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Supporting International Collaborations for U.S. Researchers at the National Science Foundation NSF Day – University of Alabama Huntsville October 9, 2008. Wayne Patterson Program Manager for Developing Countries Office of International Science and Engineering National Science Foundation.

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Supporting International Collaborations

for U.S. Researchers at the

National Science Foundation

NSF Day – University of Alabama Huntsville

October 9, 2008

Wayne Patterson

Program Manager for Developing Countries

Office of International Science and Engineering

National Science Foundation

  • Introduction to NSF
  • International Collaboration at NSF
  • Support for Faculty
  • Programs for Postdoctoral researchers
  • Programs for students
  • Introduction to NSF
  • International Collaboration at NSF
  • Support for Faculty
  • Programs for Postdoctoral researchers
  • Programs for students
nsf in a nutshell
Independent USG Agency

Funds basic research & education

Uses peer-reviewed grant mechanism

Low overhead; highly automated grant management processes

Discipline-based structure

Bottom-up proposal driven

Cross-disciplinary mechanisms

Use of Rotators/IPAs

National Science Board

NSF in a Nutshell

NSF Role in Research and Development

Fiscal Year 2004

Total U.S. National R&D - $312B

Total Federal R&D Obligations












Total Federal Basic Research $27B

Total Federal Academic Basic Research -










Latest complete data currently available


FY06 Budget: 95% awards, 5% administration

  • Each year NSF receives over 41,000 proposals and about 10,000 new awards are made (23% funding rate)
  • The average annual research grant is 3 years at $140,000/year.
  • Awards are made to over 2,000 US colleges, universities and other research institutions.

NSF Funding


NSF Support for Basic Research at Academic Institutions

Share of Total Federal Support - FY 2004 Preliminary

nsf funding for research involving alabama universities
NSF funding for Research Involving Alabama Universities
  • Total number of current awards: 267
  • Total Value of current awards: $148,634,877
  • Number of International Awards: 26 (9.7%)
  • Total Value of International Awards: $4,127,444
  • International Projects through the OISE: 9 (34.6%)
  • Total Value of OISE Projects: $459,248
  • Introduction to NSF
  • International Collaboration at NSF
  • Support for Faculty
  • Programs for Postdoctoral researchers
  • Programs for students

International collaboration is commonplace

  • About 20% of the world’s scientific and technical articles in 2003 had authors from two or more countries, compared with 8% in 1988
  • One-quarter of articles with U.S. authors have one or more international coauthors, which is similar to the percentages for Japan, China, and the Asia-8.

International Collaboration


Discovery is a global enterprise. For the U.S. to remain in the forefront of world science and technology, it needs scientists and engineers from all disciplines who can operate and lead international teams and track international discoveries in some of the most challenging research areas.

          • Arden L. Bement, Jr.
          • NSF Director
          • 2004
“Domestic and international collaborations are expanding in response to the complexities of new scientific fields, the growing scale and scope of scientific initiatives, new capabilities provided by advances in information and communications technologies, professional ties established during study or work abroad, and explicit government policies and incentives.”

Source: National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators-2004



  • Provide ACCESS to sites, facilities, people, ideas
  • Prepare a GLOBALLY ENGAGED U.S. S&E workforce
  • Build and strengthen effective collaborations and institutional partnerships to address problems of a global/regional scale
  • [NSF does NOT have a foreign affairs or foreign assistance mission]

NSF International Objectives…

  • Introduction to NSF
  • International Collaboration at NSF
  • Support for Faculty
  • Programs for Postdoctoral researchers
  • Programs for students
support for international activities
Support for International Activities
  • Supplements to existing NSF grants
  • Part of new proposals to NSF disciplinary programs
  • New proposals to Office of International Science and Engineering
international activities embedded in disciplinary grants australia and japan
International activities embedded in disciplinary grants – Australia and Japan
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • University of Alabama – Huntsville
  • PI: Udaysankar Nair
  • Southwest Australia is an ideal test bed to investigate the influence of land use on cloud formation and atmospheric circulation patterns. This investigation will address a series of scientific questions related to the hypothesized impact on land use on cloud formation and regional atmospheric circulations of southwest Australia using a combination of ground, satellite, aircraft observations, spatial statistical analysis and numerical modeling experiments.
  • The results from this study are also expected to be of utility to land use management planners experiencing drastic land use change.
  • This research effort will enable international collaboration between researchers in United States, Australia and Japan and will involve the participation of graduate students in both the field campaign and the analysis of data generated during the project.
international activities embedded in disciplinary grants peru
International activities embedded in disciplinary grants – Peru
  • Molluscan Radiocarbon as a Proxy for Upwelling in Holocene Peru
  • Marine Geology and
  • PI: C. Frederick Andrus
  • University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • The PI will measure 14C in independently dated Peruvian mollusks from multiple time intervals to define long-term trends in upwelling variation. Upwelling is a defining factor of El Nino-southern oscillation (ENSO) in the eastern Pacific, particularly along the coast of Peru.
  • The detection of El Nino events will be made by screening for shell increment alteration and by sequential d18O analysis. The simultaneous excursions in d 18O and D14C in molluscan shell identify periods of upwelling variation caused by El Ninos.
  • By providing data of Peruvian Holocene upwelling this project will provide understanding of paleo-ENSO and give insight into past deep water circulation.
proposals to oise
Proposals to OISE
  • Planning Visits ($20,000 max)
  • Workshops ($25-60,000)
  • PASI ($65-100,000)
  • Partnerships for International Research and Education ($2.5 million)

planning visits
Planning Visits
  • Short trips by US researchers in promising new areas
  • Fully assess foreign expertise, facilities, equipment, data, experimental protocols, etc.
  • Detailed preparation for collaborative research
  • Used more often for countries where access is harder
example of planning visit auburn university to indonesia
Example of Planning Visit – Auburn University to Indonesia
  • PI: Jeffrey Fergus
  • To meet with Dr. Leonardus Kardono at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Dr. Ridwan at the Indonesia National Nuclear Energy Agency and Dr. Bambang Soegijono at the University of Indonesia. Their goal is to establish a collaborative project to investigate the effect of hydrogen and water vapor on the oxidation of chromia-forming alloys for use as interconnect materials in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs).
  • In SOFC interconnects, the issue is particularly complicated as the alloys are simultaneously exposed to different atmospheres with different oxygen and hydrogen partial pressures. The careful and systematic control and measurement of hydrogen during oxidation in the proposed work will improve understanding of this complicated phenomenon.
  • There is sufficient overlap of interests between researchers at Auburn University and the Indonesian Institutions to indicate that they can successfully pursue the activities proposed, and that the interaction will benefit both sides.
  • Co-organized by U.S. & foreign investigator
  • NSF supports U.S. participants
  • Identify areas of joint research; purpose is to develop new, targeted collaborations
  • Outcome should be a proposal to one of the disciplinary offices within NSF
  • Priorities vary by region
workshop sustainability in engineering and architectural design green buildings
Workshop:Sustainability In Engineering And Architectural Design - Green Buildings
  • PI: Fouad, Fouad
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • To be held in Cairo, Egypt in March 2009.
  • The Egyptian organizer is Dr. Omima Salah el Din, Housing and Building Research Center (HBRC), Cairo, Egypt.
  • Participation is Expected from the U.S., Egypt and neighboring countries.
  • Sustainable architectural and engineering green design have come to the forefront for their use of products and materials that conserve natural resources, provide greater energy efficiency, reduce pollution, and create a healthier and safer environment. A multitude of products, materials and systems are now being marketed for sustainable and green building construction.
  • However, the information on green materials and construction methods is fragmented and not well understood. The workshop will address the area of green building design by facilitating interactions and fostering partnerships among international experts from North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
  • As a direct outcome of the workshop, it is expected that the Egyptian Housing and Building Research Center (HBRC) will establish a joint task force with participating U.S. scientists for developing an Egyptian "green" building design code.
pan american advanced studies institutes pasi
Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI)
  • Short courses of two to four weeks duration, at the advanced graduate and post-doctoral level.
  • Courses should involve distinguished lecturers and active researchers in the field, preferably from the Americas.
  • PASIs aim to disseminate advanced scientific knowledge and stimulate training and cooperation among researchers of the Americas in the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences, and in engineering fields
recently funded pasi s
Recently Funded PASI’s
  • Modern challenges in statistical mechanics - Argentina
  • Study of surfaces, interfaces and catalysis - Venezuela
  • Physics at the nanometer scale - Argentina
  • Green chemistry - Uruguay
  • Quantum information - Brazil
  • Materials for energy conversion and environmental protection – Brazil
  • Process Systems Engineering – Argentina
partnerships for international research and education pire
Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
  • Cutting Edge scientific research
  • Strong international partners
  • Innovative models
  • Involvement of students & junior researchers
  • Institutional resources (IT, language/culture, curriculum, study abroad, other)
  • 14-17, 5-year awards of up to $2.5M each
  • Eligibility: Ph.D. granting in U.S. (20 in 2 years)
  • Prelim proposal deadline: October 30, 2008 (limit 3 per institution)
  • AfricaArray is a long-term initiative to promote coupled training and research programs for building and maintaining a scientific workforce for Africa’s natural resource sector. Africa’s natural resource sector (petroleum, minerals, and water, in particular) is a major driving force for economic development. Africa is a primary source of strategic and base metals for the world market. Petroleum production from sub-Saharan African countries alone may provide 25% of U.S. oil imports by 2015. Water resources are needed for supporting sustainable livelihoods throughout the continent, and in some countries geothermal reservoirs provide an important energy source.
  • U.S. scientists, primarily from Pennsylvania State University and North Carolina A & T University, partner with scientists in Africa (in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe), as part of a broad initiative called AfricaArray, to image the African Superplume using data gathered during a 4-year passive seismic experiment in eastern Africa that will sample a critical region in the mid-mantle where there could be a connection between anomalous upper mantle under eastern Africa and anomalous lower mantle beneath central and southern Africa.
  • The name “AfricaArray” refers to an array of shared training programs, an array of shared scientific observatories, scientists across the continent working on an array of shared projects, and above all, a shared vision that Africa will retain capacity in an array of scientific fields vital to the development of its natural resource sector.
  • Introduction to NSF
  • International Collaboration at NSF
  • Support for Faculty
  • Programs for Postdoctoral researchers
  • Programs for students
postdoctoral researchers
Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Participation in NSF disciplinary awards
  • Disciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • International Research Fellowships
international research fellowships
International Research Fellowships
  • Designed to introduce young scientists to international research opportunities
  • Provides support to carry out research at science and engineering establishments in foreign countries
  • Research experiences range from tenures of 9 to 24 months
  • Applications from women and minorities, and for work in developing countries are especially encouraged.
international research fellowships eligibility requirements
International Research Fellowships – Eligibility Requirements
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Applicants must have a Ph.D. by the time IRFP tenure begins
  • Applicants cannot have had their Ph.D. longer than two years at the time of application
  • Deadline in 2008 will be the Second Tuesday In September!
international research fellow dr clinton epps
International Research Fellow: Dr. Clinton Epps
  • This award will support a twenty-four-month research fellowship by Dr. Clinton W. Epps to work with Professor Benezeth Mutayoba, Sokoine University of Agriculture of Tanzania, Mr. Bakari Mbano, Wildlife Conservation Society-Ruaha, Tanzania, Dr. Simon Mduma, CIMU-TAWIRI and Dr. Justin Brashares, University of California, Berkeley.
  • With the rapid conversion and utilization of habitats and species, the world's wild flora and fauna increasingly are restricted to nature reserves. However, area and edge effects, as well as the inability of isolated species to escape catastrophes and climate change, mean that reserves may be insufficient as the sole means of protecting biodiversity. Loss of species can be reduced by maintaining connectivity between reserves, thereby greatly increasing the total habitat area available to a population while also facilitating gene flow.
  • However, creating or maintaining connectivity is a complex problem affected by species' biological traits, habitat availability, and natural and anthropogenic landscape features. The goal of this study is to determine how biogeographic and anthropogenic factors have affected current and long-term historical patterns of connectivity for ungulate populations in East Africa.
  • Introduction to NSF
  • International Collaboration at NSF
  • Support for Faculty
  • Programs for Postdoctoral researchers
  • Programs for students
support for students
Support for Students
  • Participation in NSF disciplinary awards
  • Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program
  • Graduate Research Fellowships
  • Participation in OISE planning visits or workshops
  • Dissertation Enhancement Awards
  • East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI)
  • International Research Experiences for Students
  • International REU’s
dissertation enhancement research
Dissertation Enhancement Research
  • Supports doctoral student research in a foreign country
  • Must be collaborative, with evidence of intellectual involvement of foreign institution
  • U.S. faculty mentor is PI on proposal
  • Up to $15,000 per award for up to 2 years
  • Apply to NSF disciplinary program or OISE
  • Deadlines: 9/15 and 2/15 annually for OISE; may vary for disciplinary programs
a dissertation enhancement award sbe kenya
A Dissertation Enhancement Award (SBE) - Kenya
  • Poverty and HIV-Positive Women in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Graduate student, Toni Copeland, supervised by Dr. Kathryn S. Oths, will use cognitive anthropological methods to explore a shared cultural model of self-managing HIV/AIDS among extremely poor HIV-positive women who are not receiving biomedical treatment in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Cultural consensus analysis will be used to statistically determine if the length of time women have lived in Nairobi is associated with their knowledge of the model of managing their illness.
  • Women's knowledge will also be compared to their level of NGO involvement, reported perceived stress, depressive symptoms, locus of control, and recent illness symptoms, or overall health.
eapsi applicant eligibility
EAPSI Applicant Eligibility
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled at U.S. institution in a research oriented master’s, M.D. or Ph.D. degree program
  • Fields of science or engineering supported by NSF and represented among host institutions
  • December 12, 2006--Application deadline
Unprecedented Number of Howard Students Selected by NSF for International Research
  • April 25, 2006 In the Summer of 2006, Howard University will send its largest number of students ever to study and do research in Asia as a result of successful applications to the National Science Foundation by four Howard graduate students in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.Three of the four students, Ebonie Loftin, Ngizambote Mavana, and James Tolbert II, all master's students in Computer Science, were selected for the NSF's East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes to do research in South Korea. With three students selected for South Korea, Howard University led all universities in the United States in students selected for that country. The fourth student, Kenneth Bird, a third-year doctoral student in Electrical Engineering, was selected to do research in China.
international research experiences for students ires
International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)
  • Can include graduate and undergraduate students
  • Supports small groups of students in a focused field
  • Awards of up to $50,000 per year for up to 3 years
  • Deadlines: 9/15 and 2/15
IRES: Research, Education, and Industry Experiences for Students in Acoustics and Non-Destructive Evaluation (India)
  • PI: Chetan Sankar, Auburn University
  • This award supports academic and industrial research experiences in India for engineering students at Auburn University.
  • The research focus is in the leading edge areas of acoustics and non-destructive evaluation. This project will enable collaboration between Auburn and the IIT Madras where Auburn students will travel to India, team with local Indian students, and work in local industry research laboratories to solve engineering problems in acoustics and non-destructive testing.
  • In addition to strengthening their research skills, students participating in this project will benefit by broadening their contacts and developing deeper insights into global R&D issues.
IRES: Population Dynamics and Metabolic Interactions Between Giant Sea Anemones and Symbiotic Anemonefish On Red Sea Coral Reefs(Jordan)
  • PI: Nanette Chadwick, Auburn University
  • The foreign collaborators are Dr. Fouad Al-Horani and Dr. Maroof Khalaf, both at the Marine Science Station (MSS) in Aqaba, Jordan.
  • Giant sea anemones and anemonefish form one of the most conspicuous and recognizable symbiotic interactions on coral reefs.
  • More information is needed on patterns of population dynamics in both host anemones and anemonefish in the northern Red Sea. The coral reefs of Jordan at the northern tip of the Red Sea support large populations of these.
  • The facilities of the MSS provide a unique opportunity to combine the expertise of U.S. and Jordanian scientists in a synergistic program to elucidate population dynamics and physiological mechanisms of interaction in these ecologically important reef organisms.
  • In the first year, students will develop hypotheses concerning the application of static population models to the population size structures of sea anemones and anemonefish, and concerning the ecophysiology of host sea anemones.