Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
In today’s well-connected world, research collaborations often cross international borders. Preparing early career scientists to succeed in global research is an important goal of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which sponsors two programs designed to provide these scientists an international research experience. The East Asia Pacific Summer Institute and the International Research Fellowship Program – funded by the NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering – supports graduate student and postdoctoral fellow participation in performing research at universities outside of the United States. This exposure to other countries’ scientific research environments and cultures provides early career scientists the opportunity to forge lasting relationships with foreign investigators.
NSF engaged Abt Associates to assess the programs’ benefits to participants as well as to the U.S. and foreign host universities. Using propensity score matching, Abt compared NSF program participants to unsuccessful applicants on such outcomes as research productivity, job placement, satisfaction, and level of engagement in international collaborations, among others. Both the funded and unsuccessful applicants compared favorably to national cohorts of scientists on multiple measures. The study’s results offer NSF essential information about how participation in these international programs can positively influence young investigators’ careers.
Read more about the program evaluations:
Developing International Research Collaborations among Postdoctoral Fellows: Key Findings from the Evaluation of NSF’s International Research Fellowship Program
Emerging International Researchers: Findings from the Evaluation of the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Program
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.