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ASU is now a USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship Campus

ASU is among six universities chosen to partner with the Global Development Lab of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Through this partnership, ASU created the Global Development Research Program, which enables graduate students to obtain USAID Research and Innovation Fellowships that foster global collaboration, advance use-inspired research and improve lives.

Planting the Seeds of Sustainable Development

kids in Sungai P

Top-tier master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students are eligible to apply for Research and Innovation Fellowships through the GDR Program. Prospective GDR Scholars find development projects that suit their interests by browsing an extensive international catalog. Upwards of 400 projects span disciplines such as biological sciences, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, geosciences, materials research, mathematics, physics and astronomy, social sciences and sustainability. This variety allows GDR Scholars to leverage their specific area of expertise in the cultivation of solutions to complex development challenges.

GDR Scholars will engage in the following:

  • Collaborate with cutting-edge scientists, scholars and innovators from around the globe
  • Explore countries like Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Senegal and South Africa
  • Discover and scale new technologies and innovations
  • Connect to a worldwide network of development professionals
  • Co-design sustainable solutions to development challenges
  • Work hands-on with researchers, NGOs and governments in developing countries

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Enrollment as a graduate or post-doctoral student
  • Open to qualifying U.S. citizens and international students
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Identification of a research opportunity matching scholar’s skills
  • Letter of reference from a faculty mentor
  • Letter of acceptance from host institution

Application Process

STEP ONE: Search the USAID online catalog., and filter the opportunities by discipline, country, length of project and more. Once you find a host opportunity, apply to that host through the same website to indicate your interest. You should apply for multiple opportunities but only accept one opportunity.

Prospective GDR Scholars must enter the application process by creating an account on the ASU-USAID Fellowships Catalog.

Identify and work with a faculty mentor, both through the application process and for the duration of your enrollment in the GDR Program.

Search the catalog, and filter the opportunities by discipline, country, length of project and more. Once you find a host opportunity, apply to that host through the same website to indicate your interest. You should only apply for one host opportunity.

Please note, hosts will accept one applicant per opportunity (unless there are multiple positions available). Upon your acceptance, the host will send you a letter of invitation that you will use in your final application for the project, and will mark the opportunity as “filled” on the website. The listing will still be viewable in the USAID catalog, but no one else will be able to apply.

STEP TWO: Prepare and submit your final application package to by December 1. Your GDR Program manager, Mohamed Abdalla, will answer all your questions regarding the preparation and submission of your final application packet.

The application packet includes the following items:

  1. Application Form for ASU GDR Scholars
  2. Application Form for USAID
  3. Resume/CV (maximum 2 pages)
  4. Unofficial transcript
  5. Letter of interest
  6. Project description
  7. Itemized budget for travel costs and stipend
  8. Host letter of invitation
  9. Letter of recommendation from faculty advisor or mentor

Award Announcement and Pre-departure Preparation

The GDR Program manager will announce the scholars by mid-January. Scholars selected for Spring 2017 will be required to enroll in a 1 credit hour intensive workshop course* covering methods in project design and planning. Upon return, scholars may be asked to share experiences with other scholars, and mentor the incoming scholars cohort.

*This course is not required for the students who will be doing work in Brazil related to biodiversity (see Program Manager for details).

Program Administered by


Contact us for more information

Information and Applications:

Information from USAID

Program Information:

Research Opportunities:

USAID RI Fellowship Catalog

Program Support

First Solar

The international collaborations catalyzed through this program will open doors and produce new networks for many promising young graduates. ASU appreciates the support of our corporate and industry partners, including First Solar, as we work to advance sustainability for the next generation.