The IRF Fellowship Program for graduate students of engineering and transportation policy has been a cornerstone in the work of the International Road Federation for more than 60 years. Founded in 1949, the program enhances the professional curriculum of graduate students in fields related to the development of better and safer roads, and their ability to meaningfully improve transportation in their home countries.

Through the International Road Educational Foundation, the IRF awards grants to graduate engineers and other transportation professionals from around the world in support of full-time academic training. In this manner, the IRF actively supports the future generations who will build road networks. Graduates of the Fellowship Program comprise a group of highly skilled, efficient, and productive experts that exert a strong influence on the orderly development of road transportation systems around the world.

Many Fellows have become high government officials as well as leaders in the private sector and in academia, where they are in a position to exercise a multiplier effect in the transfer of technology and information. Through the IRF Fellows Alumni Association (IFAA) founded in 1993 by the late Dr. Sadamu Mino, strong bonds are formed among the Fellows, the IRF and the IRF’s member organizations.

Application Process

There are two paths to becoming an IRF Fellow, the Traditional and the Executive application processes. Through the Traditional process, applicants are self-nominated on the IRF website. Fellows are selected based on a strong academic background, professional qualifications and leadership potential. The ideal candidate has four to six years of professional experience.

Through the Executive process, students must be nominated by a Member University professor in order to be considered, and must demonstrate not only great educational accomplishments, but also a strong desire to use their education in their home countries. Member University professors are contacted directly to solicit three nominations per university each year.

Students selected through both the Traditional and Executive application processes come together every January in Washington, D.C. to participate in the Road Scholar Program, the IRF’s multiday leadership and orientation program.

“The IRF Fellowship Program has always been and will always be a catalyst for educating and training the next generation of international transportation professionals. I have had the privilege of teaching Fellows at three universities […] they are all successful professionals in their home countries and take pride in being affiliated with the IRF.”

Essam Radwan
IREF Chairman of the Board