NIST Office of International Affairs
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Office of International Affairs

[blue bullet] Foreign Guest Researcher Program

[blue bullet] Foreign Visitor Program

[blue bullet] International Agreements

[blue bullet] Funding Opportunities with Egypt

[blue bullet] US-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation

[blue bullet] Russian Academy of Sciences Exchange Program

[blue bullet] Advice on International Policy

[blue bullet] Serve as Liaison for International Policy and Inquiries

Point of Contact:

Dr. Claire M. Saundry
Chief, Office of International Affairs
Office of International and Academic Affairs
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1090
Administration Building, Room A505
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1090
Phone: 1.301.975.2386
Fax: 1.301.975.3530


Foreign Guest Researcher Program

The Foreign Guest Researcher Program offers scientists from around the world the opportunity to work collaboratively with NIST scientists.

Foreign guest researchers at NIST fall into three categories:

  • Those supported by their home institutions;
  • Researchers supported through bilateral programs or international organizations; and
  • Direct scientist-to-scientist collaboration or support.

Although NIST sometimes can provide a modest allowance for U.S. living expenses, guest researcher support generally comes from sponsoring companies or organizations.

The Foreign Guest Researcher Program is managed by the Office of International Affairs (OIA). Once you have been accepted into a NIST research program, your laboratory host and OIA staff can assist during your stay at NIST.

OIA provides assistance with:

  • Policy and procedures on foreign guest researcher appointments;
  • Visas: Serves as the primary point of contact at NIST for the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of State; Manages the Exchange Visitor J-1 program;
  • Coordinates hiring of non-U.S. citizens at NIST; and
  • Tax Information: Provides tax consultations for non-U.S. citizens.

Points of Contact for the Foreign Guest Researcher Program:

National Institute of Standards and Technology
Office of International Affairs
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1090
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1090
Cathy Smith, 1.301.975.3082
Bonnie Debord, 1.301.975.3079
Aija Roess, 1.301.975.3072
Fax: 1.301.975.3530

Funding Opportunities with Egypt

In 1995, the Government of the United States of America signed a cooperative science and technology agreement.  The United States and Egypt contribute equally each year to a joint fund which support cooperative activities under this agreement. A Joint Board has been established which is responsible for the technical review of joint proposals. Project awards are made on a competitive basis.

This program was not established to provide the primary source of funds for domestic research, rather, the funds are intended to support add on costs of bilateral cooperation, such as transportation, equipment, per diem, and to provide for exchange visits with U.S. collaborating scientists. Each project must have a U.S. and Egyptian participant. Under this program, most awards are made for three years.

For more information, please contact Dr. Susan Heller-Zeisler or Dr. Claire M. Saundry.

US-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation  

MISSION: To stimulate, promote, and support industrial Research and Development of mutual benefit to the United States and Israel.

BIRD supports US-Israel company partnerships dedicated to developing and commercializing non-defense-related innovative products or processes. The conditional grants are paid directly to the participating companies. BIRD funds 50 percent of the companies' expenses in developing a product to the stage of commercial readiness. BIRD funding is provided in the form of a conditional grant, which does not entitle BIRD to equity or intellectual property rights. If the project is a commercial success, the Foundation receives repayments -a pretax expense to the grantee- up to a maximum of 150 percent of the conditional grant.

Financial support for BIRD is derived from two sources: interest earned on the $110 million endowment granted in equal parts by the United States and Israeli governments, and repayment income from companies participating in successful BIRD-funded projects.

For more information, please contact Ms. Magdalena Navarro or the US-Israel BIRD Foundation Homepage.

Russian Academy of Sciences Exchange Program  

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by NIST and the Russian Academy of Sciences provides for scientific cooperation between the two parties. This includes provisions for the exchange of scientists, scientific and technical information and documentation, joint meetings, and seminars and joint projects. OIAA coordinates and provides support for the exchange of scientists on a receiving-side-pays basis. The total length of stay is limited to 6 person-months. Scientific exchanges are carried out under the principle of mutual benefit and equality. 

Liaison for International Policy and Inquiries

  • Disseminate information to NIST staff on U.S. foreign policy objectives, and on NIST and U.S. Government relationships with other countries.

  • Disseminate information on funding opportunities for international activities.

  • Serve as liaison to foreign embassies and international offices at other government agencies.

  • Coordinate with the Departments of State and Commerce on international science and technology programs.

  • Coordinate NIST participation in U.S. Government bilateral science and technology agreements.

  • Interpret foreign policy guidelines set by Departments of State and Commerce.

  • Assist in implementing NIST participation in U.S. Government initiatives that support foreign policy objectives such as the U.S.-Egypt, U.S.-South Africa and U.S.-Russia Economic Commissions and the Civilian Research and Development Foundation for the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

Foreign Visitor Program

OIA serves as the primary point of contact for all visits of foreign nationals to NIST. OIA coordinates short term visits of foreign visitors. OIA does not routinely provide scheduled tours for international visitors. However, as requested, specific technical meetings may be coordinated according to the interests of the visitor(s). A two week advance notice is requested.

For further information regarding the NIST Foreign Visitor Program, please contact Mrs. Joy Foster.

Advice on International Policy

  • Assist NIST travelers visiting foreign countries;

  • Prepare travel cables to notify U.S. Embassies for NIST travelers to Taiwan, Japan, China, and Former Soviet Union countries; and

  • Provide information on travel advisories.

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Updated: September 29, 2004