Two New Dear Colleague Letters Promote International Collaboration in DEB

We are excited to announce two new Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) in the Division of Environmental Biology.

When DEB researchers pursue international research collaborations, a common challenge is for both parties to secure concurrent funding. As explained in a previous DEBrief blog post on international collaboration, DEB can fund investigators through US-based institutions, however, DEB cannot fund investigators through foreign institutions. If both collaborators apply for grants independently to their respective country’s funding agency, there is a risk that one or both sides will not be funded. Some call this challenge double jeopardy.

International agreements between funding agencies can help to mitigate this type of  challenge. In lieu of each funding agency conducting a concurrent and independent review of the proposal, agencies can work together to streamline the review process into one mutually approved review. A single review process minimizes the risks associated with double jeopardy. If a jointly submitted proposal is selected for funding, then each country will pay for its own researcher’s component of the project. By aligning our funding decisions with those of other science funding agencies, we are able to extend the reach of our investigators’ high quality, cutting-edge science.

The two new Dear Colleague Letters are separate activities that have important differences. We strongly encourage interested investigators to carefully read the relevant Dear Colleague Letter and its associated program solicitation. DEB will begin accepting these US-Israel or US-UK collaborative proposals for the 2015 core solicitation preliminary proposal deadline of January 23, 2015.

It is important to recognize that these Dear Colleague Letters ARE NOT solicitations with dedicated budget lines (e.g. they do not describe new opportunities for funding). These DCLs simply announce a new way for international collaborative proposals to go through existing peer review mechanisms. We’re trying to make international collaboration routine as much as possible by reducing unnecessary barriers.



BSF_LogoThe US – Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) is a science-funding agency that supports collaborative research between United States and Israeli scientists. The projects they fund cover a wide range of basic and applied scientific fields. The DEB-BSF Dear Colleague Letter strives to enhance collaborations between US and Israeli scientists specifically in the realm of environmental biology.


NERC_LogoThe Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is one of the seven councils within the Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK). It is the UK’s largest funder of independent environmental science, training, and innovation. The goal of the DEB-NERC Dear Colleague Letter is to reduce current barriers that investigators face when working with UK collaborators in the field of environmental biology and to promote US and UK science partnership.

Interested investigators are strongly encouraged to email in advance of submitting a proposal.

For questions on the BSF-DCL, please email:

For questions on the NERC-DCL, please email:


One thought on “Two New Dear Colleague Letters Promote International Collaboration in DEB

  1. Pingback: Program Announcement: DEB Core Programs & LTREB Solicitations Updates – DEBrief

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