Category: Faculty

Curriculum Globalization Grants from the Global Education Office

The Global Education Office (GEO) invites Virginia Tech faculty to submit proposals for the development of innovative new courses or creative revisions of existing ones, to expand significantly our undergraduate students’ awareness of and engagement with international and global topics, issues, contexts, and concerns. Courses that develop students’ cross-cultural competency are also encouraged.

These grants are specifically to support teaching faculty in the development of undergraduate courses to be offered on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. While the Global Education Office strives to make meaningful study abroad a possibility for ever-increasing numbers of VT students, we recognize that there will always be a significant portion of the student population whose entire educational experience will take place on familiar soil, and for this reason we seek to facilitate the creation of personal, active, and challenging cross-cultural contact for our students on the home campus.

In offering the Curriculum Globalization Grants, we encourage faculty to think broadly and imaginatively about ways to bring VT students on the Blacksburg campus into direct and meaningful contact with issues, perspectives, or cultural phenomena from around the world. Proposals should articulate a pedagogical approach designed to engage the students’ interest in these topics actively and personally.

Awards will be granted as follows:

  • For the modification of an existing course: $3,500
  • For the creation of a new course: $5,000

To apply, please submit the following:

  • a brief narrative describing your intended revision of an existing syllabus or outlining the details of the new globally focused course that you envision. Include in your narrative
    • a clear definition of the desired outcomes for student learning, understanding, and development;
    • clearly defined content, strategies of implementation, and activities that will support the desired learning outcomes;
    • metrics by which outcomes will be measured;
    • evidence of the students’ active and personal engagement with such elements as critical issues, social and political perspectives, and individual voices from outside their accustomed cultural framework;
    • proposed course attributes (e.g., in what term(s) and how frequently will the course it be offered? How many students will it accommodate? Who will teach it? Will it be required or elective?)
  • a preliminary outline of course content, texts, potential assignments/projects, and weekly progression of classes
  • designation of the departmental fund to which the award should be transferred in the event your proposal is selected.*

Additional evaluative criteria include whether a course is sustainable over time and whether its framework and/or methods are adaptable to other courses and disciplines.

Applications should not exceed two pages (+ attachments) and should be submitted to no later than January 10, 2016.

Grant recipients will be expected to submit their completed course proposals to the Global Education Office no later than September 1, 2016.
New or significantly revised courses should be ready for submission to the relevant department curriculum committee to begin the approval process by the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.
Revised syllabi which have not undergone changes of such magnitude as to require new approval should be ready to be taught during the 2016-17 academic year.

* NB: Because these grants are supported through FY16 E&G funds, applicants are urged to work with their departments to ensure that disbursement of the transferred funds to appropriate costs can be effected before the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2016).

For questions, please contact Theresa Johannson (

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Fall 2015 Study Abroad Faculty Leader Training October 15th and 16th

The Fall 2015 Study Abroad Faculty Leader Training will be offered on two days (October 15 and 16) at the OIRED Conference Room at 526 Prices Fork Road from 9:30 am to 1:45 pm. Faculty Leaders need only to attend one of the days (Oct 15 or 16). Lunch will be provided. These sessions are primarily for those leading trips in Wintermester and Spring 2016.

Currently, the policy for attending this training is once every 3 years. While the upcoming sessions are not required for all, there are new people to meet and new policies and procedures to learn about so it is highly recommended all faculty leaders attend one of the next four sessions offered.

We have capacity for ~30 faculty per session. Even though we’ve designated the Fall sessions for those with Wintermester and Spring programs and the Spring sessions for Summer and Fall programs, anyone can attend any session as long as there is room. Also, those who are involved in a administering our study abroad programs, i.e. support staff, College Liaisons to GEO, etc. are also welcome to attend.

Please contact Randy Penson ( and tell him which session you plan to attend. As we get closer to the sessions, he will inform the participants of who will be catering lunch and the meal choices.

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Doug Pfeiffer (Entomology) speaks about the OMALS program at the Distance Learning Symposium in Dakar, Senegal

Doug and Assa. Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2009

Doug and Assa. Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2009

In June, a symposium on distance education was held in Dakar Senegal, with an audience mainly of faculty representing Senegalese universities.  This symposium was organized by the USAID-supported project Education and Research in Agriculture (ERA).  Doug Pfeiffer, Professor at the Department of Entomology and Associate Director of CALS’ On-line Master’s in Agricultural and Life Sciences program, spoke at the Symposium about our OMALS program, and reasons for faculty involvement.
His student, Assa Balayara, supported by the ERA program, served as translator (the symposium was in French). Assa is working on oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, an invasive pest causing problems in mango production.  The pest featured on NPR on September 22, since it has been found in Florida, where a quarantine has been established.

Doug and Assa. Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2009

Doug and Assa. Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2009

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NSF Grant: International Research Experiences for Students

The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports development of globally-engaged U.S. science and engineering students capable of performing in an international research environment at the forefront of science and engineering. The IRES program supports active research participation by students enrolled as undergraduates or graduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. IRES projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the IRES program.

Application deadline August 18, 2015.

Learn more.


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Announcing Fulbright to India Fellowships for U.S. citizens

India, has the largest U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program in the world.  Over the past few years, USIEF has expanded its grant categories for scholars and professionals and added some new grant benefits:

  • USIEF has introduced Postdoctoral Fellowships for candidates who have earned a doctorate degree in the last five years.
  • Grants for teaching, teaching/research, and research have been combined under Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence award category which is open to faculty and professionals in all disciplines.
  • “Flex grants” allow faculty the opportunity to conduct research in India during shorter in-country stays, over the course of two years.
  • Distinguished Chair awards, designed for eminent scholars with substantial teaching experience, offer the opportunity to travel to prominent institutions in India to deliver guest lectures and participate in conferences and workshops.
  • USIEF provides a dependent education allowance up to $10,000.

For more information on grant options and benefits for scholars and professionals, visit the CIES website.  The application deadline is August 3, 2015.

For details regarding benefits and application procedures for student grants, visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program page.

Recently, many U.S. institutions have developed strategic plans to guide their engagement in India.  Each year dozens of U.S. university delegations visit India on fact-finding missions to determine the most effective way to engage with their counterparts here. A Fulbright-Nehru grant is an excellent way to seed potential long-term partnerships with Indian institutions.  In fact, each year we have grantees whose research collaborations and other joint efforts lead to active engagement at an institutional level.

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Virginia-Israel Agrotech Hub Expands Reach at Agritech Israel 2015

Exert from the Virginia-Israel Opportunity Brief (May 20):

Agrotech Leaders from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, participated in Agrotech Israel 2015 as part of the expanding agro activities between Virginia and Israel.  They had meetings with executives from many companies including Sabra, the largest manufacturer of hummus in the United States which is headquartered in Chesterfield Virginia.

Dr. Jerzy Nowak, a member of the Virginia Tech Delegation, commented: “In over 30 years of visiting countries around the globe I have never seen such dedication to innovation and such a robust support system from the Ministry of Agriculture. The integrated focus on agro-technology is incredibly impressive.”

According to Ralph Robbins, the Executive Director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, who organized the trip, “the first hand interaction with several companies we have been working with, will definitely accelerate projects being considered for Virginia.”

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Call for proposals: Curriculum Globalization Grants

Awards will be granted as follows:

  • For the modification of an existing course: $3,500
  • For the creation of a new course: $5,000

To apply, please submit the following:

  • a brief narrative (150-200 words) describing your intended revision of an existing syllabus or outlining the details of the new globally focused course that you envision
  • a timeline of the course’s progression from start to finish.
  • designation of the departmental fund to which the award should be transferred in the event your proposal is selected.*

Applications should not exceed two pages. Submit applications by April 22, 2015 to

More information

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International Safe Zone and Mental Health First Aid Training

Global Education is collaborating with the Office of International Research, Education, and Development for an International Safe Zone 101 session and with Cook Counseling Center for a Mental Health First Aid session for faculty program leaders, bilateral exchange coordinators, college international liaisons and those involved in international education and/or student advising.

The curriculum for these sessions will be very resource-focused and scenario driven. We’d like your input as to whether you’d be interested in attending, which times are best suited, and what questions or concerns you may have.

If interested, please provide input through the following survey:

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BHEARD candidates from Rwanda

We are pleased to invite you to review the attached candidates from Rwanda as part of the BHEARD Scholarship Program.  All of these are currently employed at research institutions in Rwanda, and are seeking admission to doctoral programs in the U.S. starting in Fall 2015.

A list of candidates can be found in the Proposal Guidelines (Annex A) on Google Drive at; zip files can be opened using password 20fifteen_Schol@rs. All candidates are being registered to take the TOEFL and GRE exams, and we expect scores for these exams to be available mid- to late-April; note that several candidates already have IELTS scores. Please remember that USAID requires full, regular, admission for these students. No funding is available for English training in the U.S.

The deadline for receipt of Rwanda submissions (including budget template and narrative) is April 10, 2015. This is the final country participating in BHEARD this year whose candidates need to be reviewed by U.S. universities.

Other reminders:

  1. University proposals for students from Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi and Liberia will be reviewed by the USAID technical review team over the next couple weeks; we hope to have university placement decisions from the missions by mid-April
  2. The deadline for Kenya submissions is April 7, 2015
  3. As a reminder, Liberian candidates will not have GRE scores, though we hope to have their TOEFL scores available by Friday, March 27
  4. Rwandan candidates are being registered for the TOEFL in late March and the GRE in early April. Despite the current lack of exam scores, due to time constraints we are asking for completed budget templates and budget narratives from universities hoping to host these candidates
  5. Instructions for opening all countries’ zip files, as well as each country’s proposal guidelines, submission forms, etc. can be found on Google Drive
  6. The password for opening zip files on Google Drive is “20fifteen_Schol@rs
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Global Education Office e-Newsletter

read it here!

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