National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh has made international scientific collaborations a priority, but there has been one consistent challenge in getting researchers from the US and around the world to work with each other, says ScienceInsider's Jeffrey Mervis. It takes a lot of time to agree on rules regarding intellectual property, access to data, and — most importantly — standards for peer review, he adds. "We keep repeating the same thing over and over," Suresh tells Mervis. "Having to start from scratch causes considerable delay, and it is a big waste of time."
To solve this problem, Suresh has brought together 47 leaders of research funding agencies from 44 different countries to hammer out the first-ever global standards for peer review, Mervis says. In addition, the meeting is the official introduction of the Global Research Council. "The council intends to tackle a succession of problems affecting funding agencies around the world," Mervis adds.