Resources for research funding

What follows is a (hopefully) incomplete list of funding sources, especially for collaborative, international projects. These were selected as being less than well-known to the scientific research community at large. The major, traditional and well-known sources that are largely country/community-specific (e.g. NSF, USDA, DOE, NIH, ISF and EU/EC) have not been included. At the moment, you will see that many of these links are to Israeli/binational collaborative programs; this reflects where the authors are more than anything else.  Please contact us with additions – opportunities that we are not aware of – or corrections.

Note: transient opportunities, e.g. for conference travel support or studentships/fellowships are listed under the Events menu heading.


United States – Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)
Eligible countries: Israel/USA

In addition to “regular research grants” which fund joint projects, this agency offers start-up research grants for scientists at the initial stages of their independent careers, travel grants for young scientists, support for workshops, and a small number of larger grants for “Transformative Science”, i.e. “research driven by ideas that have the potential to radically change our understanding of an important scientific concept, or lead to the creation of a new paradigm, or a new field of science.

NSF-BSF (Various)
Eligible countries: Israel/USA

Contains the listing of all programs, submissions opening and deadline dates, and publications and forms needed to apply for grants.

German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel. Note: GIF has programs targetting early career scientists.

The Foundation was established to promote and fund basic and applied scientific research projects, conducted jointly by teams of scientists, for peaceful purposes in both countries.
In the past two years, GIF has distributed about EUR 12 million per year for grants in the two programs it offers.
The GIF Regular Program supports cooperative research projects involving active collaboration between German and Israeli scientists, such as interdependent research conducted in different laboratories, sharing of research facilities, materials, equipment and/or services, exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge and/or exchanges of research personnel. The GIF can assist potential applicants in finding potential collaborator.
The GIF Young Scientists’ Program aims to encourage young scientists and help them establish first contacts with potential counterparts in Israel or Germany. The program supports researchers within 8 years after completing their Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree.
The aim of the GIF Young Scientists’ Meetings (GYSM) is to create a platform for young scholars from both countries, who are doing their first steps in the academia, to meet, become acquainted with each other’s work, learn about funding opportunities, and get the chance to discuss their ideas with established scientists in their field of research. The GYSM are open to doctoral students in the last stages of obtaining their degree, and researchers up to 5 years after receiving their PhD, MD, or equivalent degree.

Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Eligible countries: Israel/China
Note: click on “English” in top-left corner; targetted research areas change annually.

Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-India University Grants Commission (UGC)
Eligible countries: Israel/India
Note: click on “English” in top-left corner; targetted research this year includes plant sciences.

Israel Science Foundation (ISF)-National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF)
Eligible countries: Israel/Singapore
Note: click on “English” in top-left corner

United States – Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD)
Eligible countries: USA/Israel
Note: various programs; also Israel & Canada, Queensland, Texas Dept of Agriculture, and University of Maryland

BARD projects, conducted cooperatively by American and Israeli scientists, cover all phases of agricultural research and development, including integrated projects and strategic or applied research. Cooperative research entails active collaboration between Israeli and American scientists. The following research areas were identified by the Board of Directors as top priorities for the coming years:

  • Increased Efficiency of Agricultural Production
  • Protection of Plants and Animals Against Biotic and Abiotic Stress
  • Food Quality, Safety and Security
  • Water Quality & Quantity
  • Functional Genomics and Proteomics
  • Sensors and Robotics
  • Sustainable Bio-Energy Systems

The BARD website also contains sections on binational programs with Canada, Queensland, the Texas Department of Agriculture/Texas Israel Exchange, and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute opportunities. [/toggle]

Eligible countries: USA/Israel/Palestinian Authority/Jordan
Note: Facilitating grant program; other Arab nations can also participate

Purpose: The purpose of the Facilitating Grant program is to enable small multinational research groups to jointly prepare a detailed research proposal, which will be submitted by the research team for funding to other international granting agencies, and to fund preliminary research that would strengthen the team’s proposal when applying to the international granting agency.

Priority areas: MARD activities are focused on priority areas that address pressing agricultural problems in the Middle East. Proposals related to the following areas will be considered: animal and plant stress physiology under extreme weather conditions and global warming, plant and animal production, plant and animal diseases, soil and water related research associated with food production, irrigation and water quality issues, food quality and safety, technology transfer and capacity building.

Team Composition: The team should consist of representatives from all four nations – The Palestinian Authority (PA), Jordan, Israel and the US. Investigators from other Arab nations such as Egypt, Morocco, etc., may also participate when preparing a proposal to be submitted to MERC, USAID, DFG or similar funding agencies that require participation of such nations. Under special circumstances the Board of Directors may consider proposals submitted by representatives from Jordan, the PA and Israel only or from Jordan and Israel or the PA and Israel only.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Eligible countries: Germany and various countries
Note: German partner submits and can include international partners

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Priority Programs
Eligible countries: Germany and various countries
Note: German consortium that puts out calls that can include international partners

Example of relevant DFG program – “ADAPTOMICS”
Eligible countries: Germany and various countries

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) – Middle East Collaboration
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel; Arab nations can be included

German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP)
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel

Human Frontier Science Program
See list of eligible countries on the HFSP website

Research grants are provided for teams of scientists from different countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches to questions that could not be answered by individual laboratories.

Emphasis is placed on novel collaborations that bring together scientists preferably from different disciplines (e.g. from chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering) to focus on problems in the life sciences. Note, HFSPO funds only basic research. Applied applications, including medical research typically funded by national medical research bodies, will be deemed ineligible.
The research teams must be international. The principal applicant must be from one of the eligible countries. However, other participating scientists and laboratories may be situated anywhere in the world.

Two types of Research Grant are available: Young Investigators’ Grants and Program Grants. Young Investigators’ Grants are awarded to teams of researchers, all of whom are within the first five years after obtaining an independent laboratory. Applications for Young Investigators’ Grants will be reviewed in competition with each other independently of applications for Program Grants. Program Grants are awarded to teams of independent researchers at any stage of their careers. The research team is expected to develop new lines of research through the collaboration. Up to $450,000 per grant per year may be applied for. Applications including independent investigators early in their careers are encouraged.

Minerva Stiftung – Minerva Centers
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel
Note: although Minerva programs are principally for German/Israel collaborations, partnerships involving other countries are sometimes possible.

Currently, 23 Minerva Centers are being funded at the six universities and the Weizmann Institute in Israel. The Minerva Centers perform research in various fields. They are dedicated to promoting cooperation between German and Israeli scientists in particular through joint research projects, short-term research exchanges, symposia, and workshops. For a listing of all 23 centers, please click here.

Minerva Stiftung – Minerva Fellowship Program
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel
Note: although Minerva programs are principally for German/Israel collaborations, partnerships involving other countries are sometimes possible.

The Minerva Fellowships and the Minerva Short-Term Research Grants enable Israeli and German scientists and researchers to complete a research residency at institutions in the respective other country lasting from one week to thirty-six months. Younger scientists and researchers (graduates and post docs) are given preferential treatment in the selection process.
These grants are available to candidates from all subjects at German and Israeli universities and research institutions. The closing dates for applications for Minerva Fellowships are January 15 and June 15.

Minerva Stiftung – Minerva-Gentner Symposia
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel
Note: although Minerva programs are principally for German/Israel collaborations, partnerships involving other countries are sometimes possible.

Gentner Symposia are held annually in Germany or Israel and may be in any area of research. Their aim is to initiate new collaborative efforts in fields that are not yet in the focus of German-Israeli cooperations. These symposia bring together Israeli and German scientists and colleagues from other countries, enabling scientific discourse, exchange of ideas, and new interactions. Not yet established young scientists (PhD students, post docs) have the opportunity to get recognized by senior scientists during these symposia. Gentner Symposia funding supports expenses for travel, accommodation, boarding and participation for all participants.

Minervar Stiftung – Minerva Schools
Eligible countries: Germany/Israel
Note: although Minerva programs are principally for German/Israel collaborations, partnerships involving other countries are sometimes possible.

Minerva Schools aim at enabling first contacts, scientific discourse, exchange of ideas and also interaction with select senior scientists. In this sense the funding provided is seed money to establish new collaborative efforts. The venue may be in either Germany or Israel.

National Geographic
Eligible countries: All countries

The National Geographic Society pushes the boundaries of exploration to further understanding of our planet and empower the global community to generate solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future. We invest in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, conservation, education, and storytelling. Our goal is to identify, cultivate, and develop the world-changers of today and tomorrow. When we award a grant, we are inviting a scientist, conservationist, educator, or storyteller to join a passionate community of like-minded, global leaders. We are looking for people from around the world who are not afraid to take risks, think differently, and challenge themselves and others to push the boundaries of what is possible. Whether you are a scientist, storyteller, conservationist, or educator, you have the ability to reveal the amazing diversity and hidden complexities of our world, sharing ideas and information that can lead to important solutions.National Geographic Explorers share a common set of values that guides them in their pursuit to better understand our planet and its critical interconnections. We expect our explorers to wield their collective power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to change the world.

Israel Institute for Advanced Studies
Eligible countries: All countries
Note: funds conferences, advanced schools and long-term research groups

The primary function of the Institute is to encourage and support collaborative research. Along with collaborative Research Groups, the Institute annually hosts five Advanced Schools as well as many conferences. The Institute was founded to provide a nurturing and stimulating academic environment, championing outstanding scholarly research in a wide range of disciplines. It brings together scholars from around the world to engage in collaborative research projects for periods of five and ten months. International collaboration is also fostered through our many conferences and our Advanced Schools. The Institute is similar in concept to several existing Institutes of Advanced Study, yet also unique in its sponsoring unrestricted academic research and hosting collaborative teams throughout the more than thirty-five years since its establishment.

Volkswagen Foundation
Eligible countries: All countries

The Volkswagen Foundation supports projects in a wide range of areas, including Agronomy and Forestry, Biology and Biochemistry/Biophysics. It is dedicated to the support of the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. It funds research projects in path-breaking areas and provides assistance to academic institutions for the improvement of the structural conditions for their work. In particular, the Foundation perceives its mission in supporting aspiring young academics and in promoting interdisciplinary and international collaboration. The Foundation focuses its funding activities on selected initiatives, listed on the website. By means of these initiatives, it endeavors to provide effective stimuli for research and to establish forward-looking topics.

USAID – Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC)
Eligible countries: Israel/Arab countries

Drought and disease know no political boundaries. Meeting these challenges and fully realizing potential innovations requires cooperation across the Middle East. The Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC) Program was established in 1981 to facilitate research collaboration between Egyptian and Israeli scientists after their two countries signed the Camp David Accords. The program expanded to include Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1993. Today, MERC continues to bring together Arab and Israeli scientists and students to create and share solutions to regional development challenges while promoting a peaceful exchange between neighbors.


  • Promote peaceful cooperation and cultural exchange between Arab and Israeli scientists.
  • Encourage innovation by inviting open-topic research proposals so regional investigators work on problems most relevant to them.
  • Focus on student and young scientist training by emphasizing cross-border exchanges between Arab and Israeli researchers.
  • Utilize peer review by U.S. scientists to ensure unbiased, thorough evaluation of research proposals.
  • Conduct targeted outreach to extend beneficial research results into the communities that will benefit the most.
  • Encourage direct Arab-Israeli cooperation while decreasing reliance on American intermediary scientists.

Bayer CropScience
Eligible countries: all. Note: different topics with new calls are announced throughout the year.

In collaboration with excellent academic groups, start-ups and crop science specialists, Bayer CropScience aims to provide new solutions for increased crop productivity and a sustainable global food supply. Bayer offers you financial and scientific support to promote the exploration of ideas for novel molecular targets towards the development of innovative new crop protection solutions for weed, pest and disease control. Their aim is to translate innovation coming from research into modern crop protection products suitable for the future challenges of the global agricultural community.