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Vietnamese scientists win four more U.S. research grants

Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 15:32 GMT+7
Vietnamese scientists win four more U.S. research grants
Two participants are seen discussing during a USAID event in this photo illustration

Vietnam has earned another four awards in the latest round of PEER, a U.S. Government program to fund scientific research in developing countries, bringing the total number of grants awarded to Vietnamese scientists to 12.

PEER, or Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research, is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries, partnered with U.S. Government-supported collaborators, to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential for developmental impact.

The program is administered by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and supported by USAID in conjunction with several U.S. Government science bodies.

Last week, during the fifth round of PEER program funding, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced more than US$10 million for 49 new research partnerships that address critical areas of development worldwide.

The individual projects will address gaps in scientific knowledge ranging from disaster preparedness and maternal and child health, to food security.

Since its launch in 2011, PEER has supported more than 200 researchers in more than 45 countries, with a total investment of over $50 million.

“Local scholars’ proactive response to the PEER program’s call for proposals has been extremely successful,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Mike Greene.

“The research partnerships nurtured through this program are crucial to building capacity among local scientists and research institutions, strengthening linkages with international research institutions, and finding solutions to global development challenges,” the director said.

PEER is designed to leverage the investments made by other U.S. Government-backed agencies in scientific research and training, while supporting the initiatives of scientists in developing nations.

This round’s winners from Vietnam include research programs that tap into the issue of biodiversity conservation in the Central Highlands, land degradation in the Lower Mekong River Basin, coral reef resilience in southern Vietnam, and smoking and access to care as correlated risk factors for tuberculosis rates across both genders.

The next call for PEER funding proposals will open in October 2016.

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