Applications are due November 1. Applicants will be asked to provide information about themselves, including a brief essay about their motivation for applying to the program, as well as the names and email addresses of two faculty references. The GYP-NEXTGEN team will email a link for faculty references to complete; this reference form consists of a required series of Likert scale questions and an optional opportunity to write supporting information. Applicants will be evaluated based on meeting the eligibility requirements, their academic interests and accomplishments, their motivation for participating in the program and curiosity about science and other cultures (as described in the essay), and strength of their faculty references. Finalists will participate in a Zoom interview including a faculty mentor from each US institution and one Spanish mentor. Each year, six undergraduate students will be selected to participate in the program, optimally with two students from each US institution.
Are you curious about science and other cultures? Are you interested in travel? Do you want to do summer research and be paid for it? If you answered yes to these three questions, we invite you to apply to this National Science Foundation-funded program.
November 1 each year.
We are looking for students who are excited about science and conducting research, open to new cultural experiences, and able to dedicate themselves to the project components (spring semester course, 8 week summer research experience, and fall writing intensive course). Applications are particularly encouraged from under-represented minorities and first generation college students.
No, although applicants are expected to be curious about science, particularly related to ecology, evolutionary biology, or data science. All applicants must have completed 30 college credits before their international research experience in the summer.
No, although participants with no or minimal Spanish proficiency will be strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one Spanish course prior to their departure. All Spanish mentors are fluent English speakers, having developed part of their research careers abroad, and they frequently host foreign researchers in their labs. However, navigating daily interactions with those outside of the research environment and immersing in the local culture will be facilitated by openness to language learning.
After the interview and matching process has been finalized, students who have been matched to a project will receive an offer letter that states the research location to which they have been assigned. They will have a short grace period to accept or decline the offer by responding/replying all to the offer email. The US and Spanish mentors will be cc'd on the email. Offer letters are typically sent by mid-December unless otherwise noted.
Yes. All applicants will be contacted whether or not they receive an offer letter.
All applicants will be asked to rank their choices for research locations. The US and Spanish mentors will take these rankings into consideration, but final placements will be made by the mentoring team.
No, students will be paired to work with another student traveling as part of the grant. Each summer a total of 6 students will travel to Spain with one pair of students assigned to each of the three research group locations. The research hosts will help to arrange housing and orientation to the local area.
Participants will live in one of three locations in Spain–Almería, Jaca, or Madrid. All three are located near major gypsum exposures in Spain but vary substantially in their geography.
- The city of Almería is located in southeastern Spain along the Mediterranean Sea (elevation 27 m) and serves as the capital of the Andalusian province. The city’s population is just under 200,000. Summer months are hot and dry, with little to no precipitation during this time. In fact, Almería is one of the sunniest cities in Europe and a popular summer tourist destination due to its seaside location. Participants will work at the Universidad de Almería, one of the public universities in Spain.
- Located in northeastern Spain at an elevation of 820 m, Jaca is a town of just under 13,000 people. It is situated near the Pyrenees Mountains and the French border. Summer daytime temperatures are warm (and sometimes hot) but nighttime temperatures are generally cool. Given its proximity to the mountains, it is a popular tourist destination for hiking and skiing. Participants will work at the Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, one of the national research centers in Spain.
- Serving as the capital of Spain, Madrid is also the most populous city in the country, with almost 3.4 million inhabitants. It is centrally located in the country at an elevation of 650 m, lying along the Manzanares River. Daytime summer temperatures are hot and sunny with low humidity, yielding cooler nighttime temperatures. As a major economic and cultural hub, the city of Madrid is a popular tourist destination. Participants will work at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Móstoles campus, a public research university.
During the summer research experience, all participants will have access to relevant seminars and lectures; participate in local outreach experiences, including visits of US students to local primary and high schools in Madrid, Almería and Jaca; and engage in local cultural and nature activities, such as potluck dinner with families of UA, URJC, and IPE staff, visits to Ordesa National Park and the Pyrenees (Jaca-Zaragoza), Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Sorbas Gypsum Karst Natural Park or Sierra Nevada National Park (Almeria), and Sierra de Guadarrama National Park (Madrid).
All participants will be provided housing through the program, through apartment rentals, home stays, or university housing. Although participant pairs may share a housing site, each participant will have their own room. Housing will be within walking distance of the research institution or accessible via a short trip on public transportation.
Round trip, economy class airfare to Madrid and rail fare to each research location and housing costs will be paid for all participants. Additionally, each participant will receive a $4,800 stipend for their 8 weeks of summer research.
Each participant must participate in all of the following: the 1 credit preparatory course in the spring semester prior to their departure, the eight week research experience in Spain, and in a fall semester writing-intensive course through their home institution. Through the program, participants will be required to complete pre- and post-experience surveys, as well as participate in focus groups to help the mentors assess and improve the program. Participants will be encouraged to present their research at regional or national conferences.
Each participant will be expected to work 40 hours per week for the eight weeks in Spain. This work may include time in the field collecting data or specimens, in the laboratory analyzing samples, or in an office setting analyzing data. Accepting the IRES fellowship means that you agree to not take summer online courses or engage in other employment, so that you can focus your efforts on your research project and cultural opportunities at your host institution. You should consult with your Spanish research mentor regarding your specific work responsibilities.
The program will be subject to any institution, state, and country restrictions. As of summer 2022, testing restrictions have been lifted for those arriving in Spain, if vaccinated, and testing restrictions have also been lifted for returning to the United States. US and Spanish mentors, in collaboration with institutional representatives, will continue to monitor any changes in requirements. All research activities will be conducted in person, although spring and fall coursework may be remote to facilitate participation by multiple institutions. International health insurance is available through each institutions global education office.
It may be taxable and you should report it in your tax filings. No deduction is taken on your stipend payment because it is not large enough to get taxed, but if you have other sources of income during the year, then you’ll end up paying some income tax on it later. Since it is a stipend and not a salary, you will not pay social security tax on it.
- Students must not register for any coursework during their program participation;
- Students cannot work outside of their research project duties and IRES program seminars, workshops, and social activities;
- Students must spend 8 weeks working in the faculty mentor’s research group with the project they have been assigned to;
- Students must meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the IRES Program, which includes being a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident;
- Students are responsible for submitting supplemental materials, such as proof of citizenship, passport application materials, and IRES program contract upon acceptance;
- Failure to complete the IRES summer research commitment may result in the removal of the program and/or the stipend being reversed or partially reversed.
- Failure to successfully complete the spring course will result in a failing grade and removal from the program, and failure to complete the fall, writing intensive will result in a failing grade.
We welcome your questions. US mentors are listed by institution below:
John Carroll University
Dr. Rebecca Drenovsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Mexico State University
Dr. Donovan Bailey, email@example.com
Dr. Sara Fuentes-Soriano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Nicole Pietrasiak, email@example.com
Dr. Adriana Romero Olivares, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Mike Moore, email@example.com
GYP-NEXTGEN is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 2153089.