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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Old Dominion receives NSF award for summer research program in China

Old Dominion University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has won a three-year $250,000 award from the National Science Foundation to provide research opportunities abroad to promising undergraduates and graduate students.

The award will allow five students, beginning in the summer of 2018, to research environmental issues caused by the accelerating degradation of native grasslands in the Inner Mongolian region of China.

Xixi Wang, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Old Dominion, will be the principal investigator and project director.

The project is part of NSF's International Research Experiences for Students program. The goal is to prepare a globally engaged STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce in the United States that can perform in an international research environment. The experience will allow promising students to conduct high-quality research in collaboration with foreign experts at a critical stage early in their careers.

The program will run for three summers, from 2018 to 2020. Each summer, one doctoral student, two master's students and two undergraduates will be selected to participate. They will receive one week of training at Old Dominion and then spend about 12 weeks in China.

The program is open to students at any U.S. institution in fields including ecohydrology, hydrology, water resources, environmental, soil and water, and climate change.

The funding will cover the costs of the students' travel, lodging and meals as well as provide each of them a $500 weekly stipend.

The application process for 2018 will begin on Aug. 1, 2017. Applicants should submit a resume, one-page statement on research interests and experiences, one-page statement on career goals and contact information for three references to Wang at x4wang@odu.edu.