Distinguished Professor of Biology Dr. Walter Oechel of San Diego State University (PI) and the Dean of San Diego State University Georgia, Dr. Halil M. Guven (Co-PI) have been provided a U.S Embassy federal award, the purpose of which is to implement a project “Supporting STEM research and graduate education in Georgia” in partnership with SDSU Georgia.

This project has two goals. First is to provide short courses to young academics in current Western approaches to conducting and communicating research and scientific study. The second and the main goal of the project is to provide internships to Public University Ph. D students in San Diego State University, California, where they will conduct graduate research and studies under the direct guidance of a SDSU Faculty Mentor and learn deeply about conducting STEM research in the US setting. All Ph. D students matriculated at Georgian Public Universities, are eligible to benefit from this project. This project aims to strengthen the quantitative and qualitative research skills and academic writing skills of young Georgian scholars; raise collaborating Georgian scholars’ research capacity to international standards; increase interaction between Georgian and American academics and researchers, and mentor and coach Georgian scholars for publishing research papers in Georgian and Western academic peer-reviewed journals in STEM fields.

Under the program, young Georgian scholars matriculated in a Ph.D. program at a Georgian accredited University, will be given an opportunity for an initial visit of 3 (three) months at San Diego State University. There is provision for an extension for another 3 (three) months based on research performance in San Diego State University. In addition, it may be possible for the stay at SDSU to be extended beyond 6 (six) months if the Georgian candidate is selected by the SDSU mentor to work on a mutually agreed research project which will be financed by the SDSU mentor at the SDSU main campus. In this case, the SDSU mentor may be involved in the ongoing research of the scholar as they bring new skills and insights back to their Georgian labs. Students will be familiarized with cutting edge equipment, novel quantitative and qualitative research methods, and approaches at SDSU main campus.