Document Type



A web-based survey of 103 principal investigators (PIs) of NSF-funded international research training programs administered in late 2020 revealed that over 640 undergraduate and graduate student researchers were unable to participate in international research projects as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. Nevertheless, PIs did not generally suspend applications or seek re-budgeting of travel funds. Some research activities were able to continue without the international travel component such as data analysis, lab work, and publication preparation. Follow-up interviews with 12 PIs revealed that virtual activities such as webinars, workshops, and networking events were implemented as a substitute for research and cultural experiences abroad with the goal of keeping students engaged until travel can resume. The disproportionate impact of these virtual substitute activities on students from disadvantaged backgrounds is not known.