Posted: January 18, 2018

The Office of International Programs (OIP) in the College of Agricultural Sciences is excited to announce the offering of its Undergraduate International Research Competitive Grants Program for 2018. This program 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 on a wide variety of topics related to the agricultural sciences 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. Funds may not be used to support study abroad experiences and any research funded by this program must be entirely independent of study abroad activities.
Note: Students who receive funding once under this program are not eligible to apply again.

Due Dates and Funding Decisions

Electronically submit (in one PDF file) your application to Mr. Noel Habashy, Office of International Programs: .
Application Submission Deadline: Monday, January 29, 2018
Funding Decisions Announced: Monday, February 12, 2018
Only applications that are received by the final deadline will be considered and evaluated. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of CAS faculty with funding available by February 28, 2018.

Application Package

Application packages should include the following items, in order, and be emailed as one PDF file to Mr. Noel Habashy ().

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Proposal: Limit the body of the proposal to 2-pages, single-spaced, 12-font Times New Roman, 1-inch margins. Graphs and images do not count towards this word limit. Proposals that do not adhere to the page-count will not be considered for funding. (Note: Cover page, Abstract, Budget, Budget Justification, Citations, and two-page Curriculum Vitae/Resume do not count toward this 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, methodology, and timeline.
    • 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.
  • Budget: Expenditures can include, but are not limited to: field and/or lab supplies, survey tools/equipment, travel to/from research site, lodging, and software for data analysis. Proposals for research data collection and/or preliminary site visits will be considered. Travel to attend scientific meetings and/or conferences is an unallowable expense. Please keep in mind that all expenditures must occur within the award timeframe. Awarded funds will be available by February 28 and must be used by June 30, 2018. No extensions will be granted. Maximum amount of an award is $1,500. The Office of International Programs anticipates offering up to four awards this year depending on strength of proposals received.
  • Budget Justification: Include as a separate page, a narrative paragraph(s) explaining briefly the rationale for each budget item requested.
  • References: Any references to materials published on-line or in print should be properly cited in the proposal and listed in a references section.
  • 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 methods to achieve project objectives
  • Value of the research for the international community; Penn State community; International Agriculture minor and applicant
  • Clarity of expression - writing style and proposal organization
  • Appropriateness of budget for proposed research activities


A report (MS Word or PDF) of 1200-1500 words describing the findings of this research is due via email to Mr. Noel Habashy () no later than August 31, 2018. Extracts of the report may be used by the OIP for newsletter articles or published on the OIP website. Students still at Penn State may be asked to present their findings in a seminar or an International Agriculture minor class in Fall 2018.
Any Questions? Please contact Mr. Noel Habashy ().