USAID Joins National Science Foundation in Launch of Global Science Initiative

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 7, 2011
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today launched an international joint initiative to address global development challenges.

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), capitalizes on competitively-awarded investments to support and build scientific and technical capacity in the developing world.

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, NSF Director Subra Suresh and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John P. Holdren spoke at today's launch event at the National Science Foundation.

"We're trying to actually change the way people think about what development is, what it could be and how we can create the kinds of solutions that inspire others to care and to address the needs of the billions of people who live without the benefits of two centuries of science and technology," USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said. "And with the success and lessons learned from our six pilot projects, and the strength and expertise of those assembled here today, one can be sure, we're well on our way."

"This is a win-win partnership," NSF Director Subra Suresh said. "The U.S. scientific community benefits from more robust international partnerships and an increased awareness of how research can be used to address global development challenges. Our foreign partners benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of the U.S. scientific community, the engagement of U.S. universities, and an understanding that science can build bridges."

Six USAID-funded PEER pilot projects currently explore research challenges related to ecosystems, climate change, seismology, hydrology and biodiversity in Tanzania, Bagladesh, Mali, Kenya and Burkina Faso and are linked with NSF investments.

The attached video slideshow spotlights all six PEER pilot projects in the five countries:

PEER will employ a merit review process similar to one NSF currently uses to evaluate and select science and engineering proposals. USAID announced that it has selected the National Academy of Sciences to administer the PEER program and has allocated $7 million for the initiative. This will be strategically coupled with merit-reviewed, NSF-funded research at U.S. institutions to address challenges at the interface of water, renewable energy, food security, climate change and disaster mitigation with an expected leveraging of $25 to $50 million.

Media Contacts:

Drew Bailey, USAID (202) 712-0961

Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF (703) 292-8311

Last updated: June 21, 2017

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