The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) is awarding $34 million to the 33 winning teams of the 2013 competition for the HFSP Research Grants. Applicants went through a rigorous year-long selection process in a global competition that started with 715 submitted letters of intent. This year, 10 Young Investigator teams were approved (involving 28 scientists) together with 23 Program Grants (involving 81 scientists). Each team member receives on average $110,000 - $125,000 per year for 3 years.
HFSP collaborative research grants are given for a broad range of projects under the umbrella theme of "Complex mechanisms of living organisms". Particular emphasis is placed on cutting-edge, risky projects. Two types of research grants are awarded: Young Investigator Grants for teams of scientists who are all within 5 years of obtaining their first independent position and Program Grants, which are open to teams of scientists at any stage of their careers. While there are bilateral or regional agreements for international collaboration, the HFSP grant program is unique because it is the only one that encourages bottom-up applications from teams involving scientists worldwide.
HFSPO President Nobutaka Hirokawa, from the University of Tokyo Medical School, comments that, "HFSP grant collaborations are successful because they enable international research teams to join efforts for investigating a fundamental problem." He also emphasizes that "HFSP's broad and unrestricted 'hands-on' collaborative approach is more suitable to attack the future challenges in the life sciences."
Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, HFSPO Secretary General, is, "excited about the quality of the teams and their projects which makes the task of our review committee very difficult. The high number of submitted applications leaves no doubt about the increased demand for our collaborative research grants throughout the world."
A strong preference is given to intercontinental collaborations. The awardees' laboratories are located in 21 different countries, including 54 in Europe, 37 in N. America and 9 in Japan as well as laboratories in the non-member countries: Panama, Turkey, and Israel. In this round, the selected scientists are of 26 different nationalities with American, German and Japanese scientists being the most numerous.
HFSP aims to involve younger scientists in international collaborations. Therefore principal applicants for Program Grants are encouraged to include younger scientists as co-investigators in their teams. The mean age for Program Grant awardees is 46 years, whereas Young Investigator Grant awardees average at 37 years.
Full lists of the new awards are available on the HFSP web site at http://www.
The Human Frontier Science Program is an international program of research support implemented by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) based in Strasbourg, France. Its aims are to promote intercontinental collaboration and training in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research focused on the life sciences. HFSPO receives financial support from the governments or research councils of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, UK, USA, as well as from the European Union.