• Proposal: 09/10/2019


  • Amount: Tracks I and II: up to $400,000; Track III up to $1m
  • Duration: up to 3 years


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. 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.

This solicitation features three mechanisms; proposers are required to select one of the following tracks to submit their proposal.

  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.
  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.

IRES at a glance

Track Typical Activity Duration/Award Duration Budget Envisioned Activity
I: IRES Sites 6-10 weeks per year; award for 3 years Up to $300,000; up to $400,000 in exceptional circumstances Cohort-based research projects at a foreign lab
II: Advanced Studies Institutes 1-3 weeks per event; award for up to 3 years As needed and appropriate. Average is $150,000 per ASI. For multi-event proposals, maximum $400,000 total Intensive, thematic, focused research frontiers exploration; multidisciplinary and emergent fields encouraged
III: New Concepts in International Graduate Experience Activity duration can be variable; award for 3years Up to $1,000,000. Smaller ($400,000 – $600,000) for pilots Individual or group projects, or a combination; research, training, professional development

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

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

Track III only:

Track III will only accept multi-institutional collaborative proposals. If there are more than two institutions involved, some participants may be sub-awardees, but at least two major participants must submit as Lead and non-Lead of a multi-institutional collaborative. Participation (as Lead or non-Lead) of professional scientific/engineering societies, associations and similar organizations that are directly associated with STEM education and/or research activities is strongly encouraged.

Contact Information

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.