International Research Experiences for Students

International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

NSF 19-585

Synopsis of Program

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 supports U.S. institutional collaborations to develop, implement and evaluate innovative models for high-impact, large-scale international research and professional development experiences for U.S. graduate students.

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.

All PIs, co-PIs and Senior Personnel on IRES proposals must be from U.S. based institutions.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. IRES - Track III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience (IGE) The IGE IRES track invites teams of PIs to propose, implement, evaluate and disseminate innovative large-scale programs (models) for providing high-quality international research and research-related professional development experiences to U.S. graduate students. The PIs should explain how their innovative program (model) could potentially be adaptable beyond the immediate disciplinary fields involved in their proposal. The proposals should be designed from the viewpoint of graduate-level STEM research/training, and globally engaged STEM workforce development. The proposals should be grounded in relevant literature on graduate STEM research/training, education, and graduate level international experiences.

U.S. 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. The proposed international graduate research experience model may focus on research and research-related activities in any NSF-funded area(s). Proposals that utilize, leverage and expand existing global networks and infrastructure are strongly encouraged.


Full Proposal Deadline(s) 

Due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time

     September 10, 2019

     Second Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

      Track - I: IRES Sites

     September 17, 2019

     Third Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

      Track-II: Advanced Studies Institutes

     September 24, 2019

     Fourth Tuesday in September, Annually Thereafter

      Track - III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience