Science Connect


Latin America-UC San Diego Science-Connect is an initiative developed by Center for Investigations on Health and Educational Disparities (CIHED) directed at fostering collaboration between Latin America Scientists and UC San Diego researchers. The initiative includes a student exchange programs and visits of scientists to the Latin America institutions and UC San Diego.


This segment offers the opportunity of undergraduate and graduate students from Latin America to spend time working in the laboratories of UC San Diego researchers as part of their research projects in their native countries. Thus, participants will enjoy the unique opportunity to live, work, and share in the cultural diversity of San Diego while, in turn, sharing their own knowledge and increasing their academic experiences with their hosts. The program does not include graduate courses. Participants will be appointed as “Visitor students,” for a minimum of 3-month, which could be extended up to 2-years. Visas will be processed via CIHED and UC San Diego International Office. Participants will be supported by various methods, including funding from their home institutions (full or partial) and from the UC San Diego faculty sponsors. Visit the UCSD Graduate Division website for additional information and specifics of financial support requirements.


UCSD does not provide on-campus housing for Science Connect scholars. Roommate opportunities are available for visiting scholars, and assistance in finding low-cost temporary housing can be provided.


If you are interested in becoming a Latin America-UC San Diego Science Connect visiting scholar, please browse our list of UCSD mentors for an idea of potential research projects. Then, send an email to Francisco Villarreal (, Director of International Relations, expressing your interest in the program and identifying a potential sponsor in whose laboratory you would like to work. If space is available, you will be contacted with an invitation and further instructions for completing a full application.


Upon completion of the project, the UC San Diego mentor is expected to be present at the thesis defense of the graduate student at the Latin America institution. In addition, the initiative encourages visits and lectures of UC San Diego scientist at Latin America institutions as well as stays of Latin America researchers at UC San Diego.


Latin American institutions interested in partnering with UC San Diego can formalize a mutual exchange agreement with UCSD by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). An MOU is a non-binding mutual agreement signed by the leadership of both institutions to facilitate the collaboration between institutions and the seeking of financial support. A copy of a general MOU form can be found here. CIHED, in conjunction with UC San Diego administration, can provide the adequate expertise for this agreement. A signed MOU is optional, and it is not necessary for the student exchange program.

Program Mentors

Contact Us

LAUC Science Connect
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, #0739
La Jolla, CA 92093-0739

Antonio De Maio, Director
Phone:  858-822-6502
Francisco Villarreal, Dir. International Relations