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Research Internship for Young Academics (RIYA) Program

The Ohio State University’s Research Internship for Young Academics (RIYA) program is designed to facilitate cutting-edge research experiences for undergraduate mechanical engineering students from top institutes in India.

The prestigious RIYA program, which was established in 2014, is seeking candidates with exceptional research aptitude. Participants will work closely with renowned faculty in Ohio State’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, along with a world-class research team.

Program details:

  • 10-week program (early-May to third week in July)
  • Candidates must have completed three years in a recognized mechanical engineering Bachelor of Technology program or a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program (in a related discipline) to be eligible
  • Through a generous gift from the Singh Family Fund and other endowments, each participant will receive an allowance of $5,000. This funding includes a nominal stipend, housing subsidy and an international travel allowance
  • Students’ faculty mentors in India will receive $500 to permit research by their RIYA scholar during the academic year in his/her Indian institution
  • Faculty mentors in India who regularly participate in the program are eligible for a travel grant to visit The Ohio State University

This prestigious award provides each student with a rewarding learning experience that will help strengthen his or her knowledge, leadership and research skills. By participating in this unique program, students will develop an understanding of graduate-level studies, which will position them to have a successful career in an academic or industrial research and design (R&D) setting. Most RIYA scholars have pursued master's degrees or doctoral-level studies in renowned U.S. universities or comparable institutions elsewhere after graduation.

Facilities participating in the RIYA program


INTERESTED? To be considered for the internship in the summer of 2021 submit your application form for initial screening.

Initial application deadline: To be decided given COVID-19 conditions and travel restrictions.

Qualified applicants will then be invited to submit the following:

  • Formal application form (to be provided)
  • Course transcript for the first two or three years
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Scan of passport or government-issued ID

Deadline to submit the formal application and supplemental materials: To be decided given COVID-19 conditions and travel restrictions.

2019 RIYA Scholars

Four scholars participated in RIYA 2019 from top-ranked mechanical engineering programs across India. Read more about their experience.

photo of the four scholarsAgarwal, Bansal, Pawar, Verma

Ajinkya Pawar
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras

photo of Pawar“My RIYA experience has helped me in discovering the field of my academic interest for further pursuing graduate studies.”

Having completed four years of his dual-degree undergraduate and graduate program, Ajinkya Pawar saw the RIYA program as an opportunity to expand his research skills. “The RIYA program has offered me an opportunity to improve and apply the fundamental concepts that I have learnt throughout my undergraduate curriculum,” he said.

This scholar was mentored by Professor Emeritus Rajendra Singh and Research Scientist Luke Fredette. In the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory, Pawar focused on the nonlinear design of a vibration isolator.

He appreciated growing professionally in technical and soft skills. “The most important lesson of [the] RIYA program would be understanding the process of research and the importance of the first principles in it. Another lesson is the presentation of work which will be with me throughout my professional career,” commented Pawar.

Shashwat Agarwal
Indian Institute of Technology – Varanasi

photo of Agarwal“Being a part of such an intellectually vibrant environment has taught me many different things from everyone whom I have interacted with.”

Shashwat Agarwal has completed three years of his five-year dual-degree program. During RIYA he interned in the Microsystems for Mechanobiology and Medicine laboratory, where he was mentored by Assistant Professor Jonathan Song.

Agarwal’s project—studying the permeability of blood vessels—allowed him to learn many different experimental techniques and presentation skills. He was inspired by the exposure to other laboratories and interdisciplinary experts. “On the whole, the program not only helped me evolve in a multitude of different skills, but also as a human being.”

He valued the variety of opportunities offered by RIYA. “I am really grateful to all the professors, lab members, the graduate admissions office, other RIYA scholars and people in the department who helped me in various ways during the duration of the program and helped me evolve.”

Harshit Bansal
Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur

photo of Bansal“I am grateful to Prof. Singh for his valuable guidance and sharing his vast experience in different fields with me.”

Fourth-year student Harshit Bansal aims to attend graduate school directly after completing his undergraduate degree. “[The] RIYA experience has introduced me to a completely different way of working on a research problem,” he said. “It has [had] a major impact on my decision of pursuing my graduate studies.”

Bansal enjoyed his assignment in the Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory. Under the mentorship of Professor Emeritus Rajendra Singh, he worked on the design of a vibration isolator for a vehicle seat using coned disk springs. He appreciated learning to apply his undergraduate knowledge to real-world problems.

Bansal was grateful for the experience offered by RIYA. “I liked the overall structure of the RIYA program that perfectly introduced me to the basics of qualitative research [and] provided me with the opportunity to interact with personalities varying from academics to the industrial background,” he said.

Abishek Verma
Indian Institute of Technology – Guwahati

photo of Verma“The RIYA experience will have a substantial influence on shaping the direction of my further studies or my career as a whole.”

Abishek Verma, a fourth-year student, spent the summer in the Gear and Power Transmission Research Laboratory. There he was mentored by Assistant Professor David Talbot.

Verma’s project focused on the experimental measurement of the system-level behavior of planetary gears. The data acquired during his set of experiments will be further used for model validation. He enjoyed “[w]orking in the lab and tackling real-life issues with machines.”

After finishing the RIYA experience, Verma credited the program with impacting his short- and long-term decisions. “It helped me to get an insight into the research activities and higher level of studies which will be further useful in deciding the field of my graduate studies,” he said. “Also, the skills acquired during this internship will be quite effective throughout my career.”


Click here to learn about previous RIYA Scholars.