USAID Announces More Than $10 Million to Strengthen Global Scientific Community

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 2, 2016
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) U.S. Global Development Lab today announced more than $10 million for 49 new research partnerships to address critical areas of development. Funded through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program, the individual projects will address gaps in scientific knowledge ranging from disaster preparedness to maternal and child health to food security.

"Collaboration is key for accelerating the impact of scientific research on development," said Ann Mei Chang, USAID's Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the U.S. Global Development Lab. "Through programs like PEER, we help strengthen the global scientific research community by providing opportunities for the best scientific minds to collaborate on crucial development issues."

PEER provides opportunities for scientists in developing countries to conduct research with their U.S.-funded counterparts, and leverage nearly $90 million in existing research awards. The goal of the program is to build capacity among local scientists and research institutions, strengthen research partnerships worldwide, and better translate data and evidence into policy.It is implemented by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 

The new awards represent the fifth year of the PEER program. The 49 final projects were selected from over 650 proposals. Among the new awards, the PEER program will support:

  • Research in Morocco on the integration of solar energy microgrid into 'smart buildings' in partnership with National Instruments 
  • Research in Peru on climate adaptation strategies with the goals of informing practical solutions to water sustainability
  • Water quality research in Lebanon to determine how pollutants may affect refugee populations 
  • Research in partnership with General Electric to improve standards in India's solar panel industry
  • Research in partnership with the National Cancer Institution on how mHealth approaches can be used to reduce tobacco use in patients with tuberculosis
  • Research in partnership with USAID/Southern Africa, and the Government of South Africa's Department of Science and Technology (DST) to co-fund two research projects addressing water quality.

Since its launch in 2011, PEER has supported more than 200 researchers in over 45 countries, with a total investment of over $50 million. In the past year, PEER has piloted new partnerships with National Instruments and General Electric to provide additional research equipment, funds, and facilities to support research. The program is a collaboration between USAID and nine federal science agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA), the Smithsonian Institution (SI), the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS), the United States Forest Service (USFS), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). 

The next call for PEER proposals will open in October 2016.  To learn more about the PEER program and to view a complete list of the latest award recipients please visit the PEER website.