The Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) are pleased to announce the SBE-RCUK Lead Agency Agreement. The goal of this agreement is to reduce some of the barriers to working internationally that researchers currently encounter. The SBE-RCUK Lead Agency Agreement will address these issues by allowing US and UK researchers to submit a single collaborative proposal that will undergo a single review process.

Proposals will be accepted for collaborative research in areas at the intersection of NSF/SBE and RCUK remits. The primary UK Research Councils participating in this activity are the ESRC, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Proposers should review the programmes supported through NSF/SBE and through the relevant UK Research Council(s) for further information on what areas of research are eligible for support through this activity.

Proposals are expected to adhere to the proposal sizes and durations for the relevant UK Research Council(s) and SBE programme(s) from which funding is sought. Collaborative research proposals may be submitted in any disciplinary or interdisciplinary area which falls within the remit of the AHRC, BBSRC and/or ESRC, and NSF/SBE.

This Lead Agency Agreement is two-way and as such proposals may be submitted to either NSF/SBE (via FastLane) or one of the three participating Research Councils (via Je-S, depending on the remit of the proposed research).

The lead agency should be decided on the basis of where the largest proportion of research lies (financially). Where the ESRC is the lead agency, applicants are required to submit proposals via Je-S in accordance with the requirements outlined in the ESRC Research Funding Guide.

MoU update July 2018

The MoU expired on 18 June 2018 but we are currently working with NSF colleagues to extend and revise the MoU to reflect the changes following the creation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Expressions of interest (EOI) and full proposals continue to be accepted as normal – please follow the guidance below and ensure an EOI is approved before submitting a full proposal.