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Are you a graduate student interested in global development?  Are you drawn to opportunities for applied scientific research with a positive social or environmental impact? 

Rutgers University has partnered with the US Global Development Lab, a part of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to provide fellowships for eligible graduate students to conduct scientific research or fieldwork in the developing world.  The program seeks qualified masters and doctoral candidates--particularly in the STEM fields and social sciences—with interest and experience in applied research and/or scientific and technological innovation.  Candidates chosen for the fellowship will receive grant funding to cover travel and in-country living costs for the duration of the fellowship.

Interested candidates must identify a partner organization and work with that organization to develop a research project that advances their own academic goals and interests while meeting the needs of the host organization.  There are two pathways to identifying a project and host organization:
  • Search USAID's online catalog.  The US Global Development Lab has put together a list of hundreds of ready-made fellowship opportunities at NGOs, laboratories, hospitals, universities, government institutions and other organizations around the world.   These projects have been pre-approved by USAID, though interested candidates are encouraged to work with the partner organization to further tailor a research proposal to their skills and interests.  
Interested candidates may use this online catalog to browse and select projects that match their interests, expertise, and skillsets.  New projects and locations are added on a semi-regular basis, so be sure to check back continuously.  Candidates are encouraged to reach out to organizations that they find interesting, and must ultimately secure an endorsement from an organization based upon a mutually agreed-to research project in order for their fellowship to be approved.
  • Propose a new fellowship.  Students who do not find a suitable fellowship opportunity in the USAID catalog may propose a new partnership and research project.  This may grow out of existing research collaborations that the candidate or a Rutgers faculty member is involved in.  A new research project and partnership must fit all the criteria of the fellowship (i.e. 2-12 months, scientific focus, goals and objectives that advance the work of the partner organization, and located in a low or middle-income country), and must be vetted first by Rutgers and ultimately approved by USAID’s Global Development Lab.  
Candidates who wish to pursue a new research fellowship must provide detailed information to the GAIA Centers by completing a Fellowship Proposal Form (preferably by the end of October). In order for the GAIA Centers to vet and submit the project for USAID’s approval, candidates will need to show a fully fleshed out research proposal, with approval of both a Rutgers faculty member and a representative of the organization hosting the fellowship. The final deadline to submit a proposal for a new fellowship is November 7, 2016. 

Graduate students from all Rutgers schools in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark are eligible to apply to this program.  All applicants must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, must be in good academic standing, and cannot be scheduled to graduate before completion of the Fellowship.  Participating fellows will need the approval of their academic advisor(s) and a commitment of partial funding from their department or school.  More details will be provided as you proceed through the application process.
Interested candidates should begin the online pre-application process here, or contact Gregory Spear ( at the Center for Global Education for more information.