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GEARS in North Carolina

Global Education, Academics, and Research Skills

GEARS is a unique academic, research and cultural exchange program that enables academically gifted domestic and international students to experience academic research at universities across North Carolina. The program runs in the winter (January – February) and summer (June – August). The GEARS seminar will offer online/virtual (open-enrollment) and campus (partner cohorts only) options during Summer 2024. For representatives from our university partners who would like to discuss campus GEARS program opportunities for student cohorts, please reach out to the GTI directly or contact the GEARS program coordinator, Chanelle Gobena-McArthur (

GEARS Virtual Poster Presentation Winners

Students created academic research posters and presented them virtually as the culmination of the Global Education, Academics and Research Skills program.

This is a competitive academic program that does not involve credit or culminate in a degree. Acceptance into this program is not guaranteed and also depends on the capacity and interest of relevant faculty and departments. Students are encouraged to apply early.

The GEARS program will:

  • Introduce students to university research (planning experiments, accomplishing research tasks, managing time, ethical issues in research, summarizing results, lab safety, using the library and other project-specific resources, etc.).
    • Students will not engage in classified research or access research where IP issues are an issue, but we endeavor to pair students with faculty conducting relevant or similar research.
  • Provide workshops on academic oral and digital presentation skills and various aspects of U.S. American culture.
  • Support students as they determine if they are truly interested in pursuing a graduate research degree program at a North Carolina university or elsewhere in the U.S.

Program Information

Applications for the 2024 Summer Online GEARS session are open from March 15 – May 31. Admissions are made on a rolling basis with the first round starting on May 5. Students can select two research topics of interest when applying to GEARS.

Price: USD$1480 (GEARS Online)

This price includes:

  • Lab placement and university fees
  • Online e-poster & presentation skills workshops
  • Research skills workshops & resources
  • Personalized poster feedback on first draft (one-on-one consultations also available)
  • Live webinar on tips & procedures for graduate admissions
  • GTI Certificate of program completion
  • A formal evaluation from mentoring professor

*Certain partner universities have special conditions and funding opportunities set up for their students. Please contact your university for specific partnership details.

GEARS student demonstrating his research in the final poster presentation

Application Requirements

Please contact your school’s international office, sponsoring agency, or email us if you have questions about the program and application process. This is a very competitive program, so you may not be accepted even if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements.

  • CV/Resume in English
  • Official University Transcript in English: Minimum GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale.
  • English Language Test Score in English: applicants need to submit one test
    Native English speakers or students enrolled in a university that teaches in English are exempt.
    • Minimum required scores are:
      • TOEFL iBT: 85
      • TOEFL iBT Home Edition: 85
      • CET 6: 480
      • ELTS: 6.5
      • TOEIC: 800
      • TEM4: 80
      • Duolingo: 100
  • All documentation must be submitted in English
Applications OpenMarch 15
1st Round Applicant Review & PlacementApril 29
Applications Closed and 2nd Round Review & PlacementMay 31
Program Offer MadeMay 5 – June 7
Program Acceptance Deadline*3 days after offer
Professor-Student IntroductionsStarting June 26

Applicants who receive an offer have 3 days to confirm their participation in the program and complete their payment. Please check your email frequently during the application process and should you be accepted, monitor your email closely for the duration of the program.

Program Highlights

Research Publications

GEARS participants and research mentors have had great success in submitting journal articles, conference papers and more to various publications and conferences. Below is a sample of publications and topics that resulted from the research conducted during the GEARS program:

  • C. Huang, Z. Tay and K. Harfoush. “MASS Communication for Constrained Edge Devices”. Accepted for publication in the 30th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN 2021).
  • “Towards a Holistic View of Technology Commercialization” for TEMSCON-EUR 2021
  • “On the Relationship between Digitalization and Managerial Competencies” for TEMSCON-EUR 2021
  • “Efficacy of Satisfiability-Based Attacks in the Presence of Circuit Reverse-Engineering Errors” 2020 EEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS)
  • Cheng, Y., Jiang, H., Xie, C-X. & Wang, Y-D. (In Press). Chatbots and health: Mental health. In Evelyn Ho, Carma Bylund, Julia van Weert, Iccha Basnyat, Nadine Bol, and Marleah Dean. (eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Health Communication. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • C.D. Haigh, J.H. Crews, S. Wang, G.D. Buckner, “Multi-Objective Design Optimization of a Shape Memory Alloy Flexural Actuator”, Actuators, 8(13), 1-16, 2019.
  • “An Interpretable Machine Learning Model to Classify Coronary Bifurcation Lesions” 2021 43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC).
  • X. Neumeyer and M. Liu, “Managerial Competencies and Development in the Digital Age,” in IEEE Engineering Management Review, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 49-55, 1 third quarter,Sept. 2021, doi: 10.1109/EMR.2021.3101950.
  • “Measurement-Driven Flow Selection for Open vSwitch Offload” IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2022), Seoul, South Korea, May 2022.
  • “Airplane Detection and Classification Based on Mask R-CNN and YOLO with Feature Engineering”
  • “Enriching an Online Suicidal Dataset with Active Machine Learning”
  • X. Neumeyer, K. Cheng, Y. Chen and K. Swartz, “Blockchain and sustainability: An overview of challenges and main drivers of adoption,” 2021 IEEE International Conference on Technology Management, Operations and Decisions (ICTMOD), 2021, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/ICTMOD52902.2021.9739231.
  • Cheng Y, Wang Y, Zhao W, Zhang K, Cai X, Jiang H. Virtually Enhancing Public Engagement During the Pandemic: Measuring the Impact of Virtual Reality Powered Immersive Videos on Corporate Social Responsibility Communication. Social Science Computer Review. July 2022. doi:10.1177/08944393221111482
  • Cheng, Y., Bai, Xin-Tong, & Jin, Wei-kai. (2022). Testing contingent relationships between multinational companies and consumers: Analyzing Tesla’s crisis communication in mainland China, the 25th annual International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) Paper Proceedings, March 3-5, Orlando, USA.