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Program Overview

The Global Research Assistant Program (GRAP) provides the opportunity for Tufts faculty members to receive funding for one Tufts student to work on international research and impact projects for a minimum of eight weeks during summer. Undergraduate students will be prioritized in the application process, but graduate students may also apply for GRAP.  Graduating seniors may only apply if they are continuing into a Tufts graduate program. This initiative is sponsored by the AS&E Career Center and Summer Scholars Program, the Office of the Provost, and Tisch College.

This opportunity is open to all Tufts Faculty. For questions about the program or application process, please contact Christine Hollenhorst

  1. Further Tufts' commitment to global engagement within our mission as a student-centered research university by providing opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience working on global research led by Tufts faculty.
  2. Provide students with opportunities for transformative experiences through collaborative partnerships with Tufts faculty and community engagement with bold ideas and complex global challenges.
  3. Provide opportunities for students to develop competencies and skills useful to work and conduct research effectively in international contexts.
  4. Support faculty in carrying out their research internationally by providing additional resources (within or outside a specific technical area).
  • One research assistant, vetted by the Sponsoring Units. Faculty will have the opportunity to select finalists.
  • Student Orientation arranged by the sponsoring units on issues related to research ethics and health and safety.
  • The program will cover the following costs:
    • On-campus housing and meals for the duration of the project at Tufts,
    • Student costs associated with the international field component, including transportation, accommodation, and food costs,
    • Modest stipend for the students.

Faculty Proposal

Proposals must include following criteria:

  • Project Details: A brief but detailed description of the research project, its significance and global impact, and progress made to date.
  • Project Timeline: A schedule of major events and activities during the duration of the Student Research Assistantship.
  • Student Research Assistantship Description: 
    • The specific tasks and responsibilities for the Student Research Assistant(s).
    • Specific qualifications the Research Assistant(s) will need to have in order to complete these tasks.
  • Field Component Description:  A description of the field component of the project. The description should include a description of accommodation, transportation, safety measures, on-site student contact, as well as an estimated budget associated with the international component (roundtrip airfare, meals and incidentals, accommodation). Please utilize the foreign per diem rate for meals and incidentals and accommodation.
    • Given the uncertainty of international travel during COVID-19, please provide details on how students could carry out their research if it must be done remotely.
  • Learning Goals Statement: An outline of the learning goals faculty anticipate the Student Research Assistant(s) to achieve, or take steps towards achieving, through this experience, and how the faculty will evaluate such goals. In outlining these objectives, faculty may be guided by the Association of American Colleges and Universities Global Learning Outcomes:
    1. Become informed, open-minded, and responsible people who are attentive to diversity across the spectrum of differences.
    2. Seek to understand how their actions affect both local and global communities.
    3. Address the world's most pressing and enduring issues collaboratively and equitably.

Proposals must meet following criteria:

  • Provide an 8-week (minimum) summer opportunity for Tufts students to be significantly involved in a research project on issues of global relevance. Research assistants could provide assistance: 
    • Within the specific technical area that is the focus of the research
    • Outside of that area but helpful to the implementation of the research
  • The research opportunity can include work in Medford/Boston/Grafton, but must also include an international component (of at least three weeks duration). Previous faculty leaders have found that a period of time spent at Tufts after the international field work has been extremely beneficial for synthesizing information and reflecting on the international experience. 
  • For the portion outside of the United States, there must be an on-the-ground contact for the student. This might be a faculty member, graduate student, research coordinator, or local partner.
  • Compliance with safety and security requirements identified by Tufts Global Operations.

If necessary, the Supporting Units will work with faculty to revise proposals. Global Operations may require additional information and modification to the international field component logistics. 

  • Has the faculty member created a meaningful role for the student?
  • What is the nature of/quality of the supervision, especially while abroad?
  • Has the faculty member articulated their anticipated learning objectives for the student?
  • Has the faculty member articulated how the student will be integrated into the project, and what the student’s contributions will be?
  • Has the faculty member shown serious consideration for Global Operations logistics, such as housing, health & safety, etc.?

Additionally, we seek to represent a variety of Tufts schools, a variety of geographic locations, and faculty members who are new to the GRAP program.

The proposal for summer 2025 will be available here in the fall of 2024.


  • January 16: All faculty proposals are due.
  • Mid January: Finalists are notified and program details announced to students.
  • Late March: Student finalists interview with faculty. Faculty make final selections.
  • End of March: Selected Research Assistants will be notified.
  • Late May – Early June: Position begins. Timelines will be determined by individual faculty.

Past Research Projects