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 and/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 science and engineering research and education and to strengthen economic competitiveness through training the next generation of research leaders.
This solicitation features two 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.
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 organizations. International partners should be listed as "unfunded collaborators."
1. IRES - Track I: IRES Sites (IS) projects engage a group of undergraduate and/or graduate students in active high-quality collaborative research, in principle 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, in principle, 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.
For all IRES proposals, PIs are strongly encouraged to outline virtual, hybrid or other alternative approaches to strengthen and maintain international collaboration in the event travel is not undertaken, and/or in addition to travel. It is expected that these approaches will extend collaboration beyond the actual international trip and strengthen IRES proposals overall.