International Science and Engineering (OISE)

To enable the U.S.

research community to maintain its excellence in science, engineering, and leadership within the global scientific community by strengthening international partnerships that foster the advancement of scientific discovery and thereby contribute to the continued scientific strength
and welfare of the Nation; to promote research excellence through international collaboration; to develop a diverse, globally engaged U.S.

science and engineering workforce by providing U.S.

students and junior faculty with international research and education experience.

The research supported is basic in character.

The program includes support of international research and education projects that are innovative and catalytic.

OISE programs are designed to complement and enhance the Foundation's research and education portfolio and to overcome barriers involved in international collaboration.

Grants are made in all the disciplinary fields supported by NSF.

Support is provided for international collaborative research; research workshops and planning visits; activities that will develop the next generation of U.S.

scientists and engineers such as graduate traineeships, postdoctoral fellowships, special opportunities for junior faculty for research support, and dissertation enhancements; and for U.S.

Government support to key multilateral organizations to enable U.S.

scientists to participate in such global efforts.

Support is also provided for undergraduate student international research and education experiences, and for research opportunities for women, minorities, and disabled scientists and engineers.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

"The Consortium of the Americas for Interdisciplinary Sciences: Present-day Kinematics and Dynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean and Caucasus;" "US-Africa Planning Visit: Collaborations in Cultural Astronomy;" "NSF East Asia Summer Institutes for US Graduate Students;" "US-Africa Planning Visit: Undergraduate Engineering Research in Ghana and Kenya"; US-France (INRIA) Cooperative Research: Symbolic and Numerical Methods for Geometric Modeling.

Agency - National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation is an independent Federal agency created to promote the progress of science, to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare and to secure the national defense. The NSF annually funds approximately 20 percent of basic, Federally-supported college and university research.

Website Address

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2006, 713 competitive proposals were received and 320 awards were made. In FY 2007, 778 proposals were received and 355 awards were made. In FY 2008 approximately 875 competitive proposals are expected to be received and about 350 awards made.

Uses and Use Restrictions

International cooperative scientific activities provide funds for U. S. scientists and engineers to carry out studies abroad, to conduct research, to engage in joint research projects with foreign counterpart organizations, and to support international workshops focused on well-defined scientific opportunities in the United States and abroad; travel must be on U. S. flag carriers.

In some programs, support is provided by paying costs necessary to conduct research, such as salaries, equipment, supplies, travel, publications, and other direct and indirect costs.

Primary responsibility for general supervision of all grant activities rests with the grantee institution; the project director or principal investigator is responsible for the execution of the research activities.

Grants are made on a competitive basis.

For all programs, funds may not be used for purposes other than those specified in the proposal.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public and private colleges and universities; Non-profit, non-academic organizations; For-profit organizations; State and Local Governments; and unaffiliated scientists under special circumstances.

See the Grant Proposal Guide for a full description of eligibility requirements.

Beneficiary Eligibility

See the Grant Proposal Guide, Section I.E. for a full description of eligibility requirements.


Proposals must be signed electronically by an official authorized to commit the institution or organization in business and financial affairs and who can commit the organization to certain proposal certifications. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-21 for colleges and universities and A-122 for nonprofit organizations. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

For some international bilateral research programs, proposals may be developed between the two scientists for submission to the implementing agencies in both countries at the same time.

Proposals must be cooperative in nature and be approved by implementing agencies in both countries.

For other programs a preliminary proposal may be required.

If applicable, the program solicitation will provide specific information.

For all programs it is suggested that an initial inquiry be made before a proposal is submitted to determine whether a potential project qualifies for NSF support.

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No.


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

For project support, submission of a formal proposal, signed electronically by an official authorized to commit the institution or organization in financial affairs, fully documenting the planned activity and proposed amount of award. Guidelines are contained in publications, "Grant Proposal Guide," and "FY 2004 Guide to Programs," NSF 04-009. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

NSF staff members review and evaluate all proposals. To assist them, they usually obtain the advice of scientists and engineers who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Proposals are supported on the basis of merit to the extent permitted by available funds.


Many NSF programs accept proposals at any time. Other programs, however, establish due dates for submission of proposals. NSF utilizes Target Dates, Deadline Dates, and Submission Windows. Consult the Grant Proposal Guide, Section I.F. for a further description of these types of due dates.


National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, Public Law 107-368, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The normal duration is from 5 to 9 months.


The project director or principal investigator may request, in writing, that the Foundation reconsider its action in declining any proposal, renewal, or continuing grant proposal.


Proposals for renewal of awards, containing the same type of information as the original proposal, should be submitted 6 to 9 months before the expiration of the original award. Renewals are treated in competition with pending proposals.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

For some international cooperative research projects, funds may be contributed from both countries. In these cases, each country assumes responsibility for support of its own participation in the project within its own territory. Cost-sharing does not apply to any international program. The Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)(Sec. II) and the Grant Policy Manual (Sec. 330) provide additional information on the general NSF policy on cost-sharing.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Up to 5 years.

Post Assistance Requirements


For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant program office at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Within 90 days after the expiration of a grant, the PI is required to submit a final project report.

For travel grants, a travel report is required.

Quarterly Federal Cash Transaction Reports are required.

Other reporting requirements may be imposed via the grant instrument.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each award to ensure that funds are used for the general purpose for which the award was made. Records are subject to inspection during the life of the award and for 3 years thereafter.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $40,360,000; FY 08 est $41,340,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$500 to $2,000,000; $40,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

48 CFR Chapter 25; 45 CFR Chapter VI; "2004 Guide to Programs, " NSF 04-009 (; and "Grant Proposal Guide," (

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Office of International Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 935, Arlington, VA 22230. Telephone: (703) 292-8710. .

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities. On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions. In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative. Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects. The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgments. What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources? What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society? NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions: Integration of Research and Education. One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery andenrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives. Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities. Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

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