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Grants for the Global Engagement of Doctoral Education

Please Note: New Proposals are not being accepted for the academic year 2013-14.

Current GEDE Projects

This initiative seeks to encourage and assist graduate programs to make global engagement a core part of doctoral education.

As part of their professional development, doctoral students now need to develop the knowledge, experience and scholarly relationships to work and collaborate successfully in international research settings. Students need to learn how their research field operates globally: to understand the perspectives and approaches of leading researchers in their field who work elsewhere in the world, and to be familiar with the resources, sites, institutional settings and practices where such research is conducted.

Program Description

This grant is intended to help doctoral programs improve the quality and impact of activities that prepare their students for the international dimensions of a research career, and to help make global engagement a core part of doctoral education. It invites programs to identify specific competencies and knowledge that their graduate students need for a successful international career, and to propose initiatives that will help students acquire these. It asks programs to think about ways to develop the international and intercultural competence of all students, and to diversify their sites of global engagement and collaboration.

The University has a number of important and well-developed collaborations in graduate education with countries in East Asia; this proposal seeks to encourage similar linkages elsewhere, including Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. It also encourages programs to consider how internal University resources can be leveraged to meet these goals, such as inviting U-M international faculty or visitors to give workshops for students about higher education and research in their home countries.

This program complements existing Rackham grants that now support international research and travel of individual graduate students, including the Rackham International Research Awards, Rackham Conference Travel Grants, and Rackham Graduate Student Research Awards.

Activities supported by this grant may include, but are not limited to:

  • Planning visits to build international collaborations and partnerships for graduate education and research.
  • Short-term visits by groups of Michigan students to overseas sites to build relationships and develop knowledge of institutions and resources.
  • Visits by international faculty and graduate students to Ann Arbor to facilitate relationships, develop new research perspectives, develop significant areas of sustainable collaboration that deepen the program’s strategic global engagement.
  • Use of digital technology to support collaborative study and research with international partners and to develop the reciprocal flow of resources.
  • Develop planning to reach longer-term goals such as the development of collaborative graduate education and research projects with overseas partners, the co-mentoring of students and the eventual development of dual certificates or degrees.

Collaborative proposals that benefit more than one doctoral program will be considered favorably.


Proposals may be submitted only by the faculty directors of Rackham Ph.D. programs.


Five to six grants of $15,000 - $35,000 per year for one to three years will be awarded.

Proposal Preparation

Application is a two-stage process that requires submission of a preliminary proposal. Proposals will be accepted only from the faculty member serving as graduate chair(s) or director(s), with the endorsement of the department or program chair, director, or Dean.

A one-page preliminary proposal, plus a brief prospective budget, should outline the project; provide a short discussion of the anticipated value for the professional and academic preparation of students; and describe how it will catalyze or deepen the international engagement of the program in new ways. Feedback will be provided for each pre-proposal received. Finalists from the preliminary round will be invited to submit a full proposal.

The full proposal should include a narrative of no more than 5 pages that includes:

  • The current strengths and weaknesses of the program’s global engagement.
  • The competencies and knowledge the program expects students to have in order to be successful in the state-of-the-art international dimension of a research career.
  • How the proposed program of activities represents innovations that will help achieve these competencies and be of value to students preparing for the international dimension of research careers.
  • The number of students who will benefit from the proposed activities.
  • The extent of faculty commitment to the goals of the proposal.
  • The administrative plan for managing the activities of the grant.
  • How external or other internal resources will be leveraged.
  • Longer-term strategies and goals, including the anticipated relationships and innovations that the grant will help build.
  • How the activities will be sustained at the end of the grant period.
  • Plan for assessment of the effectiveness of the proposed activities in reshaping the global engagement of the students and the program.

The proposal should include a full budget that shows the plan for spending, and should also show whether the proposer has received commitments of financial support from other sources. The proposal must be accompanied by commitments of annual financial support by the program, school or college of at least $5,000; more cost-sharing is expected for larger requests.

Grants may not be used to pay faculty or staff salaries and benefits; U-M tuition or fees; costs associated with attending conferences; direct research-related expenses; or purchase of equipment.

Review Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the rationale of the project and its alignment with the program’s goals; the impact and value the project will have for students; the innovative aspect of the activities and their potential to transform the international engagement of the program; the feasibility of the proposed activities and goals; the breadth and level of commitment among program faculty; the inclusivity of the proposal, including participation of underrepresented groups of students; and evidence of the commitment of the program to sustaining a global strategy.


Please Note: New Proposals are not being accepted for the academic year 2013-14.

Those who receive grants will be asked to provide annual reports on GEDE activities before receiving the next year’s funding, and a final report upon conclusion of the funding period.

Questions about the application process should be directed to Assistant Dean John Godfrey.

External Grants that Support International Preparation of Doctoral Students

National Science Foundation, Office of International Science and Engineering

Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)

NIH, SSRC and Other International Grant Programs

Publications on the Globalization of Graduate Education and Research

Bhandari, R, Laughlin, S, 2009. Higher Education on the Move: New Developments in Global Mobility. New York: Institute of International Education.

Blumenfield, T, Nerad, M, 2012. “Assessing international (post)graduate education: a research agenda.” The Australian Universities Review, v. 54, n. 1, 72-82.

Clotfelter, CT, 2010. American Universities in a Global Market. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Committee on International Collaborations in Social and Behavioral Sciences Research, US National Committee for the International Union of Psychological Science, 2008. International Collaborations in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research: Report of a Workshop. National Research Council.

Council of Graduate Schools, 2010. Joint Degrees, Dual Degrees and International Research Collaborations: A Report on the CGS Graduate International Collaborations Project. Washington, DC.

Council of Graduate Schools, 2010. Global Perspectives on Graduate International Collaborations: Proceedings of the 2009 Strategic Leaders Global Summit on Graduate Education. Washington, DC.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2010. “20 Years of Research Training Groups. Matrix for New Doctoral Cultures: Innovative, Interactive, International.” Bonn, Germany.

Downey, GL, Lucena, JC et al, 2006. “The Globally Competent Engineer: Working Effectively with People Who Define Problems Differently.” Journal of Engineering Education, April, 1-17.

Eggins, H, 2008. “Trends and Issues in Post Graduate Education: A Global Review.” The UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge, Dublin, Ireland.

Lohmann, JR, Rollins Jr, HA, Hoey, JJ, 2006. “Defining, developing and assessing global competence in engineers.” European Journal of Engineering Education, v. 31, n. 1, March, 119-131.

Marisi, N, Heggelund, M, 2008. Towards a Global Ph.D.? Forces and Forms in Doctoral Education Worldwide. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

National Science Board, 2008. International Science and Engineering Partnerships: A Priority for US Policy and Our Nation’s Innovation Enterprise. National Science Foundation.

National Science Board, 2010. “Globalization of Science and Engineering: A Companion to Science and Engineering Indicators 2010.” National Science Foundation.

Schmidt, AH, Robbins, AST, et al, 2012. “A New Model for Training Graduate Students to Conduct Interdisciplinary, Inter-organizational, and International Research.” Bioscience, v. 62, n. 3 (March), 296-304.

UK HE International Unit, 2008. “International Research Collaboration: Opportunities for the UK Higher Education Sector.”

US/UK Study Group Report to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 2009. “Higher Education and Collaboration in Global Context: Building a Global Civil Society.”

Last updated: November 15, 2013 - 3:35pm