Current Projects

The LASER-PULSE Consortium

Under the Long-term Assistance and Services for Research (LASER) Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine (PULSE) consortium, supported by a $70 million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant, Indiana University will partner with consortium member institutions Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Makerere University, and Catholic Relief Services to:

  • Identify new research questions
  • Conduct demand-driven research
  • Translate research results into development impact in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) across the globe

The consortium will help USAID to identify research challenges across all its technical sectors and geographical locations and identify experts worldwide to answer these questions to a network of more than 50 higher education institutions around the world. It will also work to build the technical and research capacity of universities and researchers in LMIC countries. IU will lead the consortium’s Research Translation and Communication activities.

IU’s role

Through OID, interdisciplinary faculty at IU will be able to support the efforts of the LASER-PULSE consortium and receive funding to work on evidence-based research and policy work, in coordination with many of USAID’s missions across the globe.

OID has already facilitated grants for the IU School of Education to work on two projects in Africa: a USAID Kenya’s Tusome early grade reading program and a $598,000 project on Integrated Essential Emergency Education Impact Evaluation in South Sudan.

OID initially received approximately $1.6 million from USAID. The LASER-PULSE award will run for five years, from 2018 to 2023.

2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, begun in 2014, is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. More than 700 Fellows from across sub-Saharan Africa are selected annually through a competitive process.

In 2019, IU welcomes 25 of the 700 selected Fellows for a Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute.

During the Fellowship, accomplished young professionals hailing from 17 different countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa engage in academic coursework, community service activities, and networking on the IU campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis. The six-week program helps Fellows develop skills and experiences in civic leadership and community service, as well as technical capacity in areas such as community development, volunteerism, grassroots activism, leadership, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and fundraising for non-profits. The presence of young African Fellows on campus and in the Bloomington and Indianapolis communities also creates mutually beneficial opportunities for learning and exchange as Fellows share their personal and professional experiences, meet with Americans and peer collaborators, offer diverse cultural perspectives, and work toward building strong networks for developing and sharing ideas and best practices.

IU's efforts in implementing the Fellowship bring together faculty, practitioners, and resources from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and multiple IU schools including the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Kelley School of Business, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and Maurer School of Law.

Community partners include Cook Medical Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, the Cities of Bloomington and Indianapolis, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bradford Woods, and many other local and community agencies and non-profit organizations.

Fellows attending the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at IU represent the countries of Botswana, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe.