NSF: PIRE - Partnerships for International Research and Education

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.

The official announcement and description of this opportunity may be found on the agency's website:

Estimated Number of Awards: 8 to 12, pending the availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $8,000,000 to $12,000,000 annually, for all new awards, pending the availability of funds; the average award size is expected to be approximately $4 million over 5 years.

Number of Institutional Nominations Allowed: A single organization may submit one preliminary proposal as the lead institution. Full proposals will be accepted by invitation only.

There is no limit on the number of proposals in which an institution can participate as a partner.

Number of Applications
8 to 12, pending the availability of funds.
Amount of Funding

$8,000,000 to $12,000,000 annually, for all new awards, pending the availability of funds; the average award size is expected to be approximately $4 million over 5 years.


Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Associate Deans for Research prior to internal submission to assure they meet eligibility criteria and their projects meet stated program objectives.

  1. The PI must be an employee representing a U.S. Ph.D.-granting institution.
  2. U.S. citizenship of the PI and other researchers on the U.S. team is not required.
  3. Collaborators in other countries should be listed as Foreign Collaborators, not as PIs, Co-PIs or other Senior Personnel.
  4. Although submission is limited to one proposal per submitting institution, there is no limit on number of proposals in which researchers can participate as partners or collaborators.

Program Objectives:

  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.


Characteristics of PIRE Projects:

PIRE partners share an ambitious research vision that integrates research and education. The project theme may involve any area of science and engineering research that is supported by NSF. 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). Underrepresented groups include women, persons with disabilities, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Increasing the participation of a diverse U.S. citizenry by creating opportunities and enabling them to contribute is essential to the health and vitality of science, engineering, and education.

Submission Process

Step 1

Anyone wishing to pursue nomination for the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Award should submit the application materials detailed below as one PDF email attachment to Stephanie Endy no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2016.


  1. Cover letter addressing alignment with the program objectives
  2. Full C.V. with funding history
  3. One-page scientific abstract
Step 2

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by July 29, 2016.

Step 3

Funding agency deadline is September 14, 2016.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
07/22/2016 07/29/2016 09/07/2016 09/14/2016 CLOSED