Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 11/8/2023

International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)

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 goals of the IRES program are to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering research and education and to strengthen economic competitiveness through training the next generation of science research leaders. IRES focuses on the development of a world-class U.S. STEM workforce through international research experiences for cohorts of U.S. 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 organizations. Personnel from international partners should be listed as "non-NSF funded collaborators." Guidance on information to provide for "non-NSF funded collaborators" is found in Section V.A.

IRES 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 international researchers. IRES projects must be organized around a coherent overarching intellectual theme that may involve a single discipline or multiple disciplines funded by NSF.

For all IRES proposals, PIs are strongly encouraged to outline a variety of virtual, hybrid or other alternative approaches to strengthen and maintain international collaboration in addition to travel.  It is expected that these approaches will extend collaboration beyond the actual international trip and strengthen IRES proposals overall.

Full Proposal Deadline Date: Feb. 5, 2024; Oct. 28, 2024; Fourth Monday in October, Annually Thereafter

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.

All PIs, Co-PIs and Senior Personnel on IRES proposals must be from U.S. based organizations. Foreign collaborators cannot be listed as PIs, Co-PIs or Senior Personnel.

An individual may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the IRES program per annual competition.

Amount Description

stimated Number of Awards: 20 to 25

Approximately 20-25 awards will be made in FY 2024, pending quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $12,000,000

Approximately $12,000,000 in FY 2024, pending availability of funds. Up to $150,000 per year, for a maximum of 5 years, including indirect costs. A typical IRES project is for three years. However, longer duration projects up to 5 years will also be considered.