International Research Experience for Students El Salvador - Application Deadline

The International Research Experience for Students 2020 - El Salvador Program is now accepting student applications!

Apply here by January 31, 2021 or visit this page to learn more.

Michigan Technological University (MTU), the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), and Lutheran World Relief (LWR) received support from the National Science Foundation - International Research Experience for Students program to explore agricultural community adaptations to extreme hydrometeorological events in El Salvador. 

About the International Research Experience

As the 2020 IRES was canceled due to COVID-19, 2021 will be the first International Research Experience Cohort. Students apply to the program before January 31, 2021. Selected students will travel to El Salvador for the eight-week program in mid-June. Students are grouped into teams organized around projects defined by the theme leaders and pre-selected topics. While there may be some overlap with the students' individual MS/PhD research projects, the expectation is that the work and research done during the Summer Institute will be a separate, self-contained project.

Program Eligibility

Applications will be accepted from current (or incoming) graduate students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents affiliated with U.S. universities, per National Science Foundation requirements.

Additionally, students must be able to reside on-site at project locations in El Salvador for the entire program.

Students selected to participate in the program must have a valid U.S. passport with an expiration date no earlier than 6 months after the date of the return flight.

Preference will be given to:

  • Students who have Spanish proficiency (fluency is optimal).
  • Interdisciplinary students with social science backgrounds.
  • Must be able to reside on-site at project locations in El Salvador for the full 8 weeks (mid-June through mid-August)
  • The project team is especially interested in broadening participation of diverse students in this endeavor
  • According to the project sponsor (NSF): "Each year a new set of graduate students should be supported, with special attention given to broadening participation of underrepresented minorities and those without prior international research experience

Desirable Attibutes:

  • Willingness to comply with appropriate safety and security measures to conduct research in a challenging environment like El Salvador
  • Open-minded; flexible; adaptable 
  • Able to work in teams with diverse students and local communities and stakeholders
  • Capable of enduring rustic, shared accommodations that will change based on the different project activities -- participants will move to at least 3 different sites during the 8-week-long experience
  • An openness to considering new experiences and different perspectives
  • An understanding that student participants are “Ambassadors” of the project to the communities in which our work is carried out.


Please contact Dr. Luke Bowman at