The International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program supports high performance network connectivity required by international science and engineering research and education collaborations involving the NSF research community. NSF expects to make a set of awards to: (1) link U.S. research networks with peer networks in other parts of the world and leverage existing international network connectivity; (2) support U.S. infrastructure and innovation of open network exchange points; (3) drive innovation and state-of-the-art capabilities for Research and Education (R&E) Network Operation Centers (NOC); (4) stimulate the development, application and use of advanced network measurement capabilities and services across international network paths; and (5) support community engagement in training and human and network capacity building, and coordination in advanced network engineering. High performance network connections funded by this program are intended to support science and engineering research and education applications, and preference will be given to solutions which provide the best economy of scale and demonstrate the ability to support the largest communities of interest with the broadest services. Funded projects will assist the U.S. research and education community by enabling state-of-the-art international network services and access to increased collaboration and data services. Through extended international network connections, additional research and production network services will be enabled, complementing those currently offered or planned by domestic research networks.