This letter is to call your attention to a new activity that will support research collaboration between US scientists and scientists in developing countries as part of ongoing or new Plant Genome Research Program awards. The Developing Country Collaborations in Plant Genome Research (DCC-PGR) is an addendum to the NSF Program Solicitation, NSF 04-510, Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) (http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf04510). The intent of DCC-PGR awards is to support collaborative research linking US researchers with partners from developing countries to solve problems of mutual interest in agriculture, energy and the environment, while placing US and international researchers at the center of a global network of scientific excellence. The long-term goal of these collaborative research efforts is a greater and sustained engagement with developing countries in plant biotechnology research. In order to realize the full potential of biotechnology for the developing world, the technology must target crops grown locally in the developing countries and the traits that are most relevant to the local farmers and consumers. At the same time, proposals should meet the broad goals of the PGRP described in the current Program Solicitation. Of special interest are those research projects that build on prior PGRP investments and that tackle problems specific to crops grown in the developing world. A request for supplemental funding should be made under an existing PGRP award. Support can also be requested within a proposal for a new or renewal PGRP award. Proposed collaborative activities are encouraged that focus on research problems important to developing countries and that include scientist-to-scientist interactions potentially leading to long-term partnerships among participating laboratories. The exchange of ideas and people should be reciprocal and should be built on equal partnerships among U.S. scientists and scientists of developing nations. Examples of activities to be supported would include, but not be limited to: joint research projects; and long-term (1 year) or short-term (1-3 months) exchange visits that are reciprocal exchanges of investigators and students between the US and developing countries. Collaborations should be developed that bring complementary sets of expertise to bear on problems of importance to the participants from developing countries, and that meet their identified needs.
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