Lead agency agreement with the NSF

Through RCUK we work in partnership with National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US, to encourage and support proposals that involve international collaborative teams. We now have in place a lead agency agreement between the EPSRC Engineering Theme and the NSF Directorate of Engineering (ENG), Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), whereby researchers may submit proposals to EPSRC including collaborators from the US, according to the following procedure:

  • Researchers submit a single joint proposal to EPSRC from eligible applicants in both countries
  • We process the application according to our normal procedures
  • NSF-nominated experts may be involved in the peer review process on a case-by-case basis as agreed by EPSRC and NSF
  • Funding by EPSRC and NSF is decided by the appropriate EPRSC Theme Lead in consultation with NSF following the recommendation of the EPSRC panel.

Prior to submission

  • Potential applicants should submit an Expression of Interest to the EPSRC International inbox at least three months before submitting a grant jointly with partners in the US. This is to ensure that applicants meet their respective funding organisations' eligibility requirements.
  • At this stage please provide us with a short summary of the proposed research and its objectives, and indicative costs for both the EPSRC and NSF components of the proposed project.
  • We will contact NSF to ensure that the US component meets their eligibility requirements.
  • Please do not submit your joint proposal through Je-S without prior written agreement from EPSRC.

Joint proposal format

  • The title of the project in Je-S should begin ‘CBET-EPSRC’. Please ensure that you include the scientific case for the US components of the project in your case for support.
  • US collaborating research organisations should be added as project partners to the Je-S form, and the funding totals by US research organisation should be included as project partner contributions.
  • The Justification of Resources attachment should include a clear summary and justification of the US costs sought from NSF as well as the funding sought from EPSRC.
  • In addition, a detailed breakdown of funding requested from NSF should be submitted to EPSRC as an Other Attachment. This document will be shared with NSF to verify eligibility of costs requested.

Except as indicated above, all applications should follow standard EPSRC format; no additional pages will be permitted. Please note that reviewers' comments and the PI response to reviews will be shared with NSF once the funding decision has been made.

Further details

This is a two-way agreement. An Expression of Interest (EoI) may be submitted to either EPSRC or NSF depending on where the largest proportion of the research lies. There is no need to submit the EoI to both agencies. For further details of how to submit please see the guidance for applicants or the NSF website.