Our PIRE program provides substantive two way international research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, post docs, and career so they are immersed in research topics of global importance that provide unique advantages of context, scale, and facilities.
According to the National Academy of Sciences (2004), “the inherent complexity of nature and society, the desire to explore problems and questions that are not confined to a single discipline, and the need to solve societal problems” has driven the rapid integration of interdisciplinary thinking into research. This type of thinking is critical for solving today’s grand challenges, as outlined by National Academy of Sciences and the UN Millennium Development Goals. We envision that our international collaborations will catalyze the transfer of best ideas and practices so that participants experience bidirectional information transmission—the developed and developing worlds, and the past and present—informing one another and leading to innovations through mutually-beneficial transfers of knowledge (Zarger & Stepp, 2004; Mihelcic et al., 2007; Ramaswami et al., 2007).
One goal of ours is for participants to understand their transformation to internationally competent researchers. Our trainees will develop international competence and capability to seamlessly work across borders, institutions, agencies, and various stakeholder groups (NSF, 2006; Vanasupa et al., 2006; Cutler and Borrego, 2011). To develop this type of thinking, we have developed a program that includes the following:
NSF Office of International Science & Engineering Opportunities for Students and Faculty
Fulbright Scholar Program
Jefferson Science Fellowship
Fellows spend one year at the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C. that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions.
Graduate Certificate in Water, Health, Sustainability
Research Experience for Undergraduates – Globalization and Community Health: Combining Social Science and Engineering
The REU Site “Globalization and Community Health: Combining Social Science and Engineering” provides undergraduate students with intensive interdisciplinary methodological and ethics training, mentorship, and practical experience in the conduct of community-based health research that brings together social sciences and civil and environmental engineering. The program is conducted in Monteverde, Costa Rica, a region that is undergoing rapid changes associated with globalization in general, and tourism specifically, and where the PI-team has worked for the past ten years in close association with the Monteverde Institute and a variety of local stakeholders. Each year the program involves 10 undergraduate students from engineering, medical anthropology, public health, and other health-related fields.
Peace Corps Master’s International Program in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Peace Corps Master’s International students gain a global perspective while performing research in an international context of economic, social, and environmental limitations (Mihelcic et al., 2006; Hokanson et al., 2007). The resulting research has been published in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., McConville & Mihelcic, 2007; Mehl et al., 2011; Owens et al., 2011; Mihelcic et al., 2011; Held et al., 2012; Manser and Mihelcic, 2013) Note that Peace Corps funds the international training and field experience for 2+ years. Peace Corps’ unique training to build international competence. This training occurs during the first 2-3 months of a student’s arrival in country and consists of: (1) half day language immersions; (2) home-stay with a local family (after training, students either continue home-stays or move to private lodging in the local community); (3) techniques of “participatory approaches to community assessment” that include mapping and participatory management of projects; (4) training on how to incorporate gender, cultural context, and ethics into a project; and, (5) technical training.
Advanced Biological Waste-to-Energy Technologies
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships