RCUK-NSF two way lead agency funding agreement

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The Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK and the US National Science Foundation have been collaborating in support of research of mutual interest for several years. A Memorandum of Understanding is in place to encourage interdisciplinary research and facilitate the peer-review and joint-funding of USA-UK collaborative research in areas at the intersection of the two agencies’ missions.

The Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) of the US National Science Foundation has been extended to allow joint UK-US applications to be submitted to either NSF or RCUK responsive mode schemes. The goal of this agreement is to allow teams of UK and US based researchers to submit a single collaborative proposal that will undergo a single review process and avoid double jeopardy.

Proposals will be accepted for collaborative research in areas at the intersection of NSF/SBE and the three participating UK Research Councils remit. The primary UK Research Councils participating in this activity are the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC subject coverage), and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC subject coverage). The remits of the SBE’s two research divisions, the Division of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences and Division of Social and Economic Sciences can be found their respective websites.

Closing Dates

Open - No Deadline

Where AHRC is the lead agency this scheme operates to open deadlines.‚Äč

Where NSF is the lead agency please refer to the above links to the relevant NSF webpage for information on specific programme deadlines.

Memorandum of Understanding update (July 2018)

The RCUK-NSF Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expired in 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).

In the interim, 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.

How to make an application

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). If you are uncertain if AHRC is the most appropriate Council to lead on your application, please submit a remit enquiry to: remit@ahrc.ukri.org

Once the applicants have decided upon a lead agency, an email outlining the project must be submitted to the lead agency using the following guidance which must be read before submitting a proposal under this agreement.

Once confirmation has been received that the proposal is a suitable fit to SBE and AHRC remit an application can be prepared and submitted using the appropriate guidance below

Further Information


enquiries@ahrc.ukri.org, AHRC

Kristin Kuyuk, NSF

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