectual Merit, and Community Engagement (see NSF 19-564 Section V.A. Full Proposal Preparation Instructions).

Note the community engagement may include one or more communities in the US and Japan.

  1. Program Officer Inquiries: Prior to submission, US researchers should contact NSF Program Officers, David Corman ( or Sylvia Spengler (
  2. Proposal Preparation: Each proposal should be jointly drafted by the US and Japanese team and must comply with the proposal preparation guidelines outlined in NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) as well as any programmatic requirements of the solicitation and award category named above. The proposal must be submitted through NSF's FastLane system ( or (
  3. Following submission to NSF, the lead investigator from the Japanese team must submit a copy of the NSF proposal submission, including all Supplementary and Single Copy Documents, legal compliance checklist, and compliance agreement to JST via e-Rad (

  4. Budgetary Information: The budget forms submitted to each agency should only indicate the amount requested from that agency. NSF proposers should indicate only the US expenses on the NSF budget form. JST proposers should indicate only the Japanese research expenses on the JST budget form. A copy of the proposed requested budget of the other agency should be included as part of the full proposal (i.e., copies of the JST budget should be included as a Supplementary Document in NSF submissions; and copies of the NSF budget should be included in the JST submission). The Budget Justification section of the full proposal should address both the full US and JST project budgets, and these must be clearly differentiated in the proposal. Proposals that request duplicative funding may be returned without review
  5. Deadline(s): The full proposal must be submitted by the deadline specified in NSF's solicitation and submitted to JST within 48 hours of the NSF solicitation deadline.
  6. Additional NSF-specific submission information:
    • The title of the NSF proposal should incorporate "JST:" following the title requirements in the solicitation named above.
    • The list of Project Personnel and Partner Institutions required as a Supplementary Document must include both US and Japanese participants.
    • The Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information required as a Single Copy Document must include collaborators of both the US and Japanese participants.
    • Japanese PIs should NOT be listed as co-PIs on the NSF cover sheet.
    • Biographical sketches for Japanese PIs should be included as Supplementary Documents, rather than with the biographical sketches for US participants.
    • Current and pending support lists are not required for Japanese participants.
    • For projects involving human subjects/participants, proposers should consult both NSF and JST policies.
    • Proposals for consideration under this DCL must include written consent of the PIs, acknowledging that the proposals and unattributed reviews will be shared with the partner agency, JST, for the purpose of merit review. This consent will be in the form of a signed letter from the PI of the form, "I confirm on behalf of [insert name of US institution] that proposals and unattributed reviews will be shared with JST."
  7. Peer Review: NSF-JST collaborative proposals will be either reviewed in a separate panel, or alongside other NSF proposals submitted in response to the named solicitation. Proposals will be reviewed in accordance with NSF's review criteria; reviewers are asked to evaluate research on both its intellectual merit and broader impacts. See the NSF NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and the named solicitation for all merit review policies.
  8. Funding Decisions: Funding recommendations resulting from the NSF merit review process will be discussed with JST, and NSF and JST will jointly develop funding recommendations. It is anticipated that JST will fund all the Japanese researchers whose US collaborators are funded by the NSF, subject to the availability of funds.
  9. Award Processing: Because the participating organizations have different funding cycles, it is possible that some projects will have delayed start dates subject to the availability of funds
  10. Post Award Considerations: Awardees will be expected to comply with the award conditions and reporting requirements of the agencies from which they receive funding. Awardees will be required to acknowledge both NSF and JST in reports or publications arising from the grant
  11. Please contact NSF Program Officers, David Corman ( or Sylvia Spengler (, with questions and inquiries related to this Dear Colleague Letter.

Jim Kurose, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, NSF