Texas A&M University and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are pleased to announce a program to encourage research collaborations between faculty at Texas A&M and faculty in Chinese universities and research institutions. The program aims to facilitate faculty-to-faculty collaboration and to further research ties yielding preliminary results that will enable joint applications to various extramural funding programs.
Terms of the Award
This program is open to all areas of research that are mutually supported by NSFC and Texas A&M. Research areas supported by NSFC are described in its annual program guide and more generally at NSFC’s English website.
The award must involve a joint research project directed by two principal investigators – one from Texas A&M and one from a Chinese university or research institution.
The lead Texas A&M University PI must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty and must have served as a PI or Co-PI on a competitively awarded state, federal, or major foundation grant in the past five years. The lead Chinese PI must serve as a PI or Co-PI on a current NSFC research grant.
The program will award up to 10 grants for the 2013 period. Each award will offer up to $25,000 in support for the Texas A&M faculty member and up to 50,000 RMB for the Chinese collaborator. The award to Texas A&M faculty may be used for post-doc salaries and benefits, graduate student stipends and benefits (exclusive of tuition and fees), operating expenses for the proposed research, and travel/communication expenses. Faculty salaries cannot be drawn from this award.
The award is for a period of one year beginning September 1, 2013. If there is satisfactory progress on the project, PIs may request a six-month, no-cost extension.
Upon completion of the 12-month project (or after a six-month, no-cost extension), the principal investigators are required to file a project report and present evidence that they are seeking additional funding from another source.
PIs are limited to one submission each per year. Any individual PI is precluded from receiving an award in two successive years.
Applications for this joint research program involve a two-step process. First, a letter of intent must be submitted to Texas A&M by the Texas A&M researcher. Second, a full proposal must be submitted to Texas A&M and to the NSFC.
Letter of Intent
The Texas A&M faculty member intending to submit a proposal must submit a letter of intent (LOI). Only one LOI is required, and it may be signed by only one PI. The LOI is required to help verify eligibility of the Texas A&M and Chinese PIs and to identify required numbers and qualifications of reviewers. The LOI must include the following information:
- Abstract – A brief one-page summary describing the project’s objectives; proposed methodology; anticipated results in layman’s terms; and possible extramural funding sources for continuation of the project. The abstract must be in English.
- Title – Proposed title of project.
- PI Information – Detailed contact information for the lead PIs, including:
- Names of the Texas A&M and Chinese principal investigators
- Titles and positions
- The NSFC grant number for the NSFC grant currently held by the Chinese PI
- Information regarding the competitive award to the Texas A&M University PI within the previous five years
- Contact Information for PIs -- mailing addresses; phone numbers ; and email addresses
The LOI must be submitted via email to Ms. Monica Holder (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 12:00 noon April 1, 2013.
Notification of accepted LOI will be made by mid-April, 2013. Texas A&M University will notify Texas A&M PIs and NSFC will notify Chinese PIs.
A full proposal in English must be submitted to Texas A&M University providing information detailed below. A proposal in Chinese must be submitted to NSFC in accord with NSFC proposal submission processes. The English and Chinese versions of the proposal must be essentially the same in title, research plan, proposed budget, description of previous and inter-institutional collaboration, and plans for the sustainability of the proposed collaboration.
Chinese PIs must submit a proposal to NSFC via NSFC’s ISIS application receiving system in accord with instructions provided by NSFC Texas A&M researchers must submit their proposals electronically using the online application system. Once submitted into the system, proposals will electronically route to the Texas A&M PI’s department head and dean for approval of the proposed budget and project. Early consultation with these officials is recommended. The proposal must have the following sections:
PART A: Title Page, should contain the following details: Title of the proposal, names of the principal investigators and their addresses, telephone, fax and email. Please specify on the title page of the application “This application is submitted for Texas A&M University – NSFC Joint Research Program.”
PART B: Abstract (half page).
PART C: Research Plan (up to three pages in length, not including figures and references). The research plan should discuss likely targets for extramural funding proposals for the project after completion of this award.
PART D: Proposed Budget, including a breakdown of proposed expenditures by category (for salaries, operating expenses, travel, and other expenses) at Texas A&M and the Chinese PI’s institution.
PART E: Previous Collaborations: Should contain a description of any previous collaboration between the Texas A&M and Chinese PIs and the mode of collaboration for this project (one page). In addition, a letter from the cooperating PI at Texas A&M and in China must be included expressing his/her interest in the project and describing his/her role.
PART F: Two-Page Curriculum Vitae: These should include PIs’ key publications and current funding – including the title of the project(s), co-investigators, funding period, and amount of the award(s).
PART G: Compliance: Indicate whether any research activities will require review by institutional review boards for human subjects, animal research, or biohazards. (see, for example, the Texas A&M website for Research Compliance and Biosafety)
Full proposals must be submitted to Texas A&M and NSFC by June 3, 2013.
Review of Proposed Research Projects
Texas A&M and NSFC invite proposals in all possible research areas and from the diversity of researchers at Texas A&M and in China. Proposals will be reviewed by officials at Texas A&M and NSFC based on (a) scientific or scholarly merit, (b) plans for the development of a sustained collaborative research effort, and (c) the likelihood for sustained funding after receipt of the award from the Texas A&M – NSFC Joint Research Program. Proposals will be submitted to Texas A&M peer review panels and NSFC internal review for evaluation and comment.
Proposals will also be evaluated in terms of priority research areas for Texas A&M and NSFC. Program priorities for Texas A&M and NSFC are: astronomy, geosciences, agriculture, energy, health, management science, and environment. Additionally, Texas A&M reviewers will give priority to proposals involving faculty at China’s major research universities designated as “985” universities. A list of these universities is available at the following website: http://vpr.tamu.edu/researchdevelopment/funding/internal/NSFC/985project
Following the independent evaluations of the proposals by Texas A&M University and Chinese reviewers, the responsible officials (or their designees) at NSFC and Texas A&M will reconcile the two sets of reviews and decide the awardees.
Announcement of Awards
Awards will be announced in July and the award period will begin on September 1, 2013.
Please note: All awarded proposals will be reviewed by Texas A&M's Office of Research Compliance and Biosafety to assure that the proposed research meets research compliance and biosafety standards.
Award recipients are required to submit two reports. The first report is due after the 12-month funding period and should:
- Describe accomplishments, findings, or discoveries that may be of interest to decision makers and the general public,
- Identify additional funding that has been received or requested as a result of this grant,
- Identify the granting agencies, industry sponsors, or end users to which a future proposal has been or will be submitted and the date of submission, and
- Identify any publications that have resulted from this grant.
The Report form is available at:
The second report is due 24 months after the first report. It should update all information submitted on the first report and, based on the preliminary work supported by this award, indicate proposals submitted and award(s) received, as well as the source of funding.
PIs who fail to submit the final reports showing evidence that they have submitted a proposal to an external granting agency or sponsor may not be eligible to participate in future applications to the Collaborative Research Grant Program.
This information is also available in PDF form.
Questions regarding this program may be directed to:
Dr. J. Martin Scholtz, Executive Associate Vice President for Research
Ms. Liu Xiuping, Program Manager, Bureau of International Cooperation