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Individual Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO)

The Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program (IARO) provides scholars and professionals with long-term support to perform policy-relevant field research in the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. IARO fellowships provide scholars with the opportunity to impact the formation of U.S. foreign policy by conducting open-source research on current regional issues of importance to the United States.

Participants on the IARO program increase their understanding of critical, policy-relevant issues, develop and sustain international networks, and collaborate with foreign scholars on topics vital to both the academic and policymaking communities. IARO is sponsored by the Title VIII program through the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), U.S. Department of State.

IREX is no longer accepting applications for the IARO Program. 


The Title VIII program maintains U.S. expertise in the regions of Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and brings open source, policy-relevant research to the service of the U.S. Government and the academic community. Research conducted through the IARO program has contributed to a more informed policy debate and has shaped higher education through teaching, publications, and scholar collaborations.

U.S. policymakers have access to current research on issues affecting U.S. policy in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: IARO Scholars serve as experts in the field, contributing their knowledge to local NGOs, U.S. Embassies, and universities. IARO alumni share their research results directly with the U.S. government through consultations and briefings at the U.S. Department of State, White House, Pentagon, and the U.S. Congress.

U.S. scholars strengthen their expertise in the region and advance Eastern European and Eurasian studies in the U.S. academic community: 91% of IREX Title VIII program alumni have contributed their research results to the academic community through conference presentations, and over half have provided consultations to the government, media, business, or non-profit sector.

Project Activities

On-the-ground critical research: In 2013-2014, IARO scholars will be travelling to 15 different countries to conduct research on topics including microfinance in Tajikistan, political empowerment in Bosnia and Herzegovnia, Roma inclusion in Hungary, and the development of social policy in Russia.

Service: In addition to conducting research, IARO scholars become involved in the community through service, including consulting for a local NGO, briefing government officials, giving public lectures and presentations, engaging in policy advocacy, and publishing articles in local media outlets.

Sharing knowledge: IARO scholars present research findings at academic and professional conferences in both the U.S. and abroad, and write a final research brief that is published on the IREX website and disseminated to the U.S. academic and policymaking communities.

IARO provides research support in up to three countries for a minimum of two months and a maximum of nine months, contingent upon funding. Participants are provided with visa assistance, international round-trip transportation, a monthly allowance for housing and living expenses, as well as emergency evacuation insurance. IARO fellows also have access to resources available in any of IREX's field offices.

Eligible Countries of Research: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan