The current COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving and unpredictable situation that is limiting travel worldwide.  Part of our planning for the 2022 Ph-IRES program includes adhering to ever-changing requirements set by participating academic institutions and governmental agencies of the US and the Republic of the Philippines as these respond to the pandemic.  The safety of students, faculty, and staff is paramount in this process.  There will be an alternative option for domestic undergraduate research at ODU or TAMUCC with remote mentorship from Silliman University researchers should it be determined that international travel will not be possible.

Philippines International Research Experience for Students

In the Philippines International Research Experience for Students project (Ph-IRES), 15 U.S. undergraduates will spend eight weeks at Silliman University (SU) conducting independent research with Filipino mentors. Projects will explore conservation biology and molecular ecology of aquatic and terrestrial species. Potential projects include:

  • genetic barcoding to document fish diversity
  • life history studies to examine how fishing pressure influences how fish grow and reproduce
  • genetic studies to see how fish populations connect with one another
  • study of how pollutants may affect reef fishes
  • conservation genetics of freshwater or threatened terrestrial animals

Benefits of the program include:

  • Students will live and work in Dumaguete, Philippines for 8 weeks during Summer 2022 and work with faculty mentors from Silliman University. If travel to Silliman University is not possible, projects will take place at ODU or TAMUCC with remote participation and mentoring by Silliman University researchers
  • Summer stipend of $5000
  • Transportation to/from Philippines or US Universities and all room and board covered by program
  • Travel to annual SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference to present summer research


Students will be involved in an immersive international research experience that emphasizes collaboration among cultures and development of world-class skills. Ph-IRES is open to undergraduate students of sophomore or greater standing from institutions not currently involved in the related NSF-PIRE project (Old Dominion University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Rutgers, Arizona State University). Students from those universities are encouraged to consider the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) opportunity associated with that program.

Ph-IRES is supported by NSF project award #100863-010 to D. Gauthier (Old Dominion University) and C. Bird (Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi)