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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) 2017

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological, Physical, & Social Sciences
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:June 21, 2016
Subject:NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) 2017 NSF 16-571


Deadline for Internal Review:July 25, 2016

Project Description

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF-supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community.

International partnerships are essential to addressing critical science and engineering problems. In the global context, U.S. researchers and educators must be able to operate effectively in teams with partners from different national environments and cultural backgrounds. PIRE promotes excellence in science and engineering through international collaboration and facilitates development of a diverse, globally-engaged, U.S. science and engineering workforce.

This PIRE competition will be open to all areas of science and engineering research which are supported by the NSF.


  1. Support excellence in science and engineering research and education through international collaboration.
  2. Promote opportunities where international collaboration can provide unique advantages of scope, scale, flexibility, expertise, facilities, or access to phenomena, 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.

Amount per award:    $4 million
Duration of award:       5 years
Number of awards:    8 – 12 awards

UW-Madison is allowed to submit 1 pre-proposal as the lead institution.  Full proposals will be subsequently invited by NSF.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Project Summary: (1 page maximum) Describe the concept of the proposed PIRE project, including why the international partnership is critical to the project success. Separately address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the project. The summary should be informative to those working in the same or related field(s), and understandable to a scientifically or technically literate reader.
  3. Project Description (6 page maximum): The Project Description should take the form of a concept paper that clearly outlines the research challenges being addressed or breakthroughs being sought in the proposed PIRE project. The proposed approaches must be innovative and must show clear benefit from international collaboration (for example, expertise, facilities, resources, access to phenomena) and active engagement of US students and junior researchers. Include the following elements:
    1. Administrative Summary (1 page maximum) should include:
      • title of the project
      • principal investigator
      • length of study (maximum 5 years)
      • estimated total budget (does not need to be itemized)
      • lead institution
      • list of partner institutions and key researchers
      • If the proposal is to be considered for Additional Funding Opportunity(ies) as described in Section II.D., explicitly name the funding partner agency(ies).
    2. Research Summary (3 page maximum): Summarize the main ideas and essence of the proposed research. Describe the issue/topic the proposed research is trying to address, the overall goal, approaches, expected outcomes, and the synergy that each participant brings to the project.
    3. Education Summary (2 page maximum): Describe the goals of the proposed education activities, and how the integration of research and education will advance the proposed PIRE project in a way that other funding mechanisms cannot. A justification for education programs and activities should be included and described in the context of current knowledge of teaching and learning.

Sponsor Deadlines

Pre-Proposals are due to National Science Foundation by September 14, 2016. Applications are due to National Science Foundation by April 24, 2017.