Research Grants

Research Grants

Research Grants

IERF’s mission is to research and share information on world educational systems and to facilitate the integration of individuals educated outside the United States into the U.S. educational environment and work force.

IERF accomplishes this by:

  • conducting comprehensive, quality research on world educational systems
  • sharing its research findings with the international community
  • providing research-based credentials evaluations and related services

The purpose of the research grant program is to aid IERF in carrying out this mission. Therefore, IERF invites individuals and organizations to submit appropriate research project proposals for funding. Research grants are awarded for research only and not for study.

The Sepmeyer Research Grant Program

About Inez Sepmeyer

For many years, the late Inez Sepmeyer worked at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she focused on the admission and placement of international students and conducted research on international educational systems. Encouraged and aided by her late husband, Ludwig, she established the first U.S. private credentials evaluation service (IERF) in 1969. Her vision led to the publication of The Country Index, as well as other significant publications in the credentials evaluation field. Contributions include publications with the following organizations: NAFSA: Association of International Educators and American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) – both of which have awarded her honorary and/or life memberships.

About the Grant Program

The research grant program is named in honor of Inez and Ludwig Sepmeyer because of their combined involvement in international education and their commitment to research and publications on world educational systems.

Examples of previous awards have supported research leading to the following:
Conference Presentations

  • Richard van Huyssteen. “South African Higher Education – Update.” 2002 American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Conference in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Mary DeBey. “Studying Education and Children: Teacher Education in Peru.” 2003 NAFSA – Association of International Educators Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.


  • Karen Lukas. The Educational System of the Federal Republic of Germany: A Guide for Evaluating Educational Credentials(2002). International Education Research Foundation: Culver City, CA.
  • Country Profiles by Bon Agapin for The New Country Index: Volume II (2011). International Education Research Foundation: Culver City, CA.

About the Proposals


Grants up to $1000 will be awarded. Each research grant proposal is evaluated on how well its project design and expected outcomes address the following criteria:

  • supporting research for the evaluation of foreign academic credentials
  • promoting the integration of students, scholars and professionals holding non-U.S. academic credentials into the United States
  • facilitating the publication and dissemination of the results of the research
  • encouraging the exchange of information about the structure of educational systems and their corresponding credentials
Eligibility and Conditions
  • The Sepmeyer Research Grant Program is open to all persons, regardless of citizenship and country of residence.
  • The applicant must demonstrate substantial experience in the field of credentials evaluation, including experience as an evaluator, an admissions officer, or a counselor.
  • The applicant must demonstrate expertise in the country they propose to research.

There is no application form. The applicant is required to submit the following:

  • A detailed proposal containing the country to be researched, the sources that will be used, the time frame in which the profile will be completed, and a detailed account of the researcher’s experience and expertise in that country
  • The curriculum vitae of the researcher

Applicants are also requested to indicate where they learned about the Sepmeyer Research Grant Program. All materials submitted in support of the Research Grant application become the property of IERF and are not returned to the applicant.

Applications are considered twice a year. They should be submitted by February 15th or August 15th and addressed to:

Susan Bedil
Executive Director
International Education Research Foundation, Inc.
Post Office Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
Phone: 310.258.9451
Fax: 310.342.7086

2016-17 Sepmeyer Research Grant Recipients

IERF is pleased to announce Dr. Bernhard Streitwieser, Assistant Professor of International Education at The George Washington University, as a 2016-17 recipient of the Sepmeyer Research Grant.

The funding was awarded to support Dr. Streitwieser’s study on “German Higher Education and Credentialing Newly Arrived Immigrants.” The growing refugee situation in Europe has made Germany and the reaction of its citizenry and institutions, from the local government to the education sector, a focal point in the crisis. German universities have already taken in 50,000 refugee students in the Winter 2015 Semester, and more have since arrived. His study will focused on the challenges of the credentialing, placement and integration of Syrian refugees into Germany’s higher education system. To view the study, please click here. An article on his research can also be found in the 2016 summer edition of NAFSA’s IEM Spotlight newsletter.

IERF is also pleased to announce George Kacenga, Director of International Enrollment Management at University of Colorado Denver as a 2016-17 recipient of the Sepmeyer Research Grant.

The funding supported his research on the relationship between the increase in international student enrollment in the US and changes in the approaches to the analysis of foreign academic credentials over the past half century. George conducted this research as part of his doctoral dissertation as a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. To view the study, please click here

What our institutions are saying...

“IERF’s staff is extremely helpful, professional, and responsive.”

Annette Ceccotti, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Admission, Brandman University

“Our office staff are highly impressed with the publications in IERF’s Country Index Series.”

Anthony W. Adey, International Student Recruitment Officer, Memorial University of Newfoundland

“The University of Cincinnati loves IERF evaluations. Keep up the great work!”

Jason Chambers, Assistant Director of International Transfer Admissions, University of Cincinnati

“IERF’s evaluation reports are easy to review and accurate and the grading scale that IERF provides helps our international evaluators determine admission eligibility.”

Sabrina Cortell, Director of Admissions, San Diego State University

“IERF provides us with a sense of security and peace of mind in knowing that our applicants’ credentials have been accurately and securely reviewed.”

James Crane, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, Brigham Young University

“I found your presentation incredibly helpful and it’s prompted a discussion amongst our leadership team on how we review documents and how we might shift our policies moving forward”

Jeannie D’Agostino, Assistant Director of Recruitment, Drexel University

“Your reports are detailed and always accurate.”

Suguru Fujiwara, International Transfer Credit and Articulation Specialist, University of Idaho

“Thanks so much for the great presentation on fraudulent credentials.”

Andy Ray, International Student Recruitment Manager, University of Tennessee

“Thank you for all you do! You are such a joy to work with and we appreciate your diligence and your concerns!”

Patricia Ware, International Admissions, Brigham Young University

“I just received the Index of Academic Calendars & Dates and I want to thank you and your team for putting together such an informative resource.”

Donald White: Education Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator, Appalachian State University

“Thank you for your work; not only your books but also your conference presentations and articles available on your website are rich in information that are absolutely essential to credential evaluation. I look forward to learning more from your publications.”

Jean Yoo, Assistant Credentials Assessor, University of Toronto