The International Science Foundation for the Former Soviet Union (ISF), with the help of discipline-specific panels composed of representatives of United States scientific organizations and more than 200 American and European scientists, is conducting what participants are calling an unprecedented peer-review process. The effort is scheduled to culminate this month with the funding of about 900 research proposals from scientists in Russia and other Baltic states.

The grants will total $45 million to $50 million and will fund 10 percent to 20 percent of the proposals under consideration, according to Chris Williams, an executive assistant at ISF who is involved in the grant-review process. Williams says that, in all, 11,000 proposals were submitted to ISF; of these, he notes, 9,000 passed a formal screening of minimum requirements.

"The criteria [were] rather strict, but even though the scientists in the former Soviet Union are confined by a crumbling technical and equipment...

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