In September 2014, the IIC announced an exciting new partnership with USAID’s Global Development Lab. This partnership, established with the Lab’s Research and Innovation Fellowships (RI Fellowships) program, aims to build a cohort of fellows working to improve development outcomes in India.  This relationship affords the IIC the opportunity to expand its fellowship opportunities in India, as well as provides its fellows with a growing global network of mentors and knowledge partners.


As part of the RI Fellowships program, the IIC joins five other universities  - Arizona State University, Rutgers University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, and the University of Notre Dame - in creating a network of partnerships to expand students’ capacity to contribute to innovative development abroad. 


RI Fellowships is a new program office within USAID’s recently formed Global Development Lab whose team works collaboratively with the IIC, contributing substantively to program development.

To meet its goal of fostering innovation in development to end extreme poverty by widely sourcing ideas and creating new networks of innovators, RI Fellowships connects American Masters and PhD students with professionals of key organizations in 7 countries around the world to address complex development challenges. Through the program’s Catalog of Opportunities, hosts and researchers are able to make professional matches on a wide variety of development projects that can range from marine policy to water and sanitation and everything in between.


According to Nicholas Bassey, the program’s Team Lead, “RI Fellowships’ relationship with the IIC has helped USAID to better connect American research and technical expertise with the needs of Indian communities. Together, we are helping to foster long-term relationships and solve problems -- from government institutions all the way down to local partnerships and individual networks. The IIC’s projects are an integral part of the RI Fellowships Catalog, and expand upon the core model of the program.”

RI Fellowships and the IIC are excited to offer University of Chicago students access to a web of opportunities, positioning them to become leaders in international development through a partnership that supports innovation for positive social impact.