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September 2002

Sigma Xi International Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 2
September 2002

This monthly electronic bulletin is designed to keep subscribers updated on developments in Sigma Xi's international activities as well as links and topics of interest to researchers around the world. To submit an item to the newsletter, contact the International Program Coordinator at international@sigmaxi.org. If you would like to, you can download and print a PDF version of this newsletter. To receive notice of this monthly newsletter, please use this online form.

Past Issues

In This Issue

Grants-in-Aid of Research
The Sigma Xi
Grants-in-Aid of Research program has been providing undergraduate and graduate students with small research grants (up to US$1000 in most cases) for nearly 80 years. Students can apply for funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site or for the purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project. Grant proposals are judged solely on the basis of their scientific merit. Both undergraduate and graduate students in all areas of science and engineering at institutions worldwide may apply. While membership in Sigma Xi is not a requirement for applying for funding from the Grants-in-Aid of Research program, approximately 75% of funds are restricted for use by dues paying student members of Sigma Xi or students whose project advisor is a dues paying member of Sigma Xi. The next deadline to submit an online application is October 15, 2002.

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International Networking - Placing Students
According to the respondents on our informal International Science Networking Survey, placing students in graduate and post-doctoral research programs is also a high priority for researchers around the world. Here is a list of tips for placing your students in study/research programs (particularly in other countries):

  1. Send your best students. People often form lasting impressions after only one encounter, so by sending students who will create a favorable impression, you are helping to create links between your research group and your students' prospective groups; these links will facilitate the placement of future students.
  2. Get as much information as possible from your students before helping them look for a position. You need to know what type of program/training they are looking for, where they would be willing to go, and for how long.
  3. Use your existing networks. Contact your colleagues in the desired country/region who can recruit the student and request fellowship support from that department or institution. Check to see if any of your colleagues know about a specific open position or have a connection to a specific department or institution. See if your institution has any formal alliances with other institutions. Your institution may have connections that were previously unknown to you.
  4. Help your students to identify and focus on a short list of the most appropriate programs for them. Students can be overwhelmed if they only know the general topic they want to study and are investigating hundreds of research groups.
  5. Encourage the students to get as much information as possible about their prospective institutions and groups. They can check the Internet or send an e-mail, letter or fax to prospective institutions to obtain an application, general information about the institution, specific information about the program of interest, admission requirements, the availability of funding, housing, application fees, and special services available for international students and researchers. They should ask questions to ascertain whether they: a) have a good chance of being admitted to that particular program and b) will be good matches for those particular institutions/groups.
  6. Encourage the students to actively seek sources of funding. Students should be exploring your federal government, national and international organizations, disciplinary societies, and the institutions to which they are applying.
  7. Ensure that your students are well prepared. Make sure that they have adequate language and research skills and that they have passed all of the necessary exams before submitting applications.
  8. Review the students' applications before they are submitted. If the applications are written in a language other than the students' native languages, try to find native speakers to review the applications.
  9. Write very informative, positive letters of recommendation. Highlight your students' strengths, and give a few specific examples for the characteristics you are ascribing to the students.
  10. Make sure that the students have back-up plans. They should have a second group at the same institution or in the same region with which they could work/study in case something goes wrong with their first choice.

Whenever possible, use the Internet. Below are a few links to sites that are extremely helpful for studying in specific countries.

Australia

  • http://studyinaustralia.gov.au (Flash 5 plug-in required)
  • http://www.austudies.org/aeo/
  • http://www.idp.edu.au/internationalstudentservices/article14.asp

    Austria

  • http://grantsdb.oead.ac.at/vers2000/grants/Seite1_en.htm

    Canada

  • http://www.aucc.ca/en/programindex.html
  • http://www.destineducation.ca/index-nonflash.htm

    Denmark

  • http://www.ciriusonline.dk/eng/

    Finland

  • http://finland.cimo.fi/

    France

  • http://www.edufrance.fr/en/index.htm

    Germany

  • http://www.campus-germany.de/
  • http://www.daad.de/deutschland/en/

    Iceland

  • http://www.ask.hi.is/Apps/WebObjects/HI.woa/wa/dp?id=1001181

    Italy

  • http://www.recruitaly.it/recruitaly/studying/studying.html

    Japan

  • http://www.aiej.or.jp/index_e.html

    New Zealand

  • http://www.excellence.co.nz:8080/exint2000/index.htm

    Norway

  • http://www.norway.org/Education/page.cfm?id=69

    South Africa

  • http://www.studysa.co.za/studyinsa.htm

    Spain

  • http://www.sgci.mec.es/usa/estudios.shtml

    Sweden

  • http://www.si.se/E_StudierSverig/5229.cs?dirid=1185

    Switzerland

  • http://www.crus.ch/engl/Study.html

    The Netherlands

  • http://www.studyin.nl/

    United Kingdom

  • http://www.ukcosa.org.uk/pages/advice.htm

    United States

  • http://exchanges.state.gov/education/educationusa/start.htm
  • http://www.edupass.org

    Finally, UNESCO's Study Abroad, an international guide to higher-education study opportunities and scholarships offered by higher education institutions and international organizations in 129 countries, is available online in English, Spanish and French. See: http://www.unesco.org/education/studyingabroad/networking/study.pdf. (NOTE: This is a VERY large pdf file containing the entire 640-page directory.)

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    Interview With: Ing. Esteban Di Tada of the University of Palermo and the Buenos Aires Networking Group
    The Buenos Aires Networking Group recently received a Packard Initiative networking award. Ing. Di Tada, the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Palermo, represented the group at the 2001 Sigma Xi Forum and Annual Meeting.

    SX: Please briefly describe the broad research interests of the Buenos Aires Networking Group.
    ED: Biology, Ecology, Medicine, Chemistry, Astrophysics, Computer Science, and Engineering.

    SX: What are some of the strengths of your region for doing research?
    ED: The university system, scientific tradition and organization, and an adequate supply of human resources.

    SX: What are some of the weaknesses?
    ED: A low budget for research due to economical crisis, low popular concern with R&D, scientific organization bureaucracy, and emigration of outstanding investigators.

    SX: What opportunities do you see for research in Argentina?
    ED: The fields of medicine, in which Argentina has a good tradition and workforce, agriculture, farming and fishing.

    SX: Thank you, Ing. Di Tada, for sharing your thoughts with us.
    ED: You are welcome.

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    Did You Know?
    In order to open up European higher education to the rest of the world with a view to enhancing its quality and attractiveness while promoting exchanges and dialogue between cultures, the Commission of the European Communities has established a program called Erasmus World. This new program, modeled after the Fulbright program, will create European Union Masters Courses, partnerships with institutions outside the European Union, scholarships for master's degree students from outside the region and funding for visiting scholars with a budget of 200 million. The program is scheduled to initially run from January 2004 - December 2008. Over the course of Erasmus World, more than 4000 scholarships and 1000 grants for visiting scholars will be funded. More information is available online at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/index_en.html.

    Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, 8/2/2002

    For more information on any of the programs mentioned in this newsletter, please contact:
    Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
    P. O. Box 13975, 3106 East NC Highway 54
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
    Telephone: 919-549-4691 or 919-547-5246
    Fax: 919-547-5263
    E-mail: international@sigmaxi.org

     

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