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Regular Research Grant Program

Grants to USA and Israel Scientists at Nonprofit
Institutions for Collaborative Science Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)

Deadline Date:

11/20/18 5:00 PM Israel Time (10:00 AM EST) - for Investigators in the Regular Grant Program; Deadline for Institutional Authority Approval for Israeli Institutions is 11/22/18 5:00 PM Israel Time; Deadline for Institutional Authority Approval for US Institutions is 11/27/18 10:00 AM EST; Deadline for Receipt of Paper Copy is 11/27/18 5:00 PM Israel Time (10:00 AM EST)


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Grants to USA and Israel scientists affiliated with nonprofit IHEs, government agencies, and hospitals to carry out cooperative research across a broad range of scientific disciplines. Proposals must involve the active cooperation between USA and Israel-based scientists. Prior to the submission of applications, applicants must complete the cooperative arrangement necessary to present a joint application.

The Board of Governors determines the research areas eligible for support. Areas of research alternate on a yearly basis.

In even calendar years (2018, 2020, etc) the areas are:
- Chemistry
- Computer Sciences
- Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (Starting 2018 “physical oceanography” and “aquatic geochemistry” are part of this section)
- Economics
- Energy Research
- Environmental Research (Air, Water, and/or Soil)
- Materials Research
- Mathematical Sciences
- Physics
- Sociology and Anthropology
- Psychology (excluding Psychobiology)

In odd calendar years (2017, 2019, etc) the BSF supports research projects in the following broad areas:
- Biomedical Engineering
- Health Sciences
- Life Sciences (Starting from 2017, including Ecology; note also that the sub-areas of Ecology were redefined)
- Psychobiology

The BSF supports bilateral, cooperative research by U.S. and Israeli scientists conducted in both countries.

Cooperative Research:

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.

Although not mandatory, the BSF expects that if the research leads to publications, they will be authored jointly by the Israeli and American PIs, expressing the collaborative nature of the work.

The BSF also expects that the PIs from both countries will be involved in preparing the application, particularly the research plan. When it is apparent that this was not the case, it is considered to indicate a lack of cooperation and it hinders the chances of the application to be funded.

Prior cooperation between the PIs is not a prerequisite, and the establishment of new research teams is welcomed by the BSF.

Research applications should provide sufficient information to establish the following:
- Objectives and merit of the proposed research (including importance, novelty, uniqueness, etc.)
- Suitability of methods to be employed
- Qualifications of investigators and adequacy of facilities available at the applicants’ institutions or research sites
- Nature of the collaboration between U.S. and Israeli partners
- Level of funding and time frame required to perform the research

Please note also the following:
-The way the requested support is divided among the PIs has little bearing on the chances of success, and may affect only the size of the grant.
-Reducing the project duration will not necessarily increase the annual budget.
-In a start-up application a senior scientist will not be funded.

BSF support may cover the following expenses:

The BSF may audit payments made to individuals working in the framework of the grant. Accordingly, the applicant should consult his institution and, if necessary, the institution should have such employees sign a salary disclosure.

Principal Investigators:
Principal investigators of either country are not entitled to receive any part of their salary or supplement to their salary from the BSF. This rule applies also to PIs who are Research Associates and draw their salary from external sources. The BSF also does not allow summer salary for faculty members.

Other Scientists:
No scientist on the full-time paid staff of the grantee institution may receive any salary or supplement to salary from a BSF grant. In the case of a scientist employed part-time by the institution, a salary may be paid commensurate with the time to be devoted to the project, provided that such salary, together with the institution's salary, does not exceed 100%.

A consultant is not allowed to receive part of his salary from the grant if he is a permanent employee of a research institution.

The names of senior scientists for whom salary is requested should be given, and their proposed role and proportion of time to be spent on the project should be indicated.

Auxiliary Personnel:
The salaries of technicians may be paid in proportion to the time devoted to the project. Their proposed roles in the project should be outlined and names given when known. For technicians who are full-time permanent employees, grantee institutions may charge the grant for time spent on the project, up to 50% of the technician’s salary.

Permanent Specific Equipment:
Applications to the BSF may include requests to purchase specific equipment required for the proposed project. The term “specific equipment” implies non-general purpose or non-purely instructional equipment. Equipment purchased with BSF funds belongs to the BSF and should be marked accordingly. Upon termination of a project for which equipment is purchased, the BSF will leave the equipment in the institution where the research was conducted. The BSF does not have a separate allocation for equipment and the BSF will not fund grants where the main expenditure is for equipment.

The BSF may share in the purchase of specific equipment with the grantee institution, or with other granting agencies.

Requests for supplies should be stated in general terms with a listing of the estimated cost. Where substantial funds are requested, a more detailed breakdown is required.

Industrial Subcontractors:
Industrial subcontractors who supply services to the research are allowed if the expense is part of the approved budget.

Travel Expenses Abroad:
The BSF was established to enhance the cooperation in research between American and Israeli researchers. We believe that in order to advance the cooperation and to advance the research in both the U.S. and Israel, it is important for the scientists to meet in person. Therefore the BSF will allocate money for travel of an investigator or a member of his research team to the other country; that is, travel funds will be provided to allow investigators to work together at one of the institutions, or meet at a conference, but only in the U.S. or Israel. In order for the meeting to be supported by the BSF it must be substantial. Only meetings of at least two full days duration, not including weekends and holidays, will be supported. Meetings at conferences or other locations outside of the investigator's institutions require prior written approval of the BSF. The allowance may be used by members of either the Israeli or American research teams. The application should indicate for whom a proposed trip is intended. BSF approves travel in economy class only and will cover per diem expenses only for the days spent together at the approved locations. Please note that if an investigator requests travel money only, he should not submit a separate budget request form, but add this travel amount to the initiator's budget (these travel expenses will be reimbursed through the initiator's institution). The BSF will not pay for travel to countries other than Israel and the U.S. unless stated in the research proposal and specifically approved by the BSF prior to travel. The BSF will not pay the costs of conference registration. BSF policy is that only cheapest fare economy tickets with fixed-date fares may be charged to the grant.

Monies budgeted for travel are restricted to travel and cannot be used to cover other budget line items without prior approval of the BSF.

Other Expenses:
Page and color charges, up to $500 per grant, will be allowed for joint publications of the applicants.
Miscellaneous expenses are considered by the BSF on a case-by-case basis.

Overhead (OH):
A total of 15% overhead on all budget items is allowed.

Price Increases:
Anticipated price increases should not be taken into consideration when preparing the budgets for subsequent years. This applies to all items, including salaries. The BSF will calculate increases according to its own scales when preparing second- and third- year budgets, taking into consideration the availability of BSF funds.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176058

Estimated Size of Grant:

The total allowable budget (including 15% overhead) is $230,000. However, although this amount can be requested, the actual awarded amount is expected to be dependent on the number of years (shortening the time will not usually increase the annual amount), nature of the work (experimental or theoretical), and the distribution of funding between the partners (equal distribution is awarded more funding). As a general guideline only, you may assume that the maximum amount will be given to an experimental work over four years, in which the funds are divided equally between the U.S. and Israeli partners.

Budget for theoretical work, in which only one PI is requesting funding, is expected to be only $80,000, and if both PIs request funding, somewhat more, but never twice as much.

For 2 year start-up applications the budget must be $75,000 ($60,000 inc. 15% overhead from the BSF, plus $15,000 from the investigator’s institution). If both the Israeli and American PIs of a start-up application are “junior investigators,” each is eligible to receive $60,000, provided their institutions supplement this sum by $15,000.

Term of Contract:

Please note that budgeting year should start from October or later (not from September as previously).

Experimental work may be supported over four years.

A Start-Up grant may cover 2 years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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 the for-profit organization will not be funded by the BSF.

The investigators should be familiar with BSF patent policy before completing the collaborative arrangements. You can read about the Patent Rights in the sample Grant Agreement file, available to download from the ‘Guidelines and Forms’ Section of the BSF website.

Israeli and American 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.

Each investigator may submit only one application to each annual competition of the regular research grants program. Furthermore, an investigator may hold only one regular BSF award at a time. Therefore, a current grantee of a regular grant may submit a new application only during the last year of his award. However, a grantee in the regular program may hold also a grant in one of the special research grant programs of the BSF (NSF-BSF, Transformative Science), as long as the projects are not similar or significantly overlap. Israeli BSF grantees in one of the NSF-BSF programs are not allowed to submit a mostly similar research proposal to the regular program before the last year of their grant.

An applicant for a start-up grant should note that the following additional regulations apply to the program:
a. At the time the application is submitted, the junior PI may be no more than 10 years since the completion of his PhD/MD studies (earliest of the two).
b. A typical start-up application is by a junior PI together with a senior one. The senior PI on a start-up application may not be funded. However, he/she may submit a second application as a PI, in which he may request funding.
c. Only up to two junior PIs may apply together for a start-up grant, one Israeli and one American, and they can apply with, or without, a senior scientist (who will not be funded).
d. A start-up grantee is not allowed to submit again a second start-up application, and has to apply as a regular grantee (resubmission of a turned down startup application is allowed, provided the 10 years limit still holds true).

If the research plan requires the participation of a researcher who is a PI/co-PI on another regular BSF grant/application, he should appear as a consultant (a letter from the consultant may be added; see the ‘Letter from Consultant’ section), and his role should be described in section 4 of the Research Plan. The name of the consultant will not appear on the cover pages of the application. The role of the consultant must be small, and therefore he is allowed to spend no more than 10% of his time on the project. The consultant is not allowed to use the grant money to support his own research.

A revised application may be submitted a second time, if so stated by the BSF in the decision letter. Resubmission requires a letter explaining what changes were made with respect to the previous application, and how they reflect the comments by the reviewers (resubmitted applications will be sent for review to both new and previous reviewers). An application that was not awarded a grant in two competitions is not allowed to be submitted a third time. An applicant whose application is submitted a third time will be barred from the competition in the following two years. An exception to this rule is a revised application that received a letter saying: "It is an excellent proposal and eligible for support, but its relative rank within the list of eligible applications was not sufficiently high" (BSF letter code: N3E). This is the only application that may be submitted a third time.

Please note that an application that is not allowed to be resubmitted, and is submitted with minor changes as a new application, is likely to be rejected.

Applications submitted in one year are not allowed to be resubmitted in the subsequent year in a different AOR. For example, an application that was submitted in 2017 is not eligible for submission in 2018 under another area of research (AOR), unless it was recommended by the scientific evaluation panel, or received special permission from the BSF office. Otherwise, if submitted, it will be rejected and also be prevented from submission in 2019. Please contact the BSF office before opening a resubmission proposal in special cases (when advised to re-submit application to another area) to resolve some possible technical obstacles with the BSF online submission system.

A scientist who is engaged in interdisciplinary research is permitted to submit an application in consecutive years, provided each application is in a completely different topic of research.

Prior to formal submission, the application may be discussed with the BSF staff by letter, telephone, email, or in person.

According to the agreement between the U.S. and Israeli governments, projects sponsored by the Foundation may not be conducted in geographic areas which came under the administration of the Government of Israel after June 5, 1967 and may not relate to subjects primarily pertinent to such areas. Furthermore, the BSF reserves the right to reject applications involving, directly or indirectly, the Arab-Israeli conflict, if in its sole discretion it deems such applications not consistent with the mission of the Foundation. In addition, any application that is related to any aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict should be discussed with the BSF staff before submission.

The BSF does not support the preparation or publication of books or monographs.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications should be written in English.

Please note in particular that cooperative arrangements must be finalized prior to submission of applications.

The BSF website will be open for submission on September 1, 2018.

Deadline for investigators in the regular grant program:
November 20, 2018, 5:00 PM Israel time (10:00 AM EST)

Deadline for institutional authority approval:
- For Israeli Institutions - November 22, 2018, 5:00 PM Israel time
- For U.S. Institutions - November 27, 2018, 10:00 AM EST

Deadline for receipt of 1 paper copy (printed on both sides) in BSF office:
November 27, 2018, 5:00 PM Israel time (10:00 AM EST)

User Manual for Online Submission:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
8 Hamarpeh St.
P.O.Box 45086
Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem 91450

P: 972-2-5828239
F: 972-2-5828306

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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