The Food, Energy, Water, and Ecosystems Resources (FEWER) Research Coordination Network (RCN) is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (award no. 1624171) through 2020. The purpose of the FEWER RCN is to coordinate cross-disciplinary research within the Minority Institute Research Collaborative (MIRC) and between MIRC scientists and international partners with a focus on faculty-scientists at institutions in Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. This includes: Vietnam National University (VNU), Can Tho University (CTU), Mahasarakham University (MU), Chiang Mai University (CMU), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), and the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).

Coordination of research between labs may include studies generally involving one (or more) of the following topics:

  • Aquatic Biology and Ecosystems Science (ABES)
  • Traditional Use Plants And Natural Products Development (PANP)
  • Biofuels Feedstocks and Enzyme Systems (BFES)
  • Impacts of Climate Change On Biodiversity in the Lower Mekong Basin (ICOB)

Given that this RCN is funded as an RCN Undergraduate Biology Education (UBE) proposal, projects that involve advancing undergraduate curriculum and those that provide research opportunities to undergraduates are highly encouraged.  Projects which are led by and provide opportunities to scientists, especially those from groups that have been historically underrepresented in science, are strongly encouraged.  This includes pre-tenure racial/ethnic minority faculty at U.S. institutions navigating the academic path towards tenure.

Coordinating project between labs that have a strong applications outcome that may provide potential solutions to real issues in tribal and rural communities of the Lower Mekong Basin and comparator communities in the U.S. are highly encouraged.  Science that forwards the development of sustainable rural/tribal communities is a specific focus on the FEWER RCN; however, basic science in biodiversity and understanding the impacts of anthropogenic perturbations and climate change in such regions are also supported.