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Grants to USA and Israel Scientists Affiliated with
Nonprofits for Collaborative Astronomy Research Projects

NSF-BSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants (AAG) Program

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) - Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences - Astronomical Sciences (AST)

Deadline Date:

11/15/21 - Deadline for NSF; 11/21/2021 - Deadline for BSF


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Grants of up to $55,000 and grants of up to $80,000 to USA and Israel scientists at nonprofit organizations, including IHEs, hospitals, and government research institutions, for collaborative astronomical research projects. Funding is intended for observational, laboratory, theoretical, and archival data studies in astronomical sciences. The program also considers proposals for projects and tools that enable or enhance astronomical research. Proposals may span multiple disciplines and/or areas of study and may utilize multiple techniques.

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.

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.

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. 
Israeli applicants are advised that they should pay particular attention to the NSF evaluation criteria, which may include requirements such as broader impacts, data management plan etc. These requirements may either be missing in BSF/ISF applications, or have a greatly different meaning (particularly the term ‘broader impacts’) and thus require special attention. Failure to appropriately address these requirements may be detrimental to the proposal and in the worst case may lead to rejection without review. Discussion of these requirements with the US PI(s) and jointly addressing these is recommended. 

If awarded a grant, the Israeli scientist will receive a grant from the BSF, while the U.S. scientist will receive a grant from the NSF.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187111

Estimated Size of Grant:

The award amount for the Israeli applicant is capped at a maximum of $80,000 per year for experimental programs and up to $55,000 per year for theoretical or computer-based research, subject to the availability of funds. If more than a single Israeli group is involved in the research, then the budget may be increased by up to 50%.

Term of Contract:

BSF will adhere to the NSF decision regarding the duration of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

1. 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.
2. All BSF regulations regarding eligibility of the Israeli applicant(s) and NSF regulations regarding the U.S. applicant(s) will apply to this program.
3. An Israeli scientist is allowed to submit one NSF-BSF proposal per year (1 Oct – 30 Sept).
4. Israeli scientists with an active NSF-BSF grant are allowed to submit an additional application to any of the participating NSF programs only during the last year of their current NSF-BSF grant.
5. Israeli and US applicants are allowed to simultaneously submit proposals that have various degrees of similarity, to both a participating NSF program and to the regular BSF program. In the event that significantly similar applications are recommended for an award, only the one recommended for an NSF-BSF award will be funded.

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.

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.

Additional eligibility information can be found in the Regulation document, page 4.

Pre-Application Information:

Full proposals should be submitted to the BSF according to the following deadlines: no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on November 21, 2021. NSF deadline is November 15, 2021.

This program is expected to accept research proposals on an annual basis.

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.

For technical reasons only, the Israeli applicant cannot appear on the cover page of an NSF proposal. However, by using the prefix “NSF-BSF:” in the title and including the Israeli applicant as “Senior Personnel” the NSF system immediately identifies the Israeli applicant as Co-PI on the project. The Israeli applicant will provide a CV, a budget and budget justification and these will be added as supplementary documentation to the proposal.

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. The US applicant’s submission to the NSF MUST include the BIOGRAPHY (in NSF format) and BUDGET + BUDGET JUSTIFICATION (in BSF format) of the Israeli applicant under supplementary materials.

- 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.

View this opportunity on the NSF website:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online (USA/NSF applicants only):

Apply online (Israeli/BSF applicants only):

Questions regarding the suitability of the proposed research for this program should be directed by the U.S. applicant(s) to program officer in the relevant programs at the NSF.

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
972-2-5828239 ext. 110

Ms. Yael Dressler
972-2-5828239 ext. 103

Questions regarding the online application system should be directed to:
Ms. Orli Rozencwajg
972-2-5828239 ext. 109

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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