GEAR Application and Program Details

Students should apply to the Global Engagement in Academic Research program through their home university, but can find information here to assist in the application process.


Students interested in applying to this program should inquire at the International Programs office at their home university. If the home university is a partner institution and the student meets the admission criteria, then the staff at the International Program office at the home university will assist students in submitting the online applications. You can ONLY apply through your university and are NOT able to apply directly to the program yourself. GEAR 2019 Flyer

In advance, students will look over the 2019 GEAR Faculty List  list for faculty hosts that have indicated they are able to host for 2018. This list will continue to be updated. Students can go to the  NC State Department list to obtain more information about the department and look up the faculty on the NC State website. Students that apply to professors on this list will be given priority. We apologize in advance if this limits which students can apply but it helps to make a smoother application process. Please make sure you look over faculty research interest. You can still apply for a professor not on the list, but there is no guarantee that professor is available.

All candidates must submit applications ELECTRONICALLY to their Coordinator at their specific university. Complete applications include the following information:
(one complete PDF with these items listed in order, with the name of the student Last Name, First Name as the title of the document)

  1. Resume in English (one page)
  2. Academic Records in English
  3. Proof of English Proficiency *See details below.
  4. Personal Statement (two page limit). Please indicate your research interest, explain why you have chosen a particular field of research and demonstrate your academic background related to the chosen research area, list extracurricular actives and any leadership or volunteer experiences. In this statement do not list the names of faculty you wish to study under.
  5. List TWO faculty from the pre-approved list that match your research interests. NOTE: We do not allow applicants to contact faculty directly in the beginning. Anyone who breaks the rule will be eliminated from the program automatically. After students are accepted and the Program Coordinator has opened communication, then students can contact faculty.

*Language Requirement

Fluency in English is a requirement to attend this program. Students are required to submit scores to verify their English proficiency. Scores may not be more than two years old at the time the application is submitted.

The table below lists the preferred English language assessment. Please see notes regarding additional tests.

TOEFL IBT 80 or higher
TOEFL Paper Based 550 or higher
IELTS 6.5 or higher
  • We will not accept CET-4 or CET-6 as the only English proof,  because these two test do not include a speaking test.
  • The GEPT test includes two stages. First stage is for listening and reading tests, and the second stage is for speaking and writing.  Our program requires students to pass both stages at the high-intermediate level.
  • We will accept 605 TOEIC (listening and reading). But the students also have to take and pass writing test (at least receive 100 points) and speaking test ( at least receive 80 points).

In addition, students may be subject to a language screening and an academic interview from NC State University for final selection and acceptance into the program. Students are also required to submit current GPA (min. GPA 3.5).

About the Faculty Search

A suitable matching faculty is the key to our summer research program. The faculty are not contracted with this research program, so available hosting faculty is based upon their schedule and preference. From our experience we have found it beneficial to share a list of pre-approved faculty which are currently available to host students for the 2019 program. Students that apply to professors on this list will be given priority. We apologize in advance if this limits which students can apply but it helps to make a smoother application process.

You are welcome to still apply to the program if your professor is not on this list. However, we cannot guarantee that your professor will be available and priority will be given to students who have chose faculty from the pre-approved list. Students can go to the NC State Department list to obtain information about additional departments and faculty.

If choosing a faculty not on the list we shared some tips with you:

  • When you list a Dean , Department Head , or Program Director as your adviser choice, take into account their  busy schedule during the summer.
  • An assistant professor could be more available in the summer.  So with your two faculty choices, you may want to include one assistant professor, if there are any that match your research interest.
  • Some students select a Chinese faulty with the hopes if increasing their ability to be selected. You may not want to limit your choice and lose the purpose of studying abroad.
  • One faculty can take  up to 4 students, so you may not want to choose those “popular” professors since that brings competition within your own group.
  • Ask past participants for advice. They can recommend some faculty advisers for you.

Frequently asked question

How can we know if this faculty is available this summer?


We don’t know until we contact them. There are only certain number of faulty on campus each summer. We will contact those on your list. If they are not available or not interested, the applicant then can not be admitted.


Students are encouraged to apply early.

December – January Program news is posted and partner universities receive announcement.

Recruitment begins before Chinese New Year holiday.

February Universities in China recruit students and submit applications electronically.


March March 16: Application Deadline
The sooner students are accepted then they can apply for visas. 
April Final results are announced in March/April.

Invitation letters for visas are sent to students.

Communication opens between students and faculty advisors.

May & June May 20 – Payment Due

Final Preparations

July &


Students arrive July 7.

Program follows activity calendar and ends August 7 .

Student Selection

Qualified students are initially selected by their university. They should be top undergraduate students in their junior or senior year whose academic background and research interest match those of NC State’s research projects and programs under participating faculty. Students must be proficient in reading and writing in English.

The list of selected candidates will be submitted to the Program Director, Anna Dunaway. NC State faculty will make the final decision whether or not a student will work in his/her department. They will take into consideration if the student already possesses the amount of academic knowledge necessary for the requested research area.


The Program cost will cover campus room and board, laboratory supplies and payment to lab, local transportation, weekly excursions, library and gymnasium access, employment of a part-time program administrator, clear communications, and overhead at NC State. No scholarships are available for this program through NC State University. Contact local university contact for cost information.

A $50 meal plan  is included in the cost, but students will be responsible for the rest of the meals during their stay. On average, an extra $500 is needed to cover food cost within 40 days. In addition, the total cost of the Program does not include international round trip airfare.


Students are required to purchase their own insurance. Students that are accepted to the program will submit a copy of their insurance policy and are required to understand their specific policy.


Students should contact their home university during the application period and not contact NC State until they are accepted to the program.

Research Program Director
Contact for information relating to Research and Final Projects
Dr. Sunny Liu
Animal Science
Associate Professor
Tel: 919-515-4024
Fax: 919-515-6884

Student Program Director
Contact for application and logistical questions
Ms. Anna Dunaway
Director, Confucius Institute
Office of Global Engagement
Tel: 919- 513-2732
Fax: 919-513-3068