PAKISTAN - U.S. S&T PROGRAM FAQS (PHASE 7)
General Eligibility and Proposal Questions:
Q1: What's new in Phase 7 compared to the previous phases of the program?
A1: a) New focal areas: For Phase 7, several new program focal areas have been added: health security, climate change, food security, and specific topics within the Education area; b) In order to encourage new research collaborations, all alumni of the program (Pakistani and U.S. PIs from Phases 1- 6) are ineligible to apply for Phase 7 as PIs or Co-PIs.
Q2: Are applicants from Phases 1-6 whose applications were not successful eligible to apply for Phase 7?
A2: Yes, if applicants applied to a previous phase of the program but were not awarded funding, they may reapply for Phase 7. However, previous Pakistani and U.S. PIs (grantees) of the program are NOT eligible to apply as PIs or Co-PIs in Phase 7.
Q3: Can an applicant submit more than one proposal per cycle if the collaboration is with a different partner and/or institution?
A3: No, an applicant can only submit one proposal per cycle. This allows the applicant to focus on one high quality proposal submission. This applies to both PIs and Co-PIs.
Q4: I currently have an active Pakistan-U.S. project, can I still submit a new proposal?
A4: No. Current and former grantees (PIs) are ineligible to apply for Phase 7.
Q5: Are U.S. government employees eligible to apply as U.S. PIs?
A5: Yes. U.S. government employees may apply as U.S. PIs provided they have the required institutional signature in the proposal template from their government agency. However, U.S. private companies are not eligible to receive funding.
Q6: How long is the project period? Is there a maximum grant amount I can request?
A6: The project length ranges from a minimum of one year to a maximum of three years with most projects requesting 3 years. The maximum combined budget (U.S. and Pakistan) cannot exceed $500,000 for the lifetime of the project.
Q7: My Pakistani collaborator and I are planning a project on human health. All the field activities involving human subjects such as surveys and specimen collection will be conducted in Pakistan with U.S. involvement only in laboratory and data analyses, without identifiers. Is it necessary for me, as the U.S. partner, to obtain ethical review board clearance from my institution?
A7: This is a joint project. Both sides (U.S. and Pakistan) must obtain an official document or letter certifying that the activity is either exempt from ethical review board consideration or approved by the ethics board. If your proposal is selected for funding, these documents must be submitted to program officers in the U.S. and Pakistan in a timely manner before awards can be disbursed.
Q8: How about research using animals?
A8: Your institution should have a mechanism to review responsible research of vertebrate animals. If selected for funding, you will need to submit an official document or letter certifying that the activity is either exempt from ethical board consideration or approved by the ethics board before funds can be released.
Q9: a) Can I submit two separate cover pages containing US signatures on one page and the Pakistani signatures on another page? b) Are institutional signatures necessary?
A9: a) Yes, you may submit required signatures on separate cover pages. b) We require institutional representative signatures as this indicates knowledge about and approval of your proposal.
Q10: Can I submit a proposal without an American or Pakistani partner?
A10: No, this is a collaborative grant program. Any proposal lacking a partner will be automatically rejected.
Q1: What costs are NOT allowed under this program?
A1: Capital costs for construction and cost of purchasing a vehicle for the project are not allowed. Overall, the program administrators are flexible in allowing most costs within reason as long as the expenses can be justified as necessary to carry out your project objectives.
Q2: As a U.S. PI, can my salary be covered through this grant? How about the Pakistani side?
A2: Salary costs for senior individual participants are expected to be covered from other sources, however if necessary the amount should not exceed more than 10% of total cost of the US budget. Salary support for junior team members and technical support staff may be included as appropriate. For Pakistani budget guidelines, refer to HEC’s standard financial guidelines in the Phase 7 RFA.
Q3: As the U.S. PI, can I use my grant money to help pay for the travel and/or stay of a Pakistani student/post-doc to my institution? Can my counterpart in Pakistan pay travel costs and/or stay of a student/post-doc from my institution?
A3: Yes. Both scenarios are allowed although in a majority of previously funded projects, each side paid for its own travel and stay. However we strongly advise that all travel costs of Pakistani counterparts be covered by Pakistani funds when USAID is the funding sponsor of your grant. USAID funds, of any amount, used to support host country nationals, i.e. Pakistani, for U.S.-based training must follow a complex and lengthy (min 6 months) visa process as outlined in ADS Chapter 252. Having the Pakistani side fund their travel to the US removes that requirement.
Q4: If the proposal is selected for funding, does each collaborating partner (U.S. and Pakistan) receive their funds separately or will one collaborator serve as the prime recipient of all funds and establish a sub relationship with the other?
A4: Although a joint project, the funding stream is separate. Funds from the National Academy of Sciences will be disbursed to the U.S. institution and in Pakistan, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will disburse funds.