IRES 2024

Participate in an 8-week water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) research program in Malawi, including required service activities, individual mentorship, pre-trip planning, and post-trip support

The overall training goal is to provide transformational research experiences to: 

  • engage in interdisciplinary thinking, problem-solving, and research in WaSH;
  •  increase global awareness and cultural competency;
  • leverage field experience working with diverse communities to develop context-adapted solutions; and 
  • view these solutions through a holistic lens, considering equity, sustainability, and long-term benefits and impacts of their research. 

Travel Dates: May 15- July 15, 2024

University Partners: Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Mzuzu University, University of Louisville

Selected student(s) will receive:

  • a stipend of $500 per week for 8 weeks while in Malawi.*  
  • Airfare (RDU to Lilongwe, Malawi) up to $2,000 will be provided. 
  • One roundtrip via local transport to the research site (Blantyre or Mzuzu). 
  • Student will receive $1,000 for food and lodging (for the 8 weeks), based on estimates by our foreign hosts. Students will stay in a dormitory or furnished rental house. 

*A modest research material and supply budget may be available depending on need. 

Example research topics:

  • Disease transmission pathways not addressed by traditional WaSH
  • Antimicrobial resistance, climate change, COVID-19, pandemics
  • Incentives, institutions, and technologies for comprehensive WaSH services
  • New local innovation, including culturally responsive behavior impacts


  • US citizens or permanent residents
  • Undergraduate or graduate students, available for weekly discussions in Spring and Fall 2024 (before and after summer trip)
  • Open to any major (Preferred majors: Environmental engineering, environmental science, natural resources, resource economics)
  • Compliance with all in-country vaccination and visa entry requirements
  • Recruitment of diverse students is a core commitment, given the research focus. Our goal is to create and nurture a culture of inclusion. 
  • 1. A personal statement, not to exceed 2-pages, on your interest in international research, commitment to the program goals, and career plans. 
  • 2. A resume

Email application materials to: