Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States have entered into a new agreement designed to help support international research partnerships between the two countries.
The new two-way lead agency agreement enables a simplified and flexible process for researchers wishing to apply for UK-US collaborative research funding, using the usual systems and processes of the respective funding agencies.
The new agreement is first being piloted by the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate of the NSF (SBE) in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
One of the main goals of the agreement is to reduce the current barriers that exist to researchers with an international remit. Previously a researcher would have needed to submit separate proposals to their respective funding agencies with no guarantee both would take on the research. This two-way agreement overcomes this problem.
The agreement allows researchers to follow a familiar procedure to the ones they are used to. Proposals will go through the normal submission and assessment processes of the lead agency and, if selected for funding, the non-lead agency will agree to fund the research in their country.
It also allows the submission of joint proposals between US and UK researchers to either the NSF or one of the participating councils, depending on the balance of research and funds. The agency which the proposal is submitted to is considered the lead agency.
The process will be researcher led so they will decide whether their proposal is to be UK- or US-led.Â UK-led proposals will be submitted via the standard responsive mode calls of the respective Research Councils which are open year-round which allows researchers to decide when they want to submit.
Further information:Â Groundbreaking two-way lead agency pilotÂ (ESRC website)