"Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community."
"International partnerships are essential to addressing critical science and engineering problems. In the global context, U.S. researchers and educators must be able to operate effectively in teams with partners from different nations and cultural backgrounds. PIRE promotes excellence in science and engineering through international collaboration and facilitates development of a diverse, globally-engaged, U.S. science and engineering workforce."
Gravitational waves are a key prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but their influence has only been indirectly detected to date. Millisecond pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit pulses of radio waves, similar to flashes of light from a lighthouse. Gravitational waves perturb the travel of these pulses from a pulsar to the Earth. Together with international collaborators, the U.S. investigators will use radio telescopes around the world to observe signals from dozens of pulsars over several years. This will enable the detection or placement of stringent limits on the existence of gravitational waves. The PIRE award will support many of the activities of the North American NanoHertz Observatory for Gravitational waves (NANOGrav) as well as provide essential resources for the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA), a collaboration with Australian, European, and Indian scientists. The direct detection of gravitational waves will open up a new window on the universe that will allow studies of black holes at the cores of massive galaxies and the earliest stages of the universe.The PIRE program will foster international research collaboration and cooperation by (i) supporting postdoctoral researchers and graduate and undergraduate students at 10 U.S. institutions, (ii) funding yearly international science meetings, student workshops, and research and observing trips, (iii) providing infrastructure for communication, data storage, and data management, and (iv) establishing study abroad programs. These initiatives will broaden student horizons and enable U.S. researchers to collaborate more effectively with international colleagues in pursuit of this outstanding frontier of Einstein’s legacy.
Lisa Kohne from SmartStart Educational Consulting Services serves as the external evaluator for the PIRE project. Evaluation results provide feedback to the PIRE leadership team to improve PIRE project activities. They also assess progress made towards achievement of project goals. Evaluation findings are based on surveys, evaluation forms, interviews, and focus group discussions. Quarterly evaluation reports and newsletters are available below.
To assist us as we apply the funds from the NSF PIRE award we have enlisted a diverse advisory board. Their invaluable input will insure that we meet our goals and fulfill expectations.