HANOI, September 13, 2016 — Vietnam earned another four awards in the latest round of the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), a U.S. Government (USG) program to fund scientific research in developing countries, bringing the total number of PEER awards won by Vietnamese scientists to 12.
Last week, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced more than $10 million for 49 new research partnerships worldwide under the fifth round of the PEER program to address critical areas of development. The individual projects will address gaps in scientific knowledge ranging from disaster preparedness to 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 PEER program is supported by USAID in conjunction with several USG science agencies. Administered by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, PEER is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries, partnered with USG-supported collaborators, to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential development impacts. This innovative program is designed to leverage the investments other USG-supported agencies have made in scientific research and training while supporting the initiatives of developing country scientists.
This round’s winning research programs in Vietnam include:
- Integrating remote sensing, field data, and social surveys for biodiversity conservation in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Research associates – Huong Nguyen, Tay Nguyen University, and Radeloff Volker, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
- GIS and remote sensing application for assessment of land degradation in the Lower Mekong River Basin. Research associates – Quyet Vu, Soils and Fertilizers Research Institute (SFRI), and John Bolten, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center.
- Study on coral reef resilience in comparative areas in South Vietnam for marine biodiversity conservation in a changing world. Research associates – Tuan Si Vo, Institute of Oceanography, and Mark Eakin, NOAA Coral Reef Watch.
- An assessment of smoking and access to care as risk factors for gender-differences in TB rates: a substudy of the Vietnam National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) TB prevalence survey 2016-2018. Research associates – Nguyen Van Hung, Vietnam NTP, and Payam Nahid, University of California, San Francisco.
The next call for PEER proposals will open in October 2016. To learn more about the PEER program, please visit: http://www.nas.edu/peer.