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Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Proposal 

Description of the project Project Goals and Objectives are to continue impacting disadvantaged K-14 students with research experiences in STEM-C fields in Puerto Rico and abroad (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Moscow, Russia).  The Saturday Research Academy (SRA) is a Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE), National Science Foundation (NSF) best practice.  The team leader of this proposal initiated the SRA in 1998 at Universidad Metropolitana (UMET) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Over 4,000 K-12 disadvantaged students were impacted with a 16-week research training program. Over 95% of the impacted students were transferred to college and universities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. Over 85 % selected careers in STE-C fields. The challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic will not affect the implementation of the Virtual Saturday Research Academy of this proposal because of the technology planned to use and the experience of implementing the Virtual Saturday Research Academy during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semester by the team leader in Puerto Rico.  Participants and mentors met virtually during Saturdays and guided the students in their STEM-C research projects.  All the participants finished their projects, presented at the Virtual Pre-College Research Symposia, and were evaluated online by scientists who judged them accordingly.  The direct benefits for the new sites in the Dominican Republic and Russia will be the experience of implementing an MIE-NSF best practice in a foreign setting.  The Fulbright foreign mentors will gain a positive experience and set the bases for future implementation of the SRA in their countries.  The SRA is an early research experience program for K-14 students interested in STEM-C fields.  If this proposal is funded, we will impact 30 K-14 economically disadvantaged students from communities in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Moscow, Russia. The outcomes of the project will be (1) Student interaction with Fulbright foreign scientific mentors, (2) Research experience in STEM-C fields for 30 K-14, economically disadvantaged students, (3) Design of 30 competitive research posters by K-14 students, (4) Dissemination of research projects by participants in schools and conferences in educational communities of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Moscow, Russia and (5) Documentation of the Virtual Saturday Research Academy for digital distribution on the Internet in the Scientific Caribbean Foundation webpage

Letter of Award Notification

Congratulations! The U.S. Department of State is excited to share that your proposal has been selected as a finalist for the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund!   

The selection committee is proud to provide funding to "STEM-C Research Skills for Success" to bolster democratic principles through promoting media literacy education; building community through art, sports, language, and technology; bolstering outreach to underserved communities; fostering alumni network development; and protecting the environment.

The Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund is implemented in collaboration with our partner organization, Partners of the Americas.  They will be your main contact moving forward and over the next few days, they will provide you with the necessary administrative information and next steps on how to proceed with your grant award.  Note that you will not receive funding until all administrative documentation is complete.  


Again, congratulations on developing an outstanding project proposal. The Department of State and Partners of the Americas are proud to support our exchange alumni. You are truly leaders in building bridges of understanding that strengthen our country and our world. 

We will be in touch soon with updates and the next steps.

All the best,   


The Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Team  

Paul Garr, U.S. Department of State  

Maia Moore, Partners of the Americas  

Process for registration

Please view and download the following documents and fill and send them by email to

1) The Agenda 

2) Fill the Registration, and send it by email.

3) Fill the parents' authorization.

Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico Team

Juan F. Arratia, Director
Jade Peralta, Assistant  Coordinator
Elba M. Sepúlveda, Project Evaluator

Fabiola Pagán, Research Mentor
Natalia Rosado, Research Mentor
Ángel Márquez, Research Mentor
Britney Hopgood Berdecia, Research Mentor

Moscow, Russia Team

Leonid Zotov, Deputy Director

Fulbright Visiting Scholar Talks


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