Special Recognition Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)

2011 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Study Abroad

Nomination submitted by: Peter Kerrigan, Deputy Director of DAAD North America

Program Overview 
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) receives special recognition this year for its success in managing several exciting R&D opportunities under the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) umbrella. Since its inception in 2005, RISE has consistently achieved its goal of bringing talented North American researchers to Germany early in their academic careers, sparking an initial and long-lasting interest in Germany and Europe among a generation of budding scientists and engineers.

Although students in these fields generally find it difficult to take even a short time away from an academic career in North America, many RISE participants have found that the program integrates seamlessly into the progression of their studies. "As a young scientist, it was an easy and natural choice to continue my higher education in Germany," says RISE participant Lena Hyatt. "I am proud and a little surprised to say that the single three-month internship with the RISE program changed my life's course." She is now a master's student studying molecular biology at Max Planck Institute in Göttingen.

In its short history, RISE has already enrolled a total of 2,253 students in its internship programs. Beyond this, the program has established a model for best practices that lends itself easily to duplication: several universities in Germany, including RTWH Aachen University, are using the RISE model to strengthen their own on-campus internationalization on campus.