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Joint NSF-BSF Program in Physics

Grants to USA and Israel Scientists for
Collaborative Scientific Research Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) - Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) - Division of Physics

Deadline Date:

12/08/20 5:00 PM Submitter's Local Time - for USA submissions for Basic Plasma Sciences and Engineering applications only


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Grants to USA scientists affiliated with nonprofit organizations, IHEs, for-profit organizations, and government agencies including school districts for collaborative research projects with Israel research partners. Funding is intended to support partnerships between Israeli and American scientists covering a wide range of physics disciplines.

The U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) promotes scientific relations between the U.S. and Israel by supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes.

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.

The program supports physics research across a broad range of physics disciplines that span scales of space and time from the largest to the smallest and the oldest to the youngest. The joint program is comprised of disciplinary programs covering experimental and theoretical research in the following major subfields of physics: Accelerator Science; Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Computational Physics; Elementary Particle Physics; Gravitational Physics; Integrative Activities in Physics; Particle Astrophysics; Physics of Living Systems; and Quantum Information Science.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166923

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Max. of Grant: $80,000/Year

Term of Contract:

NSF-BSF projects are usually for three years, but occasionally extend to four and even to five years. The BSF will approve for the Israeli scientist a grant for the same number of years as was approved for the U.S. partner.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applications must be written jointly by an Israeli and a U.S. scientist from a U.S. research institution.
- The NSF accepts applications only from U.S. scientists. Submission to the NSF should be made by the U.S. PI alone, but he/she has to note in the cover page that it is an “NSFBSF Application” (the Israeli does not appear as a formal co-PI on the application). In the U.S.-Israeli applications, the role of the Israeli partner(s) must be described. Furthermore, it should be clearly explained why the contribution of the Israeli PI to the research project is important/essential.
- All inquiries regarding the eligibility of the research topic must be made by the U.S. PIs to the program directors at NSF. BSF will not respond to any query regarding topic eligibility. All regulations regarding eligibility of the BSF (for the Israeli PI) or the NSF (for the U.S. PI) will apply to this program.

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
- Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
- Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
- For-profit organizations: U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.
- State and Local Governments: State educational offices or organizations and local school districts.
- Foreign organizations: For cooperative projects involving U.S. and foreign organizations, support will only be provided for the U.S. portion.
- Other Federal Agencies and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Contact the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

- 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.

Excluded Areas:
- Solid State Physics – At the NSF, this area of physics is handled by the Materials Division, which also has a joint funding program with the BSF
- Physics Education – BSF does not support research in science education

Pre-Application Information:

The full proposals will be submitted to the program twice:
- The U.S. scientist (only) will submit to the NSF using its regulations and submission system.
- The Israeli scientist (only) will submit to the BSF, also providing the U.S. scientist information, according to its regulations and submission system. See Instructions and Related BSF Regulations for Online Submission of NSF - BSF Applications in Supporting Documents below.

Full proposals should be submitted to the BSF according to the following deadlines:
- Basic Plasma Sciences and Engineering – no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on Nov. 23, 2020 (NSF deadline is November 16, 2020).
- Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics – Experiment and Theory; Gravitational Physics – Experiment and Theory; Integrative Activities in Physics; LIGO Research Supportno later than 5 pm (Israel time) on Dec. 1, 2020 (NSF deadline is November 25, 2020).
- Nuclear Physics – Experiment and Theory; Elementary Particle Physics – Experiment; Particle Astrophysics – Experiment; Computational Physics - no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on December 7, 2020 (NSF deadline is December 1, 2020)
- Elementary Particle Physics – Theory; Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology – Theory; Physics of Living Systems; Quantum Information Science - no later than 5 pm (Israel time) on December 14, 2020 (NSF deadline is December 8, 2020).

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.

Each Israeli scientist is allowed to submit up to two applications/year, if at least one of them is to any of the NSF-BSF programs that have no deadline. Israelis with active grants are allowed to submit an additional application to any of the NSF-BSF programs with no deadline (they don’t have to wait for the last year of their grant before submitting).

The User Manual for Online Submission may be downloaded from

About BSF:

NSF-BSF Joint Funding Research Grants:

For a full description of the program, see

BSF has put together a presentation with tips for Israeli scientists who wish to submit to the NSF-BSF. You can download the presentation at


Contact Information:

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

Submission system for U.S. Scientists:

BSF Online Application:

For FastLane or user support, call the FastLane and Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail or The FastLane and Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane and systems.

Questions regarding the applicability of the proposed research for this program should be directed by the U.S. partner to the program officer at the NSF. Other questions regarding this special NSF-BSF program can be discussed with the BSF management by mail or phone (972-2-5828239): Dr. Rachel (Heni) Haring ( ext. 110) or Ms. Yael Dressler ( ext. 103). Questions regarding the online application system should be directed to Ms. Orli Rozencwajg ( ext. 109)

For a list of Agency Contacts, see section VIII at

CFDA Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

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