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Grants to USA and Israel Scientists for Collaborative Scientific Research Projects in Physics


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NSF-BSF Program in Physics

United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) - Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) - Division of Physics

Agency: Federal

GrantWatch ID #166923

Grant Description

Grants to USA and Israel scientists affiliated with nonprofit organizations, IHEs, and government agencies for collaborative physics research projects. Funding is intended to support partnerships between Israeli and American scientists covering a wide range of physics disciplines.

The Division of Physics (PHY) supports physics research and the preparation of future scientists in the nation's colleges and universities across a broad range of physics disciplines that span scales of space and time from the largest to the smallest and the oldest to the youngest. The Division is comprised of disciplinary programs covering experimental and theoretical research in the following major subfields of physics: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Elementary Particle Physics; Gravitational Physics; Integrative Activities in Physics; Nuclear Physics; Particle Astrophysics; Physics at the Information Frontier; Physics of Living Systems; Plasma Physics; and Quantum Information Science. Principal Investigators (PIs) are encouraged to consider including specific efforts to increase diversity of the physics community and broaden participation of under-represented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Cooperative research is a fundamental requirement for the BSF and is viewed by the Foundation as active collaboration between Israeli and American scientists. A joint research program must be presented in the form of a single, coordinated application, in which the roles and tasks of the respective partners are clearly defined. Each application should have at least two principal investigators (but not more than six), one from an Israeli institution and one from a U.S. institution.

Cooperation should involve joint planning of research and evaluation of results, and may take the form of:

  • Joint research activities where interdependent projects of a single program are conducted in different laboratories and may involve shared funding or different sources of funding.
  • Provision of research facilities, materials, equipment and/or services to cooperating scientists.
  • Exchange of personnel.

Eligible expenses can be found on page 12 of the Regulation document. See Attached Files below.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications must be developed and written jointly by a team of Israeli and U.S. scientists that hold academic appointments in their respective countries and are eligible to apply for external funding at organizations such as NSF and BSF.

1. For the BSF submission: Israeli principal investigators must have obtained a PhD, MD or an equivalent degree, and must be faculty members or the equivalent of the submitting institutions. Graduate students or postgraduate fellows are not eligible to submit applications.

2. Scientists who wish to apply for grants must submit their applications through a legal entity. The BSF accepts research applications from non-profit organizations only, including institutions of higher learning, government research institutions and hospitals. Although applications cannot be submitted by for-profit or industrial organizations, one of the principal investigators may be affiliated with such an organization. However, the research performed by the investigator affiliated with a for-profit organization will not be funded by the BSF, unless specified differently.

3. In keeping with an amendment, signed on 28 October 2020, to the original agreement between the U.S. and Israeli governments, the Foundation sponsors US-Israel collaborative research with participation of all Israeli academic institutions, including research carried out in geographic areas that came under the administration of the Government of Israel after June 5, 1967.

4. It is noted here that the BSF does not invite applications involving, directly or indirectly, the Arab-Israeli conflict. Any application that is related to any aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict should be discussed with the BSF staff before submission. The Foundation reserves the right to reject such applications, if in its sole discretion, it deems these not consistent with its mission.

5. The following additional rules apply to this program:
- A U.S. scientist submitting an application with an Israeli colleague to the NSF is only subject to the NSF eligibility rules.
- Each Israeli scientist is allowed to submit up to two NSF-BSF applications/year. The second submission is allowed if at least one of them is to any of the NSF-BSF programs that have no deadline.
- An Israeli with an active BSF research grant is allowed to submit an application to any of the NSF-BSF programs.
- An Israeli with an active NSF-BSF grant is allowed to submit an NSF-BSF application, if either the grant or the new submission is to one of the NSF-BSF programs that has no deadline. Otherwise, a submission is allowed only in the last year of the active grant.
- It is allowed to submit both to an NSF-BSF program and the regular BSF program, including similar applications. In the event that grants are awarded in both programs, both will be funded, unless the research applications are mostly similar, or significantly overlap, in which case only the NSF-BSF program will be funded by the BSF.
- In case of similar NSF-BSF and regular BSF applications, in which the NSF evaluation of the NSFBSF application was not completed by the time the regular BSF awards are made, the BSF will defer its decision regarding a possible grant to this application, until the NSF-BSF awards are announced.

For additional eligibility information, see page 3 of Call for Proposals in Attached Files, below.

Meetings at conferences or other locations outside of the investigators’ institutions, which were allowed in recent years, are no longer supported. In the NSF-BSF program, the BSF grant may be used only by members of the Israeli research team, and it cannot be used to cover any of the travel expenses of the U.S. PI to Israel.

The BSF will not fund infrastructure or purchasing of standard equipment.

Excluded Areas:
- Solid State Physics – At the NSF, this area of Physics is handled by the Division of Materials Research, which also receives joint research proposals with the BSF.
- Physics Education – BSF does not support proposals with educational objectives.

Pre-Application Information:

Full proposals should be submitted to the BSF according to the following deadlines:
- Basic Plasma Sciences and Engineering – no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on Nov. 27, 2022 (NSF deadline is November 21, 2022).
- Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics – Experiment and Theory; Gravitational Physics – Experiment and Theory; Integrative Activities in Physics; LIGO Research Support- no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on Nov. 29, 2022 (NSF deadline is November 23, 2022).
- Nuclear Physics – Experiment and Theory; Elementary Particle Physics – Experiment; Particle Astrophysics – Experiment - no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on December 12, 2022 (NSF deadline is December 6, 2022)
- Elementary Particle Physics – Theory; Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology – Theory; Quantum Information Science; Physics of Living Systems - no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on December 19, 2022 (NSF deadline is December 13, 2022).

The full proposals will be submitted to the program twice.
Step 1: The U.S. applicant will submit the NSF-BSF proposal following the NSF regulations and submission procedures.
Step 2: The Israeli applicant will submit the identical proposal as a pdf document to the BSF, including all information regarding the U.S. applicant(s), and adhere to relevant BSF regulations regarding proposal submission.

The NSF accepts applications only from U.S. scientists and submission to the NSF-BSF program should be made only by the U.S. applicant. The proposal is recognized as an NSF-BSF application by adding the prefixed “NSF-BSF:” to the proposal title. The role of the Israeli applicant(s) and the nature of the collaboration must be described in the different sections of the proposal, e.g. sections with details of work plan, time line etc. Furthermore, it should be clearly explained why the contribution of the Israeli PI is critical to the success of the proposed study.

All inquiries regarding the suitability of the research topic must be made by the U.S. applicant(s) to the relevant program directors at NSF. BSF will not respond to any query regarding topic eligibility.

Israeli applicants are advised that they should pay particular attention to the NSF evaluation criteria,


Submission information:

About PHY:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

The size of the grant to the Israeli is expected to be larger than traditional BSF grants, possibly up to $80,000/year for experimental studies and $55,000/year for theoretical and computer-based studies. If more than a single Israeli group is involved in the research, the budget may be increased by up to 50%.

Contact Information:

For U.S. submissions to the NSF:

For Israeli submissions to the BSF:

Other questions regarding this call for proposals can be discussed with the BSF staff by mail or by phone (972-2-5828239):

Dr. Rachel (Heni) Haring ( ext. 110)

Ms. Yael Dressler ( ext. 103).

Questions regarding the online application system should be directed to Ms. Orli Rozencwajg ( ext. 109).

United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)
Bynet Building
8 Hamarpeh Street
Har Hotzvim
P.O. Box 45086
Jerusalem 91450, Israel

RFP & Supporting Documents:

Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.

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