Dear Colleague Letter: Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the South Korean Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP) Collaborative Research Opportunities
May 4, 2021
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Directorate for Engineering (ENG), and the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Research Cooperation. The MOU provides an overarching framework to encourage collaboration between U.S. and South Korean research communities and sets out the principles by which jointly supported activities might be developed. The MOU provides for an international collaboration arrangement whereby U.S. researchers may receive funding from NSF and South Korean researchers may receive funding from IITP. The cooperative activities pursuant to the MOU are expected to continue for a period of five years from the date of signing, unless discontinued earlier by the Participants.
This new NSF-IITP collaborative research opportunity focuses specifically upon discoveries and innovations in the area of wireless communication technologies. Through a "lead agency model," NSF and IITP will allow proposers from both countries to collaborate to write a single proposal that will undergo a single review process at NSF.
The collaborative opportunity described in this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) remains in effect until archived.
Collaborative research proposals under this opportunity will be accepted to the Small project class of the CISE Core Programs and ENG ECCS Communications, Circuits, and Sensing Systems Program, available at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505667 and https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505248 specifically in the area of wireless communication technologies. NSF and IITP will jointly hold a workshop shortly to inform the research community in both countries after publication of this DCL. The date and registration information will be posted on the NSF's Advanced Wireless Research page.
A close‒to‒final draft of the full proposal for submission to NSF, in NSF format following item 6 under Guidelines below, must be submitted to IITP via the IITP's online services at least four weeks prior to the NSF submission. Draft proposals will only be accepted from South Korean applicants who have submitted a 'Letter of Intent to IITP using the template provided in the relevant IITP calls. IITP uses the close-to-final draft proposals to check the budget and plan for possible funding.
Proposals are expected to adhere to the research area (wireless communication technologies), funding limits, and grant durations for the participating NSF programs (see website link above) and for the IITP programs from which funding is sought.
Proposals must represent an integrated collaborative effort between the U.S. and South Korean researchers. The proposal must be submitted to the Small Project class of the CISE Core programs and ECCS Communications, Circuits, and Sensing Systems program by an eligible U.S. organization. Limits for U.S. researchers on the number of proposal submissions are described in the current funding opportunities referenced above.
Proposers are advised that all documents submitted to NSF or IITP may be shared with the other agency in order to implement the two-way agency activities.
PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION
Proposals will be submitted to NSF, with a separate close‒to‒final draft copy submitted by the South Korean applicants to IITP four weeks prior to the NSF submission. The proposals will be reviewed by NSF in competition with other proposals received for the same funding round of the program to which the proposal is submitted, using NSF's merit review process. IITP will check that the South Korean investigator has an active and appropriate role and confirm his/her eligibility at the onset of the process but will not conduct a parallel review and will not rank proposals. IITP intends to support the South Korean effort for those projects for which the U.S. research component is funded by NSF.
There are no separate NSF funds available for this effort; proposals must compete with all other proposals submitted to the respective NSF funding opportunities and must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and broader impacts.
As the involved NSF programs named in this DCL do not have deadlines, the applicable IITP timetables published in relevant funding calls at IITP's Apply for Funding link will be honored. In general, proposal review is completed within six months of submission.
In all cases, a close‒to‒final draft of the same proposal must be submitted to IITP four weeks prior to the NSF submission.
- The proposed work submitted under an NSF-IITP collaboration must represent an integrated collaborative effort. The Project Summary and Project Description of the proposal must include a description of the collaboration, including an explanation of the role(s) of the South Korean collaborator(s) and an explanation of how the team will work together.
- The South Korean investigator(s) must obtain a 'Confirmation of Eligibility for Funding' letter from IITP to be included in the NSF submission as a supplementary document. The instructions to obtain the letter are provided in relevant funding calls at https://ezone.iitp.kr. The letter will serve as a proof of eligibility for the South Korean investigator(s) and outline the level of budget commitment from IITP subject to NSF selecting the integrated proposal for funding following established NSF merit review/selection processes.
- The proposal must describe the intellectual merits of the proposed research, including the value of the international collaboration, and the anticipated broader impacts (including societal benefits) of the effort. As broader impacts are a review criterion for NSF, the proposal should include relevant societal benefits as well.
- The proposal should describe the full proposed research program, including the total U.S. and South Korean resources that will be part of the project. NSF proposers should indicate only the U.S. expenses in the NSF budget. IITP proposers should indicate only the South Korean research expenses on the IITP budget form. The South Korean budget and budget justification must be included in the NSF proposal as a Supplementary Document. The Budget Justification section of the NSF proposal should clearly differentiate the U.S. budget from any similar funds requested by the South Korean team and justify the full U.S. project budget. Proposals that request duplicative funding may be returned without review.
- A close‒to‒final draft of the full proposal for submission to the NSF, in NSF format, must be submitted to IITP via the IITP's online services at least four weeks prior to the NSF submission. IITP will accept draft proposals only from South Korean applicants who have submitted a 'Letter of Intent' using the information provided in the relevant IITP calls.
- The proposal must be submitted to one of the NSF programs noted above by a U.S. organization, using the NSF FastLane system (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/), Research.gov (https://www.research.gov), or Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov/). Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the standard requirements described in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and comply with requirements in the NSF funding opportunity (referenced above).
- By submitting, Principal Investigators (PIs) and their organizations agree that NSF may share unattributed reviews and information pertaining to the review process with IITP.
- Involvement in a joint international proposal will count towards the limit on the number of submissions, if any, to the NSF funding opportunity in which an individual may participate as a PI, co-PI, or senior personnel (for example, for FY 2021, the CISE Core Programs solicitation limits this number to two).
- The title of the proposal should be prefixed with "NSF-IITP:" to indicate that the document is to be considered by both NSF and IITP.
- If the proposal is submitted as part of a set of collaborative proposals, the title of the proposal should begin with "Collaborative Research:" followed by "NSF-IITP".
- Do not identify your proposal as "collaborative" unless more than one U.S.-based organization will be submitting the same proposal for separate funding (i.e., the "collaborative" proposal selection only applies if there is more than one collaborating organization on the U.S. side, each submitting the same proposal).
- South Korean investigators should not be listed as co-PIs on the NSF Cover Sheet. South Korean personnel should instead be listed as Other Senior Personnel. Listing South Korean partners as Other Senior Personnel will help ensure that NSF systems automatically request the additional documents that are required. Information on "current and pending support" is required for all personnel listed as "senior personnel."
- Biographical sketches should be provided for South Korean partners and for the U.S. investigators and should be prepared in accordance with the standard biographical sketch format described in the PAPPG.
- For projects involving human subjects/participants or vertebrate animals, proposers should follow both NSF and IITP policies, submitting documentation to each as appropriate.
The NSF proposal must include the documents requested in the appropriate NSF funding opportunity.
In addition, the following documents must be included in NSF-IITP proposals:
- Provide as a Supplementary Document, a 'Confirmation of Eligibility for Funding' letter obtained by South Korean partner(s) from IITP.
- Provide as a Supplementary Document a copy of the proposed South Korean budget requested from IITP in English using U.S. Dollars, and a budget justification that explains the request
- Provide a list, as a Single Copy Document, of collaborators and other affiliations for each Senior Personnel included in a proposal, including South Korean partners. This list of persons with whom there is an affiliation is required for South Korean and U.S. partners to assist in the selection of reviewers. See PAPPG Chapter II.C.1.e.
- Letters of collaboration may be included; however, they must comply with the format recommended in the PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.j.
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 IITP in any reports or publications resulting from the award. Requests for changes in awards (for example, changes in scope) will be discussed by NSF and IITP before a joint decision is made.
The NSF Office of International Science and Engineering helps to coordinate the overall engagement between NSF and IITP. The NSF Office of International Science and Engineering helps to coordinate the overall engagement between NSF and IITP.
Questions about IITP should be directed to:
Junho Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org), Deputy Director, Global Cooperation and Standardization R&D Team, IITP.
Questions about this DCL may be directed to:
- Murat Torlak (email@example.com), Program Director in the CISE Division of Computer and Network Systems.
- Zhengdao Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org), Program Director in the ENG Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems
Assistant Director, CISE
National Science Foundation
Assistant Director, ENG
National Science Foundation