Starting in 2012, the BSF expects to launch a series of joint funding programs with the National Science Foundation (NSF), using special grants from the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Council of Higher Education. The first of these programs is with the Chemistry division of the NSF, which has been running an international grant program for several years (ICC-International Collaboration in Chemistry). Israel has been added recently to the list of participating countries, which includes Austria, Brazil, France, Japan, Luxembourg, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The BSF will serve as the funding agency for the Israeli scientists.
Basic structure of the program is simple, and is quite similar to the types of projects that the BSF has supported for the past 40 years. Scientists from Israel and the U.S. will write together a proposal for a joint research project, which will be conducted partly in Israel and partly in the U.S. The U.S. scientist will submit the proposal to the NSF, and if the proposal is selected, will receive a regular grant from the NSF. The Israeli scientist, together with his U.S. collaborator, will submit the same core proposal (same pre-proposal and later the same 15 pages of program description) to the BSF, using the BSF submission system and special instructions. If selected, the Israeli scientist will receive a BSF grant, which is planned to be larger than a regular BSF grant.
Grant selection will be made in two stages, with a short pre-proposal that will be followed by a full proposal. The pre-proposal stage is designed mostly to examine the eligibility of the application, rather than its scientific merit. Evaluation of the full proposals will be made mainly by the NSF, but with BSF participation. The criteria for reviewing, as well as instructions to the reviewers and panel members, will be those of the NSF, which are somewhat different than those of the BSF.
Further details can be found in the Call for Proposals and in the submission instructions.
We believe that this program has the potential to significantly upgrade the scientific cooperation between Israel and the U.S. in chemistry. Furthermore, based on the long history of BSF supported joint research, we expect that interest in the program will be high, and that it will prove to be very successful.
For the NSF program description: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12562/nsf12562.htm
(includes also the relevant sub disciplines)