USAID - the ERC Program

Accelerating development
through science innovation and
Partnerships for Enhanced
Engagement in Research (PEER)
Rachel Parker, PhD
Senior Research Advisor
U.S. Global Development Lab
The U.S. Global Development Lab
USAID is spearheading a bold, new approach
to discover, test, and scale solutions to help people lift
themselves out of poverty.
The U.S. Global Development Lab
(The Lab) will accelerate the application of science,
technology, innovation, and partnerships to solve some of the
most complex development problems more cost-efficiently and
The Approach
Collaborate with host-country counterparts, entrepreneurs, world-class experts
from corporations, NGOs, universities, and science and research institutions to
solve development challenges more cost-efficiently and effectively
The Lab will:
 Source, discover, and scale new technologies and innovations;
 Build partnerships to co-design new solutions and take them from pilots to
global impact;
 Inspire, strengthen, and link the brightest young minds in America with those
in our partner countries; and
 Improve USAID’s development impact by supporting scientific and
innovative approaches to strategic decision making, procurement, and
program design
 Launched in July 2011, PEER is a joint program between USAID and the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), the
Smithsonian Institution, the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) administered by
the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
 PEER provides research funding to developing country scientists conducting
development-oriented research in collaboration with U.S. Governmentfunded researchers
 Collaborations can be new or existing, but the U.S. Government-funded
partner does need to have funding at the time the PEER proposal is
PEER Partners
Benefits of PEER
United States
Developing Country
 Increases global scope and
fosters international
 Bolsters research
 Accesses local knowledge
 Accesses resources
 Funds research towards
scientific innovation
 Links into international research
 Develops science diplomacy
 Realizes development
Unique ecosystems
Geological formations
Hydrological regimes
 Informs policy and practices
 Provides data for evidence-based
 Incorporates new technologies
PEER Awards to Date
PEER Science
PEER Health
Cycle 1
– 488 proposals from 63 countries
– 41 grants, $5.5 million to support
projects in 25 countries
Cycle 2
– 237 proposals from 54 countries
– 54 awards, $7.5 million to support
projects in 32 countries
Cycle 3
– 258 proposals from 50 countries
– 39 awards, $6.1 million to support
projects in 23 countries
Cycle 1
– 186 proposals from 26 countries
– 16 grants, $6.4 million to support
projects in 10 countries
Cycle 2
– 30 proposals from 2 countries
– Tentative: 5 grants, $2 million to
support projects in Indonesia and
the Philippines
Features of RFP:
General Eligibility
PEER Applicant Eligibility Summary
National of a developing country and working in a PEER-eligible country
Meets country specific eligibility criteria for focus area to which applying
Affiliated with and permanently based at an academic, non-profit,
government-managed research institution or relevant government ministry
in a PEER-eligible country
U.S. Government-Supported Partner Eligibility Summary
PI or Co-PI of an active research award from U.S.-Government agency
participating in the PEER program; U.S. Government-funded partner
awards must be active for twelve months prior to completion of the PEER
PI or Co-PI meets agency specific eligibility criteria
U.S. Government-funded partner’s expertise aligns with and contributes to
the PEER proposal.
U.S.-Government funded partners not eligible to receive PEER funding
Tips for a successful proposal
•Is your research question well
•Are the objectives clear?
•Is your project feasible?
•Have you conducted a
literature review of previous
•Is your expertise appropriate to
carry out the work? What
about your US partner?
•Is the timeline appropriate?
•Are there clear development
•Do they fit USAID priorities in
your country?
•Does the project have broader
•Is there a training component?
How many students? How
many female participants?
•Are local communities
•Is there an
PEER Review Process
Pre-proposals are reviewed by USAID Missions and Operating
Units for assessment of specific country relevance on
development topic proposed
Eligible PEER proposals reviewed by panel of technical experts
with development experience or knowledge
U.S. Government Agency verifies the good standing of the linked
award or researcher if applicable for those PEER proposals being
considered for funding
With above information and consideration of PEER portfolio, final
PEER award decisions will be made by USAID, with grants
disbursed by NAS
Example PEER Awardees
Enhancement of Philippines’ research capability in understanding the role of
mangrove ecosystem health in the adaptation and mitigation against natural
PI: Severino Salmo III, Ateneo de Manila University
Biodiversity and conservation in the Lower Mekong: empowering female
herpetoligists through capacity building and regional networking
PI: Anchalee Aowphol, Kasetsart University, with co-Pis Niane Sivongxay, Wildlife
Conservation Society and National University of Laos; and Huy Duc Hoang, University of
Science, Ho Chi Minh City
Analysis of historical forest carbon changes in Burma and Thailand and the
contribution of climate variability and extreme weather events
PI: Amnat Chidthaisong, The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, King
Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, with co-PI Khin Lay Swe, Yezin Agriculture
Biodiversity conservation in Indochina: Integrating research and training to
enhance wildlife trade management
PI: Minh Le, Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, with co-PIs Seak Sophat,
Royal University of Phnom Penh, and Bounthob Praxaysombath, National University of Laos
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