Opportunity for faculty members: Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge

Opportunity for faculty members: Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge

Students holding virtual exchange call

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. 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.

The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge is supported by the Stevens Initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and administered by the Aspen Institute.  

About the Stevens Initiative

Created in 2015, the Initiative is committed to helping expand the virtual exchange field through three pillars of work: investing in promising programs, sharing knowledge and resources, and advocating for virtual exchange adoption. The Stevens Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute. It is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Learn more about the Initiative’s vision and approach.

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 Global 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.
  • Implement 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;
  • Gain access to a network of global educators;  
  • Gain access to Department of State alumni opportunities;  
  • Receive professional training on virtual collaboration tools and design challenge thinking; 
  • Receive six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for training on virtual project based learning;  Receive six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for training on virtual project based learning;
  • Have the opportunity to apply for a Virtual Exchange Grant of up to $2,000 (funds are limited and only qualified applicants will be awarded a small grant based on selection criteria).

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 of the information included in the application. In the event that there is 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. The Global Solutions Program promotes inclusion and diversity in learning. Facilitators with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. 


November 28, 2021: Application Deadline

January 2022: Facilitator Training

February - April 2022: Eight-Week Challenge

April 2022: Virtual Fair & Virtual Global 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.  

  • Spring 2022 Cohort:
    • Deadline: Sunday, November 28, 2021, at 11:59 EST.

Applicants will be notified of selection status the week of December 6th.


For more information, contact globalsolutions@irex.org.