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International Aspects of Mobility and Circulation of Scientists. Karen Kashmanian Oates, PhD Deputy Division Director, Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation USA.

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international aspects of mobility and circulation of scientists

International Aspects of Mobility and Circulation of Scientists

Karen Kashmanian Oates, PhD

Deputy Division Director, Division of Undergraduate Education

National Science Foundation



“Collaborative research is becoming the norm, as indicated by the increasing coauthorship of journal articles. Articles with authors in two or more countries have increased in number faster than any other segment of the S&E literature, indicating growing collaboration across national boundaries.”



NSF’s Office of International Science and

Engineering (OISE) serves as NSF’s focal point

for international science and engineering

activities. OISE supports--either through its

own programs or working with the other NSF

directorates and offices--innovative awards

and supplements that promote research

excellence through new international

collaboration and that develop the next

generation of globally engaged scientists and

engineers. OISE funds international research

and education activities in all NSF-supported

disciplines involving any region of the world.

Researchers interested in collaborative

research should consult both disciplinary

and OISE program officers. OISE works to

build effective partnerships throughout the

global science and engineering research and

education community and interacts with

foreign government and scientific counterparts

to facilitate research collaboration.


OISE focuses on two parts of the NSF vision: discovery and learning. To pursue its goals in these areas, OISE develops international programs that are innovative, catalytic, and responsive to the broad range of NSF interests. Consequently, OISE’s portfolio of activities employs three approaches:

  • Supporting planning visits and workshops that are expected to lead to international collaborative projects (Planning Visits and Workshops);
  • Providing international research opportunities for U.S. students and early-career scientists and engineers (Global Scientists and Engineers); and
  • Funding international partnerships with larger, longer-term awards in which research and educational activities build on institutional strengths. These partnerships expand global networks to create lasting international linkages with foreign institutions, leverage international investments and provide collaborative experiences involving U.S. researchers at all career levels (Partnerships for International Research and Education).


Developing Global Scientists and Engineers

∙ International Research Experiences

for Students: Enable faculty at U.S.

institutions to organize international

research experiences for U.S.

undergraduate and graduate students.

∙ Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement

Projects: Support dissertation research by

U.S. graduate students at a foreign site.

International Research Fellowship Program

Support for U.S. citizens or permanent

residents with a recent Ph.D. to conduct

research at institutions outside the United


Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes

Short courses in engineering or biological,

mathematical or physical sciences for

advanced graduate and postdoctoral students

in the Americas.

East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes

Summer research experiences for U.S.

graduate students (citizens and permanent

residents) in Australia, China, Japan, Korea,

New Zealand or Taiwan.



Partnerships for International

Research and Education (PIRE)

PIRE fosters the development of innovative

models for long-term, international research

and education partnerships. PIRE funds

institution-to-institution, cutting-edge

research conducted by U.S. universities in

collaboration with foreign counterparts.

PIRE supports research efforts that neither

side could accomplish on its own, promotes

U.S. scientists and engineers operating in

international teams, and requires U.S. student

participation in PIRE activities.

International Planning Visits and Workshops

∙ International Planning Visits: Travel

to plan collaborative research with

prospective foreign partners.

∙ International Workshops: Meetings

to identify common priorities and

approaches for collaboration on specific,

well-defined research areas.



OISE administers NSF’s overseas offices in

Beijing, Paris and Tokyo, which promote

collaboration between the U.S. and

international science and engineering

communities as well as serve as liaisons

between NSF and foreign organizations

and researchers. These offices also report

on in-country and regional science and

technology developments and policies.



The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, initiated in 1997 and now comprising approximately 125 award sites, continues into its sixth annual competition. The IGERT program has been developed to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists, engineers, and educators with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills to become in their own careers the leaders and creative agents for change. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education, for students, faculty, and institutions, by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate greater diversity in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged science and engineering workforce.


US Dept of State Information

The International Fulbright Science and Technology Award for Outstanding Foreign Students provides talented students with an opportunity to pursue Ph.D. study at top U.S. universities. Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the Award is designed to be the most prestigious international scholarship in science and technology. This Award Program, an outcome of the 2006 U.S. University Presidents Summit cosponsored by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, demonstrates the United States’ commitment to welcoming top-notch future researchers and leaders to pursue serious scientific study and research at U.S. institutions.


Exchange Visitor Program

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program, in part, is to foster the exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals and to stimulate international collaborative teaching, lecturing and research efforts. The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment, and linkages between research and educational institutions in the United States and foreign countries. It does so by providing foreign professors and research scholars the opportunity to engage in research, teaching and lecturing with their American colleagues, to participate actively in cross-cultural activities with Americans, and ultimately to share with their countrymen their experiences and increased knowledge of the United States and their substantive fields.


Office of Global Educational Programs

The Office of Global Educational Programs plans, develops, administers and monitors several major exchange activities including the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, Community college Initiatives, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program with the assistance of private, non-profit organizations. The office promotes U.S. higher education abroad, supports research on academic exchange trends, and offers professional development opportunities for educational advisers.

U.S - Russia Language, Technology, Math, and Science (LTMS)

This four-week exchange provides opportunities for Russian and U.S. secondary teachers and teacher-trainers of English, History, Social Studies, Math, Sciences and Information Technologies to learn from one another, compare best practices, and foster excellence in the classroom through sharing of ideas and expertise. Russian participants attend U.S.-based professional development seminars, experience practical classroom-learning opportunities, as well as prepare to conduct post-program professional development workshops for colleagues in Russia. U.S. participants then make a two-week reciprocal visit to Russia, where they collaborate on joint projects to build on the linkages established during the U.S.-based program. This program is administered by the american Councils for International Education.

Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program

The Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange provides opportunities for primary and secondary teachers to exchange positions with colleagues in other countries for a semester or academic year. The participants contribute to mutual understanding by bringing international knowledge and perspectives to the U.S. and foreign classroom, school and community. The Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange is administered by the Academy for Educational Development.


US Dept of Education Programs

United States-Russia Program: Improving Research and Educational Activities in Higher Education

Provides grants that demonstrate partnerships between Russian and American institutions of higher education that contribute to the development and promotion of educational opportunities between the two nations, particularly in the areas of mutual foreign language learning and the cooperative study of mathematics and science.

American Overseas Research Centers

This program provides grants to establish or operate overseas research centers that promote postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies.

Fulbright-Hays--Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

This program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months.