OSP FO# 11-181

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE)/Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)/Directorate for Computer and Information Science Engineering (CISE)/Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR)/Directorate for Engineering (ENG)/Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)/Directorate for Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS)/Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)/Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI)/Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)/Office of Polar Programs (OPP)/U.K. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)/UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)/Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation/Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)/Inter-American Inst for Global Change Research/US Agency for International Development (USAID)/ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

PROGRAM: Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration and to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community. This fourth round of the PIRE competition will focus exclusively on the NSF-wide investment area of Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES). The SEES effort focuses on interdisciplinary topics that will advance sustainability science, engineering and education as an integrative approach to the challenges of adapting to environmental, social and cultural changes associated with growth and development of human populations, and attaining a sustainable energy future.

The objectives of the program are to:

1. Support excellence in science, engineering, and education for sustainability (SEES) through international collaboration.
2. Promote opportunities where international collaboration can provide unique advantages of scope, scale, flexibility, or facilities, enabling advances that could not occur otherwise.
3. Engage and share resources and research infrastructure within and across institutions to build strong international partnerships.
4. Create and promote opportunities for students and early career researchers to participate in substantive international research experiences.

PIRE partners share an ambitious research vision that integrates research and education. The project theme may involve any area of research that falls within the broad scope of the SEES initiative. PIRE projects may vary in size and exhibit diverse forms of organization, collaboration, and operation suited to their individual needs. PIRE projects must include collaboration with foreign research partners and international research experiences for students to promote a diverse internationally competitive science and engineering workforce. NSF is committed to the principle of diversity and expects PIRE projects to involve groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels (faculty, students and postdoctoral researchers).

Please see the program announcement below for further program details.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: A single organization may submit only one preliminary proposal as the lead institution. Full proposals will be accepted by invitation only. There is no limit on the number of proposals on which an institution can participate as a partner. Institutions holding current PIRE awards are eligible to apply only if submitted proposals are significantly different in scope from those previously awarded.

B.U. Internal Deadline: September 5, 2011
Preliminary Proposals (required): October 19, 2011
Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation only): May 15, 2012

FUNDING INFORMATION: The NSF anticipates providing $10 million to $15 million annually, for all awards, pending the availability of funds. NSF anticipates awarding 10 to 15 standard or continuing grants and the average award size is expected to be approximately $4 million over 5 years.

Maija Kukla
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-4940
Email: PIRE-info@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11564/nsf11564.htm

INTERNAL REVIEW PROCESS: Institutions may submit one preliminary proposal. To screen potential preliminary proposals for this competition, an internal deadline has been established. Principal Investigators (PIs) interested in submitting an application should provide the following proposal information to their Associate Dean by Monday, September 5, 2011 for internal review purposes:

1. Project description (maximum length 4 pages) should include items a – d:
(a)   describe the concept of the proposed PIRE project, including why the international partnership is critical to the project success;
(b)   describe the current landscape for conducting international research and education collaboration within the project’s discipline(s) and institutions, noting opportunities as well as barriers to full engagement of faculty, students and institutions;
(c)   describe how the project will impact that landscape both within and beyond the PI’s research group (e.g., at the level of department, faculty/school, institution, and/or multi-institutional consortium or network);
(d)   address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activity (the NSF Merit Review criteria).
2. Budget and budget justification (2 pages).
3. Biographical sketches: include 2-page NSF format biographical sketch for PI and Co-PIs, and other Senior Personnel
4. Review comments from any previous PIRE submission.

Following the Dean’s assessment of the internal application, it will be forwarded to OSP-CRC Director Joan Kirkendall for review and then to the Office of the VP for Research for final selection. PIs will be informed if their proposal is selected for submission in time to complete and process their proposal for final review.

REMARKS: Preliminary proposals must be submitted via FastLane, NSF’s web-based system for proposal submission and review, even if full proposals will be submitted via Grants.gov. Applications must be submitted electronically using either the NSF FastLane system or Grants.gov. Collaborative proposals must be submitted via FastLane. For more information about FastLane, or to register as a FastLane user, please contact India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu)in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. Information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP web site at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. In addition, for investigators interested in submitting proposals via Grants.gov, NSF has published the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide which may be found online at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf. Investigators should contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through either FastLane or Grants.gov.

Complete program guidelines and application material (NSF 11-564 and NSF GPG 11-1) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.