Study Abroad: STEM Exchanges, Scholarships, and Fellowships in the United States for Postdocs

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Sciences Foundation (NSF) work together to support PEER Science, a grant program that invites scientists in developing countries to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics of importance to USAID and conducted in partnership with their NSF-funded collaborators. Candidates must be based in PEER-eligible countries.

Agencies involved: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Sciences Foundation (NSF)

Key dates: Application deadline has passed. Check website for updated information.


This program supports short- and medium-term research internships abroad for recipients of fellowships provided by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). Candidates must have an ongoing fellowship awarded by FAPESP in the CI, MS, DD, DR, PD modalities. Candidates must be proficient in the language of the country where the research will be developed or in English. Specific requirements are listed as follows: Candidates for the Scientific Initiation (BEPE- IC) must be pursuing research projects at the undergraduate level. Funding is available for up to one year.

Agencies Involved: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Key Dates: Applications accepted year-round.


The aim of the Full Doctoral (GDE) Program is to provide doctors with up to 36 months of medical training in cutting-edge scientific technology. Candidates must be residents of Brazil.

Agencies Involved: National Research Council (CNPq)

Key Dates: Schedule 3: Registration - Until August 22, 2014; Trial - October 2014; Result - Until November 28, 2014; and Entry into Force – Feb/Mar/Apr/May/Jun 2015. Check website for updated and additional information.


The Biomedical Sciences Exchange Program (BMEP) aims to maintain biomedical scientific and educational exchange in between North America and Europe. Candidates must be graduate students of biomedicine at the graduate and post-doctoral level.

Agencies Involved: International Academy of Life Sciences (IALS)

Key Dates: Application for Academic and Trainee Program Year has passed. Applications for internships are due six months before desired starting date.


The Fight for Sight Research Award is offered to UK academics for a period of 9-12 months in order to pursue laboratory research toward the prevention of sight loss and treatment. Candidates must be UK citizens and hold or expect to receive a PhD.

Agencies Involved: The US-UK Fulbright Commission and Fight for Sight

Key Dates: Application deadline is November 1, 2014.


The UNESCO-L'OREAL International Fellowships Programme is given to 15 women annually with the intent to exemplify the belief in supporting young female scientists. Winners are given the opportunity to conduct training and research conducive to on-going research projects at laboratories overseas for one year. Candidates must be no older than 35 and must be studying at the doctoral or post-doctoral level in one of the following fields: life sciences including biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, agriculture, medicine, pharmacy and physiology. Applications must be endorsed by The National Commission. Direct applications not accepted.

Agencies Involved: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), L’Oreal

Key Dates: Check website for updated and additional information.


The L’Oréal USA for Women in Science fellowship program is a national awards program that annually recognizes and rewards five U.S.-based women researchers at the beginning of their scientific careers. Recipients receive up to $60,000 each that they must put towards their postdoctoral research.

Agencies Involved: L’Oréal, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 

Key Dates: Application deadline has closed. Check website for updated information. 


The Action on Hearing Loss Research Award is distributed each year to up to 3 academics or professionals in order to pursue research for a period of 3-12 months into the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing impairment. Candidates must be U.K. citizens and hold or expect to receive a PhD at the time of application.

Agencies Involved: The US-UK Fulbright Commission and Deafness Research UK

Key Dates: The competition for awards is now closed. Check website for updated information. 


The Diabetes UK. Research Award is distributed each year to one individual with the intention of providing support for a 3-12 month for investigations of that individual into the clinical or biomedical aspects of diabetes.

Agencies Involved: The US-UK Fulbright Commission and Diabetes UK

Key Dates: Applications for 2014-15 academic year have now closed. Check website for updated information. 


The Norman E. Borlaug International Fellowship Program aims to promote food security and economic growth by increasing research to improve agricultural productivity. Fellows receive support for 6-12 weeks of training and research opportunities in order to strengthen agricultural practices through the development of new agricultural technologies. Candidates must be citizens of Borlaug-approved country, and must hold Master's degrees with 2 or more years of practical experience in a university, government, non-profit, or private agricultural research entity.

Agencies Involved: US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service

Key Dates: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


The National Institute of Health (NIH) offers fellowships for research training to visiting post-doctoral scholars. Candidates must hold PhD degrees in the health sciences and have no more than 5 years of research experience by the time of fellowship commencement. Candidates must produce an invitation for the fellowship from a senior scientist at the NIH, which can be obtained by contacting a senior scientist at NIH, who then serves as the participant's sponsor during the fellowship period. Awards are available to winning fellows for up to 2 years, and extendable to 5 years. 

Agencies Involved: The National Institute of Health (NIH)

Key Dates: Foreign scientists (pre/post doc) who wish to participate in the NIH Visiting Program must first secure an invitation for an award or appointment from a senior scientist at the NIH.


The Smithsonian Fellowship Program offers post-doctoral academics the opportunity to conduct research at the Smithsonian Institute for a period of 12-24 months. Applicants must have completed or be near completion of their PhD.

Agencies Involved: The Smithsonian Institute

Key Dates: Application deadline has passed. Check website for updated information.


The Long-term Fellowship (LTF) Program targets scientists looking to study in scientific fields other than of those in which their doctoral programs were completed. Candidates must show a desire to depart from previous PhD or Post-doctoral work to explore a new research problem. Fellowship funds are available to winners for a period of up to 3 years.

Agencies Involved: Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)

Key Dates: The deadline for the 2015 competition is August 28, 2014. The registration site will open early July 2014.


The Cross-disciplinary fellowship (CDF) supports up to 3 years of post-doctoral research in biophysics, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics and nanoscience. Preference is given to candidates holding a PhD from outside the life sciences with limited exposure to biology. Applicants must have at least one paper accepted for publication in an international journal on August 30, 2012.

Agencies Involved: Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)

Key Dates: The deadline for the 2015 competition is August 28, 2014. The registration site will open early July 2014.


Supports student formally enrolled in the doctoral course in Brazil proving unequivocal qualification for use abroad, the opportunity to theoretical study, collection and processing of data or partial development of the experimental part of the thesis to be defended in Brazil.

Agencies Involved: National Research Council (CNPq)

Key Dates: Schedule 3: Registration - Until August 22, 2014; Trial - October 2014; Result - Until November 28, 2014; and Entry into Force – Feb/Mar/Apr/May/Jun 2015. Check website for updated and additional information.


Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) Senior Internship program provides PhD researchers with the ability to travel for 1-12 months for the purpose of education or research. Candidates must be residents of Brazil, and have completed doctoral programs no more than 8 years prior to application.

Agencies Involved: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)

Key Dates: Check the website for updated application schedule.


The CAPES AEX Program is intended for doctors attending scientific events abroad in order to highlight international visibility of science and technological developments made within their home country. The Program supports these visits by providing funds for 1 month duration. Candidates must hold a PhD degree.

Agencies Involved: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)

Key Dates: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Next event registration is July 1-30, 2014 for the Event Period of November 1-30, 2014. 


The CAPES Strategic Program provides grants for overseas training in fields carrying a scientific strategic nature. Applicants must be residents of Brazil, and must have been previously approved for candidacy by CAPES.

Agencies Involved: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)

Key Dates: Application varies by scholarship – check the Guidelines for Jobs and specific Calendar. Applications must be made three months in advance of the commencement of activities abroad. 


The Training Abroad (SPE) Program is aimed to support the participation of researchers, specialists, and technicians in development activities through 4-12-month internships and courses. Candidates must be residents of Brazil.

Agencies Involved: National Research Council (CNPq)

Key Dates: Schedule 3: Registration - Until August 22, 2014; Trial - October 2014; Result - Until November 28, 2014; and Entry into Force – Feb/Mar/Apr/May/Jun 2015. Check website for updated and additional information.


The European Commission provides International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF) for European researchers looking to venture afield with their studies, and International Return Fellowships (IRF) for researchers from EU Member States and Associated Countries. Candidates must have either a doctoral degree or at least 4 years’ full-time research experience. The host organization should be a university or research institution.

Agencies Involved: European Commission

Key Dates: Check website for current open calls.