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BSF Research Grants 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:

11/20/19 5:00 PM Israel Time (10:00 AM EST) - for Investigators in the Regular Grant Program


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Grants to USA and Israel scientists affiliated with nonprofit organizations, including IHEs, government research institutions, 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 BSF supports bilateral, cooperative research by U.S. and Israeli scientists conducted in both countries. Areas of research alternate on a yearly basis.

In odd calendar years (2019, 2021, etc) the BSF supports research projects in the following broad areas:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Life Sciences (Starting from 2017, inc. Ecology; note also that the sub-areas of Ecology were redefined and can be found at the end of this document)
  • Psychobiology

In even calendar years (2020, 2022, 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 & Anthropology
  • Psychology (excluding Psychobiology) 

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.

For a list of eligible expenses, see page 12 of the BSF Instruction in the attachments section below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176058

Estimated Size of Grant:

Please note that $250,000 is the maximum actual award, including overhead. 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 $100,000, and if both PIs request funding, somewhat more, but never twice as much.

For 2 year start-up applications the budget must be a fixed $75,000. If both the Israeli and American PIs of a start-up application are “junior investigators,” each is eligible to receive $75,000.

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.

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 BSF Research Grants 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. It is allowed to submit a similar or overlapping research proposal to both the BSF and NSF-BSF Joint Funding Research Grants programs, but if both are approved, only the NSF-BSF application will be funded.

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.

For requirements of a start-up grant, see page 5 of the User Manual in the attachment section below.

Pre-Application Information:

The BSF website will be open for submission on September 1, 2019.

Applications should be approved by all investigators AND RESEARCH AUTHORITIES/GRANT OFFICES no later than 5 pm Israel time (10 am EST) on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

Applications should be written in English.

Applications must involve active cooperation between scientists of both countries. Therefore, prior to submission of applications, prospective applicants must complete the cooperative arrangements necessary for the presentation of a joint application.

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

The first Investigator who opens an application will be referred to as the Initiator and the application will be submitted to the BSF through his research authority. The initiator has certain privileges over the other investigators during the submission process, although all investigators are considered by the BSF to be Principal Investigators (PIs).

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

No hardcopy of application is required.

To see the User Manual for Online Submission and submission checklists, click on the "URL for Full Text" link below.

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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