bridges vol. 38, August 2013 / Noteworthy Information
On June 20, 2013, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) jointly announced 54 new research projects in 32 countries. Funded through a joint initiative, the projects aim to foster collaborative global research in critical areas of development. USAID directly supports researchers in developing countries who are working with NSF-funded US scientists. Support flows through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science competitive grants program.
Since its beginning just two years ago, PEER Science has invested US$12 million in 98 projects in 42 countries. Previous PEER Science awardees are already seeing the positive impacts of collaborative efforts: for example, those that model the risk of landslides and earthquakes in Lebanon and Bangladesh, monitor and decrease air pollution in Mongolia, and improve the resilience of Indonesian coral reefs and related habitats subjected to climate stress.
The 54 new PEER Science awardees will receive nearly US$7.5 million in USAID funding to collaborate in a variety of pressing research areas such as sustainable agroforestry systems, groundwater purification, biodiversity conservation, volcano risk reduction, drought and climate change mitigation, and pollution remediation, among other scientific education- and training-related projects. PEER Science awardees were selected from nearly 300 high-quality proposals and represent more than US$76 million of leveraged NSF funding through collaborations with their US research partners. DeAndra Beck, NSF's program director for developing countries, noted: "PEER Science has advanced US research collaboration globally, both by strengthening existing research partnerships between US and developing-country scientists and by fostering new ones on topics of common interest." Fifteen countries as geographically divergent as Brazil, Burma, Iraq, Mozambique, and the West Bank and Gaza are among first-time PEER Science funding recipients. A list of new projects may be found on USAID's web site.
Announcement of the third call for PEER Science proposals is expected in early September 2013.