National Natural Science Foundation of China
The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), founded in 1986 and initially under the State Council's jurisdiction, later transitioned to be managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) while maintaining operational independence. NSFC's primary mission is to support basic research, nurture talented researchers, facilitate international collaborations, and contribute to socioeconomic development. It operates through three program categories, focusing on research promotion, talent development, and infrastructure for basic research.
Over the years, NSFC has seen a substantial increase in government investment, with its annual budget growing from 80 million RMB in 1986 to 31.11 billion RMB in 2019. In 2018, it awarded 44,504 new grants to over 1,500 host institutions, mainly benefiting individual researchers and investigator groups, as well as funding crucial instruments and facilities for cutting-edge research. Additionally, NSFC actively encourages international cooperation, having established 93 cooperative agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with partners in 49 countries and regions to promote collaboration in basic research.
INSF – NSFC Collaboration
The Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) and NSFC signed an MoU in 2017 to facilitate scientific partnerships among scientists in Iran and China through joint research, workshops, and personnel exchanges.
Since 2021, the two organizations have consistently provided joint funding schemes through annual calls for proposals. The first two calls were focused on general scientific areas, namely life sciences, materials sciences, mathematics, physics, chemical sciences, and geosciences. Starting from the third call in 2023, INSF and NSFC have decided to narrow down the scientific scope in their calls, focusing more on priority areas of mutual interest.