IRES programs seek to develop globally connected future researchers while also facilitating broader long-term collaborations between U.S.-based and international research groups. Faculty and student exchanges are expected to result in international linkages between the researchers that bring new insights and methods to U.S.-based research projects, leading to transformative research. In this project, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of IRES programs through a case study analysis. The nine selected cases focused specifically on engineering-focused IRES experiences for ease of comparison. Case studies included interviews with all U.S. PI’s, a selection of additional international and U.S. faculty researchers, and select student alumni for a total of 59 interviews across the nine sites. Our analysis highlights the variety of approaches different IRES programs have taken, which we hope will be helpful for institutions proposing new IRES programs as well as for NSF program officers who work with IRES PI teams. We highlight best practices in developing research exchanges, the return on investment of such programs, as well as ideas from program leaders and participants in how to structure such experiences for students as well as faculty and institutions both on the U.S. and international sides to achieve a range of outcomes.
undergraduate research, engineering education, research abroad
Date of this Version
Knight, D. B., Sanderlin, N. & Davis, K.A., Assessing the Impact of IRES on Researchers, Research Outcomes, and Students, 2020