Undergraduate International Research Competitive Grants Program for 2013

Posted: January 14, 2013

The Office of International Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences is excited to announce the offering of its Undergraduate International Research Competitive Grants Program for 2013.

If you are not already enrolled in the Intag (International Agriculture) minor, please contact Dr. Tom Gill  about first officially enrolling in the Intag minor before being eligible for this opportunity.
This program, which began last year, serves as an opportunity for undergraduate students enrolled in the International Agriculture minor who are looking to conduct research in an international setting. This program is expected to continue to run annually.
Eligibility is restricted to undergraduate students who are enrolled in the International Agriculture (INTAG) minor. Applications to conduct research in any country (or countries) outside of the United States are welcomed.
Although award preference will be given to applicants who are in the Schreyer Honors College and looking to conduct research for their honors theses overseas, all eligible applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.
Note: Students who receive funding once under this program will not be eligible to apply again to this program in future years.
Due Dates and Funding Decisions
Electronically submit (in one PDF file) your application to Dr. Tom Gill, Office of International Programs, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 1, 2013. Only applications that are received by the deadline will be considered and evaluated. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of CAS faculty and decisions will be announced in the first week of March with funding available by March 15.

Application Package
Application packages should include the following items, in order, and be emailed (no hard copies please) as one PDF file to, at:
I. Cover Page: Includes: Title of proposal; Applicant information (name, email address, phone number, PSU ID, declared or intended major); Signature of applicant and major advisor.
II. Abstract: Limit to 200 words and present on a separate standalone page. This will be used for outreach purposes so should be clearly written in common language. If selected for funding, this abstract will be uploaded to the CAS International Programs and INTAG minor websites.
III. Proposal: Limit the body of the proposal to two pages in 12 point font Times New Roman, double-spaced. All graphs and images will be considered part of the two-page proposal. (Note: Cover page, Abstract, Budget, Budget Justification, Citations, and two-page Curriculum Vita do not count toward this two-page limit.) Please use the following headings in your proposal:
  • Project Rationale: Introduce your research problem.
  • Background Information: Selectively review literature of your research subject.
  • Description of Proposed Research: Include research questions and methodology.
  • Impact of Research: Discuss the contribution that your research will make to the international community, the Penn State community, the International Agriculture minor, and yourself.
IV. Budget: Expenditures can include, but are not limited to: field and/or lab supplies, survey tools/equipment, travel to/from research site, and software for data analysis. Proposals for research data collection and/or preliminary site visits will be considered. Travel to attend scientific meetings is an unallowable expense. Please keep in mind that all expenditures must occur within the award timeframe.
Awarded funds will be available by March 1 and must be expended by June 30, 2013, no extensions will be granted.
Maximum amount of an award is $2,000. The Office of International Programs anticipates offering between one and four awards this year depending on strength of proposals received.
V. Budget Justification: Include as a separate page, a narrative paragraph(s) explaining briefly the rationale for each budget item requested.
VI. References: Any references to materials published on-line or in print should be properly cited in the proposal and listed in a references section.
VII. Curriculum Vita (résumé): Two-page maximum.
Review Criteria


Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:
  • Importance and clarity of research problem
  • Quality of background information that frames and contextualizes the proposal
  • Ability of proposed procedures to achieve project objectives
  • Value of the research for the 1) international community; 2) Penn State community; 3) International Agriculture minor; 4) applicant
  • Clarity of expression - writing style and proposal organization
  • Appropriateness of budget for proposed research activities


If you have questions about the application process, please contact Tom Gill.