HA NOI (VNS)- Vietnamese scholars and their US partners have earned three awards under a US Government programme to fund scientific research in developing countries.
The awards were from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), under the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER).
PEER is a USAID-funded competitive grants programme being administered by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in co-ordination with NSF.
Viet Nam’s winning research programmes include Conservation genetics for improved biodiversity and resource management in a changing Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, Technical development and field-testing of a self-contained inexpensive wave energy converter device, and Evaluating the sustainability of groundwater resources: academic and scientific gaps.
The first programme will examine genetic adaptation of populations to the changing conditions of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta caused by increasing effects of damming, development, agriculture and climate change.
The research associates are Dang Thuy Binh from Nha Trang University and Kent E. Carpenter from Old Dominion University.
The second programme will work to develop a field-deployable wave energy converter device to provide basic electrical needs for people living in underdeveloped and remote coastal communities in Viet Nam.
The project will focus on further developing the wave energy converter device to improve mechanical and electrical efficiency, reduce production costs and explore potential uses, such as an ocean sensor platform.
The research is being jointly conducted by Nguyen H. Tho of Tan Tao University and Brian Bingham of the University of Hawaii.
The thrid programme will sample groundwater around Ha Noi to assess the risks of arsenic contamination.
Young scientists will be trained to carry out sampling and gathering information to ensure the safety and sustainability of aquifers.
The research is co-hosted by Pham T.K. Trang of Ha Noi University of Science and Benjamin Carlos Bostick of Columbia University.
In 2013, USAID and the NSF awarded 54 new research projects in 32 countries totalling nearly US$7.5 million to collaborate on areas such as agroforestry, groundwater purification, biodiversity, volcano risk reduction, and drought and climate change.
PEER Science winners were selected from nearly 300 high-quality proposals and represent more than $76 million of leveraged NSF funding through collaborations with their US research partners.
The third call for PEER Science proposals is expected to be announced in early September.- VNS