National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Subra Suresh and National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) President José Miguel Aguilera announced today a new research partnership with Chile through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW). The agreement was signed at the CONICYT headquarters in Santiago, Chile. GROW is a coordinated effort that enhances international collaborative research opportunities for NSF Graduate Research Fellows. There are now GROW agreements between NSF and science agencies in 10 countries.
GROW was announced in December 2012, at the 60th anniversary celebration of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program, NSF's flagship program for graduate students in the science and engineering fields within NSF's mission.
"Today's graduate students being trained as scientists and engineers in the U.S. will increasingly collaborate and compete with their peers from around the globe throughout their career," said NSF Director Subra Suresh. "Through GROW we are preparing NSF Graduate Research Fellows (GRFs) to engage successfully in the global research enterprise by connecting them to leading scientists and research infrastructure around the world."
Under GROW, a streamlined and well-coordinated process has been developed to connect NSF GRFs to a number of strategically selected educational and research institutions around the world.
"This new initiative for international cooperation on Science and Technology will certainly enhance the partnerships between the Chilean researchers and the GROW fellows from the U.S." affirmed CONICYT President José Miguel Aguilera. "We intend thus to boost an ever growing number of NSF Fellows coming into Chilean research institutions. Chile has extraordinary Natural Labs where postgraduate fellows can conduct frontier scientific research."
The Fellows, selected through the normal process through the NSF GRF Program and invited to participate in GROW, are hosted by a science agency in a partner country for a period of three to 12 months. While overseas, they receive a living allowance from the host country as they pursue their research in a host institution. They are also eligible to receive an international travel allowance from NSF. This partnership with Chile adds to existing collaborations with NSF partner agencies in Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and South Korea. It is anticipated that additional partners from other countries will join GROW in the months ahead.
GROW supports NSF's broader commitment to address the internationalization of science and engineering and to provide multiple pathways to engagement with top researchers worldwide. GROW joins other recent NSF efforts such as Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) and Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) in providing mechanisms to foster international partnerships and address global challenges.
The program has continued to evolve over six decades, and is now providing opportunities for students to conduct research that is increasingly interdisciplinary. Today's Graduate Research Fellows can also gain experience and mentoring outside the lab in entrepreneurship, business, industry or government.
More information about NSF international opportunities is available on the Office of International Science and Engineering website.