We envision that development challenges are efficiently addressed in partner countries through increasing scientific knowledge in the basic sciences.
ISP was established at Uppsala University, Sweden in 1961. Today ISP consists of three subprograms:
- the International Programme in the Physical Sciences (IPPS), started 1961
- the International Programme in the Chemical Sciences (IPICS), started 1970
- the International Programme in the Mathematical Sciences (IPMS), started 2002
We envision that development challenges are efficiently addressed in partner countries through increasing scientific knowledge.
Our mission is to strengthen the scientific knowledge, research capacity and postgraduate education in the basic sciences chemistry, mathematics and physics in countries where such capacity is non-existing or weak.
How we do it (the ISP model)
We provide long-term funding, coordination and mentoring to research groups and regional scientific networks at universities and research institutes in low and lower-middle income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our model builds on:
- Support to institutionally based research groups and regional scientific networks (not individuals)
- Long-term support (decades) to enable capacity building and self-sustainability
- Local ownership of the research agenda and the use of funds
- Flexibility and tailor made support responding to local needs and strategies
- The establishment of research links between supported groups and better equipped host research groups abroad (regionally or internationally)
- Sandwich postgraduate training, where the students travel back and forth between their home institution and the collaborating host institution abroad
Supported groups and networks use ISP-funding to improve their research environments by purchasing e.g. laboratory equipment, consumables, literature, and computing tools. Funds are also used for organizing and attending conferences and workshops, and for exchange of scientists and postgraduate sandwich students with collaborating host research groups abroad. ISP support is ideally phased out when groups and networks have sufficient resources, and are strong and competitive enough to sustain on their own.
Our main funding comes from the Swedish Government through the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Other important contributors are Uppsala University and Stockholm University.
As a result of the excellent program achievements, the well-established mode of operation and management practices, Sida has also entrusted ISP with demanding coordination assignments in all Swedish bilateral research programs that support research development in low and lower-middle income countries (presently Bolivia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda).