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Rutgers-USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship
Program Terms: USAID
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
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The Program
  • Travel abroad on a paid fellowship to participate in collaborative projects that apply scientific research and innovation to complex development challenges.
  • Team up with researchers and development professionals working on a wide range of exciting projects and initiatives--from plant pathology affecting cocau farming in Brazil to information and communications technology in rural South Africa--with tangible and finite goals.
  • Fellowships include travel funding and living stipend for the duration of the research project, as well as support from the Center for Global Education in applying and preparing for your fellowship.
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.

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 a faculty advisor(s) and a commitment of partial funding from their department, school, or other academic unit.  More details will be provided as you proceed through the application process.

How to Apply
To apply for a Global R&I fellowship, all candidates must begin by identifying a research project and a partner or host organization.  There are two ways to do this:
  • Search through USAID’s online catalog of pre-approved fellowship projects.
  • Propose your own project and partnership, in consultation with the GAIA Centers and a Rutgers faculty member, using this proposal template.  Because all new fellowship proposals must be vetted by the GAIA Centers for scientific rigor, health and safety before being reviewed and approved by USAID, the deadline to submit a proposal for a new fellowship opportunity is November 7, 2016.
Once you have chosen your starting path, you should complete the following steps.
  1. Begin the pre-application process, by clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this page.  This will inform us of your interest in the Fellowship program, and will give you access to the required application materials and instructions.
  2. Create an account on the RIFellowships website, and upload a 2-page CV to your profile.  You will need this in order to contact organizations in the online catalog, or to apply for your own proposed fellowship project once it is approved by USAID.
  3. Obtain a letter of endorsement from your partner/host organization confirming that you have been chosen and invited to serve in the role of research fellow for their project.  This is an important first priority, as solidifying your partnership and gaining the endorsement of your host organization will allow you to work on the rest of the required application materials.
  4. Once you've received your endorsement, submit the following application materials through your Global Education application portal.
  • A Copy of your Endorsement Letter from your host organization
  • A Project Narrative
  • A Budget and Budget Narrative, outlining anticipated expenses for your travel and participation for the duration of your fellowship
  • Letter of Recommendation from your faculty advisor
  • University Cost Share Commitment Form, signed by representative from co-sponsoring school or department.
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport
  • A copy of your Resume/CV
The deadline for submitting application materials for a 2017 Global R&I Fellowship program is Monday, November 28, 2016.  Completed applications will be reviewed by GAIA Centers staff and submitted to USAID in mid-December, and USAID will announce grant recipients near the start of the spring semester.