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Evaluation of the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program Volume 1: Final Report

Alina Martinez, Carter Epstein, Amanda Parsad; with assistance from Lisa Setrakian and Maureen Sarna


December 17, 2015
The National Science Foundation contracted with Abt Associates to conduct an evaluation of its Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program, which supports intellectually substantive collaborations between U.S. and foreign researchers in which the international partnership is essential to the research effort.The evaluation compared the research outcomes of PIRE and comparison group awards (i.e., projects) and personnel (Principal Investigators, postdoctoral and graduate student participants); compared participant experiences, especially collaborations with foreign investigators during and subsequent to the award period; examined the role of U.S. institutional policies and practices in the implementation of PIRE awards; and explored potential contributions to global societal challenges. 

Findings suggest that the PIRE program is fostering the global engagement of U.S. scientists and engineers with no loss of research productivity or quality relative to the comparison group.  A quasi-experimental comparative interrupted time series analysis showed that PIRE increases postdoctoral researchers' and graduate students' research productivity and the citation impact of postdocs' publications.

North America