America's global competitiveness in science and engineering depends on sustaining and expanding its globally competent pool of science and engineering professionals, a growing challenge in today's competitive marketplace. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Central Europe Summer Research Institute (CESRI) will provide eight U.S. graduate students in the sciences and engineering with a high-quality international research experience in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland or Slovakia.
Two (2) CESRI grants are funded by DAAD and are specifically for CESRI Fellowships to Germany. The remaining six (6) CESRI grants are funded by NSF for the entire Central Europe region, with preference for grants to countries other than Germany.
The CESRI program will be 8 weeks in length, with the first 4 days spent as a group in Budapest, Hungary in a specially designed cultural and academic orientation to the region. Participants will spend the remaining 7.5 weeks working in individually-arranged placements in university labs or other appropriate sites where they can participate in creative research activities under the supervision of European mentors.
Current U.S. graduate students in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, and Mathematics are encouraged to apply. IIE will conduct a national competition to select outstanding graduate students using a selection panel of faculty members in science and engineering fields.
The program is intended for scientific research projects; thus field-work, policy, ethics and related disciplines will not be considered. Also, projects involving clinical research on human subjects will not be accepted.
There are several preference factors, which include: proposals to countries that are under-represented in international scientific exchanges and individuals traditionally under-represented in the sciences. NSF GK-12 Fellows are specifically encouraged to apply for the NSF. However, the paramount preference factor is the quality of the proposed project.
Program Length and Start Dates
The program will be a total of eight weeks. CESRI will begin with an academic and cultural orientation in Budapest, Hungary, followed by seven and a half weeks at the individual research placement.
Back: Michael McQuinn (Germany), Grant Johnson (Germany), Vance Whitaker (Germany), Michael Walter (Austria)
CESRI Orientation, Summer 2006, Budapest
Front: Irene Sang Kim (IIE New York), Lisa Marx (Austria), Jenelle Bray (Czech Republic), Kari Dilley (Czech Republic), Daniel Heller (Germany), and Chris Medalis (IIE Budapest)
Candidates are encouraged to establish relationships with research institutions or mentors in Central Europe that they feel will best suit their interests and needs. IIE will then make the formal arrangements to place selected candidates at these institutions.
In other cases, IIE will place students who do not have a pre-established institution/mentor relationship in research positions based upon the participant's preferences and best academic fit for their needs. Consideration will also be given to geographic balance and overall program diversity. In consultation with universities and colleague organizations such as the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), IIE will identify appropriate institutions and faculty mentors to host selected candidates.
In the interest of cultivating truly diverse international science experience, we encourage all applicants to consider countries they might otherwise overlook, such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.
Internship: mid-June to mid-August
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent U.S. federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense." With an annual budget of about $5.5 billion, they are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.
They fulfill their mission chiefly by issuing limited-term grants – currently about 10,000 new awards per year, with an average duration of three years – to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. Most of these awards go to individuals or small groups of investigators. Others provide funding for research centers, instruments and facilities that allow scientists, engineers and students to work at the outermost frontiers of knowledge. NSF's goal is to support the people, ideas and tools that together make discovery possible.
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The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. They offer programs and funding for students, faculty, researchers and others in higher education. They also represent the German higher education system abroad, promote Germany as an academic and research destination, and help build ties between institutions around the world.
The DAAD was founded in 1925 by the German student Carl Joachim Friedrich who was able to obtain 13 fellowships from the Institute of International Education for Germans in the social sciences to study in the US. From these early beginnings – and with a re-founding of the organization after World War II – the DAAD currently awards more than 65,000 fellowships a year and is the largest grantor of international academic mobility support in the world. Based in Bonn, DAAD now plays important roles in furthering the international aspects of German academic, cultural, and science policies; supporting the international relations of German colleges and universities through international exchange and programs; and maintaining a worldwide network of offices, guest professors, and alumni who offer information and assistance on a local level.
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