The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports international research and research-related activities for U.S. science and engineering students. The IRES program contributes to development of a diverse, globally-engaged workforce with world-class skills. IRES focuses on active research participation by undergraduate or graduate students in high quality international research, education and professional development experiences in NSF-funded research areas.
The overarching, long-term goal of the IRES program is to enhance U.S. leadership in research and education and to strengthen economic competitiveness through training the next generation of research leaders.
This solicitation features three mechanisms; proposers are required to select one of the following tracks to submit their proposal.
Track I focuses on the development of world-class research skills in international cohort experiences. Track II is dedicated to targeted, intensive learning and training opportunities that leverage international knowledge at the frontiers of research. Track III calls for U.S. institutional partnerships and coalitions to develop and evaluate innovative models for high-impact, large-scale international research and professional development experiences for graduate students, as individuals or groups.
- IRES - Track I: IRES Sites (IS) projects engage a group of undergraduate and/or graduate students in active high quality collaborative research at an international site with mentorship from researchers at a host lab. IRES Sites must be organized around a coherent intellectual theme that may involve a single discipline or multiple disciplines funded by NSF.
- IRES - Track II: Advanced Studies Institutes (ASI) are intensive short courses with related activities that engage advanced graduate students in active learning and research at the frontiers of knowledge. ASIs typically range in length from ten to twenty-one days and must be held outside the United States. ASIs must have a compelling rationale for their international location and should involve distinguished active researchers in the target field from the U.S. and abroad. ASIs should enable students to develop skills and broaden professional networks, leveraging international participation and complementary resources (expertise, facilities, data, field site, etc.) for mutual benefit.
- IRES - Track III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience (IGE) projects propose, implement, and evaluate creative ideas for catalyzing the development of globally engaged U.S. scientists and engineers at the graduate student level. The IGE IRES track invites professional societies and organizations in the U.S. directly associated with science and engineering education or research activities to propose innovative large-scale programs to provide high-quality international research and/or research-related professional development experiences for U.S. graduate students as individuals or groups. The proposed experiences should enhance transferable skills and expand professional networks. Graduate students recruited from a broad, diverse applicant pool should travel to non-U.S. locations for periods of several weeks to a semester for immersive experiences under the mentorship of appropriate collaborators in the U.S. and foreign locations. The proposed international professional development model may focus on research or research-related activities in any NSF-funded area(s). Proposals that utilize, leverage and potentially expand existing global networks and infrastructure are encouraged.
Student participants supported by IRES funds must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States.
Students do not apply directly to NSF to participate in IRES activities. Students apply to NSF-funded investigators who receive IRES awards. To identify appropriate IRES projects, students should consult the directory of active IRES awards.