Additional PIRE 1 Fellowships for Summer 2017: deadline March 30

Additional PIRE 1 Fellowships for Summer 2017: deadline March 30

We have funding left for some additional PIRE 1 ("old PIRE") fellowships for Summer 2017. For this additional Summer 2017 round, we will offer three options:

1) standard 8-weeks PIRE fellowships to conduct a research project at one of the PIRE sites

2) short-visit PIRE fellowships for up to 4 weeks, to visit one of the PIRE sites. 

3) wrap-up project fellowships, to complete data collection for one or more previously funded PIRE fellowships, to wrap up data collection for publication. 

For more details, see information below. Deadline: March 30, 2017. 

All options cover expenses for travel and lodging, but not tuition.

This year's round is restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. This is an NSF requirement. At the beginning of this PIRE project, the College of the Liberal Arts had generously provided additional funds for non-US citizens for the duration of the grant (2010-2015), but these funds are now spent out as we are in the second no cost extension.

PIRE 1 ('old') Program – Final opportunity

Announcing International Research Opportunities for CLS Graduate Students Summer 2017 – Extended Call
Deadline: March 30, 2017

The Center for Language Science (CLS) announces the final cycle of PIRE Graduate Fellowships for the 2010-2017 National Science Foundation program Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) – also known as the first ('old') PIRE grant. The CLS will award travel grants to graduate students to support travel to international sites for the purpose of conducting research on the science of bilingualism. The PIRE grant “Bilingualism, mind, and brain: An interdisciplinary program in cognitive psychology, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience,” awarded to the CLS for a 5-year period (2010-2015, and two-years extension 2015-2017) and ends July 2017.

In this final year of this PIRE grant graduate students working with CLS faculty can apply to travel for 2 months in summer 2017 and conduct a research study at one of the international sites listed below ("regular PIRE fellowship"), or to travel for a short-term visit up to 4 weeks in summer 2017 (with the possibility to conduct research, receive training, or lay the groundwork for future collaboration; "short-term visit"). A new option is to visit one of the international sites to wrap up data collection of one or more previously funded PIRE project(s), with the purpose of completing data collection for publication ("wrap-up project"). The duration of these wrap-up projects is up to 8 weeks, with the longer visits preferably entailing data collection to wrap up multiple previously funded projects.

The following institutions in Europe and Asia participate in the 2010-2015/17 PIRE program: University of Braunschweig (Germany), Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands), University of Granada (Spain), Universitat Rovira I Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), Lund University (Sweden), Bangor University (UK), Beijing Normal University (China), and University of Hong Kong (China).

Funding covers airfare, housing and meals, and some research expenses if applicable. Important: visits must be completed by the end of July.

All application materials should be sent electronically to the PIRE Graduate Fellowships committee at No hardcopy applications will be accepted. Applications will be evaluated by this committee, if necessary in consultation with the relevant foreign PIRE partner. Students with no previous PIRE-experience or single-visit experience will be given priority.

1. Application materials:

(1) Copy of applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
(2) For regular and short-term visits: a statement of no more than 2-3 single spaced pages

indicating how the research-abroad experience will enhance the applicant’s future educational and professional plans. The statement should specifically provide a justification for the way in which the requested international experience will enhance the planned research and will further the student’s professional development.

For wrap-up projects: a statement of no more than 2-3 single spaced pages describing the project(s) for which data collection will be completed, a description of the outcomes so far, the scope of the proposed data collection, and how the collection of additional data will enhance the likelihood of publication(s).

All visits: If the student has already had international research experience (including a previous PIRE fellowship), it will be critical to explain how the proposed visit will provide unique benefits above and beyond those from these past experiences. Highest priority will be given to those applications that make clear how the particular features of the proposed PIRE site will enhance the student’s research program.

(3) A letter of recommendation from the CLS faculty research advisor. The letter of recommendation must be sent directly to the CLS committee at

2. Eligibility requirements:

  1. (1)  To be eligible for the PIRE graduate travel award, candidates must be US citizens. This is an NSF requirement. At the start of this PIRE program, the College of the Liberal Arts had generously provided additional funds for non-US citizens for the duration of the grant (2010-2015), but these funds are now spent out as we are in the second no cost extension.
  2. (2)  Must be actively conducting research with a CLS faculty member.
  3. (3)  The planned project for the proposed research experience should fit with the goals of the CLS PIRE project and with the existing PIRE partners and host sites (see the abstract for the PIRE grant appended below). Note that there are also opportunities for CLS graduate students who wish to seek training at one of the two domestic PIRE sites (Haskins Laboratories or Gallaudet University) but those opportunities must be

    coordinated with eventual research abroad.

  4. (4)  Eligible students will have a minimum of at least one semester in residence remaining

    at Penn State after returning from research abroad experience.


Graduate students interested in applying for a PIRE award should meet with their faculty mentors to discuss the content and timing of their applications. Faculty mentors should make the first approach to an appropriate PIRE partner to determine the feasibility of the proposed visit. Please feel free to be in touch with any of us if we can be helpful in facilitating arrangements and contacts.

Award#0968369 - PIRE: Bilingualism, mind, and brain: An interdisciplinary program in cognitive psychology, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience

(abstract original proposal):
This PIRE project, a collaboration between three U.S. and seven foreign institutions in Europe and Asia, will investigate the cognitive and neural consequences of bilingualism to understand the ways in which multiple languages are learned and used. Recent behavioral and neuroscience evidence suggests that there is more extensive processing interaction between the two languages of a bilingual than previously thought, and this is true even when bilinguals are using only one language. Bilingual science therefore provides a tool for revealing fundamental principles about the mind and the brain otherwise obscured in research focused on monolinguals. The next stage of research on bilingualism calls for national and international collaborations to unify our understanding of the nature of the bilingual mind and brain, the process of bilingual language development, and the consequences of bilingualism for cognition. International collaboration is essential for accessibility to widely differing bilingual populations of several spoken, written, and signed languages. This award enables an international network of collaborators with common research goals and methods to exploit unique and complementary opportunities to investigate properties of human languages. Leveraging the diverse perspectives inherent in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research will facilitate the establishment of a world-class research context for investigating bilingualism science, enable generalization of research findings, and exploit bilingualism as a tool for investigating the representation and processing of language in the mind and brain.

This PIRE project will bring together the complementary international expertise of collaborators studying bilinguals who communicate in a variety of languages (e.g., Spanish, Catalan, Welsh, and Chinese). A unique feature of this project is the partnership of U.S. and Dutch scientists exploring the consequences of bimodal bilingualism in deaf people. The NSF-funded VL2 Science of Learning Center at Gallaudet University, a world leader in education for deaf students and research on topics related to deaf people, focuses on issues of visual language processing recognizing deaf readers as bilinguals using a signed language for communication yet reading a written language. Researchers in The Netherlands and Lund also study sign language and gesture, deaf literacy development, and speech-sign translation but using different signed and written languages. The convergence of these projects provides a unique opportunity for cross-linguistic collaboration and training that would not be possible in the U.S. alone.

Enthusiasm for bilingualism research naturally draws an unusually diverse group of students, scientists, and research participants. This PIRE project will be committed to harnessing that excitement to create opportunities for broadening participation in science by research participants from a broad spectrum of ages and linguistic abilities, and by students and researchers from groups under-represented in the sciences. This PIRE project will provide training and research opportunities to students and scientists not possible without the international collaboration, such as conducting research abroad, participating in virtual international colloquia, developing and sustaining international collaborations, and training by industrial partners with specific expertise in speech, literacy, and neuroimaging. The project also provides institutional opportunities for research with diverse populations, enriching undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral training, and increasing opportunities for early career faculty to develop research programs globally engaged and solidly grounded in cross-disciplinary collaborations. The nature of the science of bilingualism is inherently interdisciplinary and cross-cultural and this project provides opportunities for the participating U.S. institutions to strengthen international offices and activities, develop survey tools to evaluate student's international experiences, and provide energy and synergy for integration and for strengthening links across disciplinary units. This project will strengthen the U.S.'s scientific capital through international training not otherwise available in the U.S. U.S. institutions will benefit from attracting international visiting researchers and students to enrich the internationalizing initiatives and cultures on their campuses. The U.S. population is also increasingly bilingual with ever-diversifying demographic and cultural characteristics so research results are expected to reach well beyond academia. U.S. project partners include The Pennsylvania State University, Gallaudet University (D.C.), and Haskins Laboratories at Yale University (CT). International partners include Bangor University (UK), University of Braunschweig (Germany), Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands), University of Granada (Spain), Universitat Rovira I Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), Lund University (Sweden), Beijing Normal University (China), and University of Hong Kong (China). This project was jointly funded by NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering and the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.