MERC Funding Process

Speeches Shim

  • Pre-proposal:  Arab and Israeli researchers first submit four-to-six-page pre-proposals to describe the proposed work. Click here to download the MERC 2020 pre-proposal instructions

  • Pre-proposal review:  Pre-proposals are judged by technical experts within USAID. Experts in the proposed topic will score the pre-proposal on Arab-Israeli cooperation, relevance to regional development, technical merit and innovation. The MERC Committee consisting of USAID technical staff and State Department representatives vote whether or not to invite the investigators to move to the next step by submitting a full proposal. MERC receives between 40-100 pre-proposals yearly. Usually 15-20 pre-proposals are invited to submit full proposals.

  • Full proposal review:  Full proposals contain detailed information about the experimental plan, investigators and outreach of the project. USAID calls peer-review panels of scientists and engineers active in the fields of research proposed. Several topically related proposals are discussed at one meeting and between three and five outside reviewers read each proposal. After a discussion, the panel votes to recommend if the proposal should be funded or not. The reviewers also suggest changes to the proposal to help improve the work.

  • Proposal selection:  After the proposals have been graded, the MERC Committee discusses the technical assessment along with the other aspects of MERC’s requirements. The proposals are ranked according to score and as a group; the MERC Committee decides which proposals move on to grant negotiation. Grants are awarded after all conditions have been met.

MERC 2020 pre-proposal instructions