Research shows that international education enhances graduate students’ learning, professional networking and knowledge development. Successful research collaborations are dependent on interpersonal relationships and the international competencies that students acquire abroad increase their ability to develop such relationships, thus positioning their home institutions to enhance their cross-border partnerships, research collaborations and other forms of global engagement.

Over the past decade, American educators and policy makers have increasingly acknowledged the global nature of scientific research, the changing perception of the U.S. as a destination for higher education in the sciences, and that other countries are outpacing the U.S. in production of PhDs in key STEM fields. In order to change this equation, U.S. -based scientists and engineers need to work with leaders and researchers outside the U.S. to pursue ground-breaking inquiry in particular fields.

The Institute of International Education is pleased to announce the third cycle of the IIE-GIRE (Graduate International Research Experiences) Fellowship program, a grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support doctoral engineering students to conduct innovative research abroad for 3 – 5 months.

For the third cycle of the program (January - September 2021), up to 15 U.S. PhD candidates will be funded to spend 3 to 5 months abroad, conducting innovative research and creating ties between their home and host institution. Awards will include funding that will go towards the students’ international travel and living stipend (for 3-5 months abroad), health insurance, visa fees, and a small fund for educational materials. In addition, each student’s home campus faculty adviser will receive $2,000 to help support their own travel to the research site abroad to visit their student, or for other relevant activities to support internationalization of home campus graduate programs.

The funding will include $1,500 USD as a base stipend (to be used for flight and any visa-related fees) + $2,100 USD per month. The total max sum to be paid to any grantee is $12,000 USD. While selecting a host institution is preferred, we recognize that some applicants may not be able to identify a host institution that can provide the specific international research experience they are seeking. A host institution is not required (if selected, we will work with you to help identify a placement) but is highly encouraged.

IIE will also provide several enrichment webinars for the selected grantees, focused on Critical Topics in International STEM Education and Policy & Professional Development (academic and non-academic career paths).

While at the host institution, each student is strongly encouraged to conduct at least one presentation at their host institution or in their host community to discuss their research, and STEM research and education in the U.S., more broadly. After returning home to their home institution, participants are required to share their learning with others at the home institution through conducting a presentation, lecture or discussion.

NSF guidelines require that all grant funds be used only by U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and cannot be disbursed to non-US citizens, even those enrolled in U.S. academic programs.

Eligible fields include all recognized engineering fields including but not limited to:

  • Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical/Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Material Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science PhD candidates will be considered if the program is within the   home institution’s Engineering School