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Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC)

DOS-NEA-AC

Status:

Active

August 10, 2023

Posted:

Deadline: 

January 15, 2024

Funding

Program:

Award Floor:

Ceiling:

1000000

Match Required?

No

Eligibility

All

States:

Entity Types:

Other

All proposals must include at least one Israeli partner and one eligible MENA partner. Only proposals developed jointly by investigators from the partner institutions are accepted. Proposals involving three or more partners are also allowed and encouraged. The proposal may be submitted by any party in the collaboration. MERC projects involving Israel and another relatively affluent MENA country (i.e., Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates) must include a developing country from the eligible MENA countries/territories (i.e., Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and the West Bank and Gaza) in the region as a partner and/or a beneficiary of the research outcomes. Affluent countries must adhere to budgetary restrictions, such as cost-sharing salaries, maintain the spirit of regional cooperation opposed to primarily engaging foreign expatriates, and target benefits and outcomes of the project to developing, USAID-presence countries in the MENA region and resource-limited populations. Satellite or portal campuses of foreign (e.g., U.S., Indian) institutions are not considered eligible MENA partners. Participation of partners from outside the MENA, including the United States, is not a key feature of the MERC Program, but they may be considered for modest roles in exceptional cases to meet an essential technical need that is not otherwise available among the partners. Applicants must be prepared to provide a well justified case for participation of partners from outside the MENA and accept that MERC may not support their participation. The use of non-regional partners to lead or administer the overall project is discouraged.

Contact

Email:

Phone:

Source Type:

Federal

The MERC Program is funded as assistance to promote scientific cooperation, technology-led development, and capacity building between partners in Israel and eligible countries/territories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Subject to change based on U.S. federal law and country-specific restrictions on funding, those countries include: Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank and Gaza (hereinafter eligible MENA partners). Emphasis is given to research and technology subjects of regional importance and relevance to the development in the MENA. Moreover, benefits should target developing, USAID-presence countries in the MENA and resource-limited populations.Strong, direct cooperation between Israel and the eligible MENA partners is required for proposals receiving funding under the MERC Program. Participation of partners from outside the MENA, including the United States, is not a key feature of the MERC Program, but they may be considered for modest roles in exceptional cases to meet an essential technical need that is not otherwise available among the partners. Applicants must be prepared to provide a well justified case for the involvement of partners from outside the MENA and accept that MERC may not support their participation.The overall goal of the MERC Program is to enhance research and development cooperation between Israel and its regional neighbors in support of achieving a comprehensive and lasting Middle East peace. The MERC Program funds peer-reviewed, collaborative, scientific research projects on development topics between Israeli partners and the eligible MENA partners. As part of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), MERC is seeking to fund proposals in the following categories:Applied research grants: Multi-year, cooperative research projects.Continuation grants: Funding to extend existing or recently ended MERC awards.Travel and workshop grants: Support for workshops, meetings, and researcher exchange.

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