Opportunity for faculty members: Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge

Opportunity for faculty members: Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge

Group of students huddle around a laptop

The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge is a virtual exchange initiative that supports career readiness in the U.S., Iraq and Jordan. Community college and university students from the U.S. and technical college and university students from Iraq and Jordan team up to solve global challenges facing the business sector across industries related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The program improves global citizenship, strengthens problem-solving skills, and develops enduring connections, while enhancing students’ job skills through online collaboration.  

Faculty members at community colleges and universities in the US and universities in Jordan or Iraq have the opportunity to apply to facilitate a bi-national team.

Global Solutions is implemented by IREX and is supported by the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (JCSVEI). JCSVEI is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program administered by the Aspen Institute.


About the Stevens Initiative

The Stevens Initiative is an international leader in virtual exchange, which brings young people from diverse places together to collaborate and connect through everyday technology. Created in 2015 as a lasting tribute to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Initiative invests in virtual exchange programs; shares research, resources, and promising practices to improve impact; and advocates for broader adoption. Learn more: https://www.stevensinitiative.org/

Facilitator Responsibilities

The participating facilitator will: 

  • Form and lead a gender-balanced team from their college of at least eight students;  
  • Participate in virtual or in-person facilitator training;
  • Partner effectively with their facilitator co-lead in the US, Jordan, or Iraq;  
  • Lead the team’s virtual and in-person instruction and collaboration;
  • Engage in ongoing communications and support with IREX, including anecdotes and photographs;  
  • Motivate and ensure the team’s completion of the challenge, including survey evaluation data;  
  • If selected as a semifinalist, attend the Virtual Business Expo. 
  • If selected as a finalist team to receive a small grant, support their team in implementing grant funds to further develop their prototype.

The participating facilitator will be responsible for ensuring their team will: 

  • Work with their counterparts over the course of the program through a virtual platform to collaboratively design and implement the creation of innovative solutions to the team’s selected global challenge;  
  • Ensure their ideas are innovative, their own, and meet academic integrity standards;  
  • Submit a business plan of their solution and a video no longer than five-minutes to creatively showcase their solution and be considered as a finalist;  
  • If selected as a semifinalist team, attend the Virtual Global Business Expo.
  • Support students with implementing the small grant funds should they place as a finalist team.

Upon completion of the challenge, facilitators will: 

  • Earn a professional certificate with professional development credentials;  
  • Receive an honorarium;
  • Receive a Challenge stipend to use for technology support and prototype development;
  • Gain access to a network of global educators;  
  • Receive professional training on virtual collaboration tools and design challenge thinking; 
  • Receive six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for training on virtual project based learning

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current faculty member in an academic institution with two or more years of teaching experience and a demonstrated commitment to teaching and education. 
  • Faculty member at a US Community College/University or College/University in Jordan and Iraq.

*Please note, applications that do not meet each of these eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee. 

IREX reserves the right to verify all the information included in the application. In the event of a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible. 

IREX does not discriminate against grant applicants because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law. IREX and the Global Solutions Program promote inclusion and diversity in learning. Facilitators with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. 


July 7, 2024: Application Deadline

August 2024:  Facilitator Training

October 15, 2024 – December 7, 2024: Virtual Exchange Program

December 2024: Virtual Fair & Virtual Business Expo


How to Apply to the Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge

Consult the list of eligibility requirements and then use the following button to apply.


Application Deadlines

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must be submitted online.  

  • Fall 2024 Cohort: July 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.

Applicants will be notified of selection status the week of July 15th.


For more information, contact globalsolutions@irex.org.