Global Information Engagement Program

The Global Information Engagement Program (GIEP) is an innovative approach to learning which partners non-profit, research, and educational organizations in an international setting with carefully selected student teams. This program seeks to operationalize the skills of professional master’s degree students at the University of Michigan to develop sustainable information management practices that have positive societal impact. Project teams from UMSI and university graduate programs spend a semester studying and creating plans for implementation of an identified information challenge that has high social impact value.

GIEP is returning in 2019 to Cape Town, South Africa. In GIEP, student teams leverage their emergent skills in content management and delivery, contextual inquiry, needs assessment, product ideation, consultation and a deep understanding of the complex relationships between people, information, and technology to address context-sensitive information challenges (management, access, design ICT-related) commonly faced by participating heritage and NGO organizations.

Hear more student stories on our Engaged Learning Blog.

 

For students

Where: Cape Town, South Africa

When: Students are selected for the program and matched to your project in February. Student teams and partner organizations will start virtually working together in March. In May, students will arrive in the host country for eight weeks of on-site work with their partner organization.

Eligibility: Graduate students from the University of Michigan are eligible to apply. Projects require a range of skill sets and knowledge; students from all programs are encouraged to participate and will have the opportunity to share novel experiences and expertise. Students selected for the program will work in multi-disciplinary groups of three to four.

The application deadline will be in late January and selected students will be required to accept the invite to participate in the program approximately two weeks later. Students submit an application via M-Compass.

Cost: There is no program fee and the School of Information covers international airfare, housing, most meals, and in-country transportation related to project success. UMSI also provides all students with a modest stipend to cover other in-country costs such as laundry, toiletries, and meals not provided by the program. If selected to participate, students will be expected to cover personal expenses such as personal travel, passport, visa, and immunization costs, if necessary.

How to Apply: Students will be required to apply via MCompass by late January. A select group of students will be invited for an interview approximately a week later and invitations to participate will be issued the following week.

Students will be required to take part in a half semester weekly 3 hour class meeting that commences the week following spring break. Students will leave for South Africa the first week of May for 8 weeks.

Contact: umsi.giep@umich.edu

For organizations

Where: Cape Town, South Africa

When: Students are selected for the program and matched to your project in February. Student teams and partner organizations will start working together virtually in March. In May, students will arrive in the host country for nine weeks’ on-site work at your organization.

Eligibility: Non-profit, governmental, and academic organizations in South Africa are invited to participate.

We seek project proposals from organizations who wish to engage in a collaborative partnership to develop and refine a project for student learning with a societal impact outcome. We seek projects in:

  • development of interactive web-based services
  • creation or organization of information repositories and archives
  • development of internal library systems
  • research and analysis on information policy topics
  • digital design projects
  • data analysis and informatics

Cost: GIEP is free for participating partners.  All students’ expenses including travel and stay in Cape Town are fully funded through school resources.

How to Apply: In order to be matched with a team of students, participating organizations must be able to provide the following:

  • A well-developed project proposal that clearly highlights an information challenge
  • A committed project leader at the organization who will work with students and provide resources and information to ensure project success
  • Remote consultation for initial project research and development from February to May
  • Workspace and project guidance for the students during their time in South Africa
  • To be submit a proposal for consideration, please contact program administrators by December 1 by emailing umsi.giep@umich.edu.

Additional Information: 

Student engagement timeline: Students are selected for the program and matched to projects in February. Student teams and partner organizations will start working together virtually in March. In May, students will arrive in the host country for eight weeks’ on-site work at the partner organization.

Teams of two to four University of Michigan graduate students will be selected through a competitive process and assigned to work on a defined project. Each group will be advised by a faculty mentor at UMSI and guided by a point person in the partner organization in India supervising the progress on the project.

Student teams bring with them highly developed skills in needs assessment, application development, product design and a deep understanding of information management.

Commitment: In order to be matched with a team of students, participating organizations must be able to provide the following:

  • A well-developed project proposal that clearly highlights an information challenge
  • A committed project leader at the organization who will work with students and provide resources and information to ensure project success
  • Remote consultation for initial project research and development from February to May
  • Workspace and project guidance for the students during their time in South Africa

Contact: Interested partner organizations can indicate interest in hosting students by emailing umsi.giep@umich.edu. These projects are technology or information management-related problems that, if solved, contribute to the better functioning of the organization itself and have broader applicability across society. Organizations are matched with a student team that has been selected based on interest, skill, and fit.

Projects

Student stories

Image of 2016 GIEP participants on the beach in South Africa

Videos

To view videos of student project presentations and stories from previous years, please visit the UMSI GIEP YouTube channel.