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.

Past participants

  • Baltic States—This YLP brought 21 high school students from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and one adult chaperone from each country, to Bloomington. Their exchange program focused on the concepts of entrepreneurship and leadership.
  • Southern Europe—This YLP brought six high school students from both Italy and Slovenia, seven students from Spain, and one adult chaperone from each country to the United States. Their exchange program focused on civic leadership and engagement, media literacy, social entrepreneurship, and people-to-people exchange.
  • The Caucasus—This YLP brought 10 high school students from both Azerbaijan and Georgia, and one adult chaperone from each country, to Bloomington. Their exchange program sessions focused on entrepreneurship, volunteerism, community service, and youth leadership development.
  • Indonesia—This YLP hosted 17 students and two adult chaperones from five different regions throughout Indonesia. The participants surveyed topics of leadership, project management, diversity, and good governance. Participants engaged with a wide range of experts and models to study and explore methods for improving their communities through civic engagement.
  • Mongolia—The Mongolian United States Student Envoy (MUSE) consisted of 20 youth and three adult chaperones who focused on democracy with specific emphasis on youth participation in social responsibility, democratic environmental stewardship, critical journalism, and fundamental leadership skills.
  • Italy—As the first of six YLPS, 21 youth and three adults from Southern Italy (Sicily) came to the Bloomington campus for the study of leadership, diversity, and civic engagement. The YLP with Italy focused on community inclusiveness with specific emphasis on topics of immigration.

2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship

A group of people holding certificates

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.

In 2018, IU welcomed 25 of the 700 selected Fellows for a Civic Leadership Institute.

Fellows from 20 different countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa used this opportunity to propel their professional and civic careers further, bolstering their network of like-minded professionals and academics and further honing in on their leadership and practical skills through hands-on, skills-based programming.

IU’s efforts in implementing the Fellowship brought together faculty, practitioners, and resources from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and several schools: the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and the Maurer School of Law.

Other local partners included Cook Medical Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Cities of Bloomington and Indianapolis, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bradford Woods, and many other local and community organizations.