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) 
    (Note: Only virtual internship is planned in Summer 2021 due to COVID-19 conditions and travel restrictions. Should this change, we will consider on-campus internships subject to approval by the university and government authorities)
  • 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
    (Note: No allowance can be provided to the RIYA scholars in the virtual internship mode while working as volunteers from India.)
  • 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

Apply for Internship in Virtual Mode in Summer 2021

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

Initial application deadline: October 31, 2020 (Only in the virtual mode 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 provided on individual basis.

2020 RIYA Scholars

Three scholars participated in RIYA 2020 entirely online from top-ranked mechanical engineering programs across India. Read more about their experience.

RIYA Recipients
Gunda Sai Venkat, Yash Mange and Harsh Manani

Gunda Sai Venkat
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras


Gunda Sai Venkat

“Before the start, I was skeptical on how things would progress,” Sai Venkat said. “But I have to say the experience turned out to be much better than what I expected. I got the opportunity to learn a lot about how research is done and how things progress in academia apart from the technical knowledge in non-linear dynamics.”

Sai Venkat, a third-year undergraduate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras, was mentored by Raj Singh on a research project based on the vibro-impact phenomenon observed in torsional systems with clearances.

His work was focused on understanding and improving this model by using different methods, Sai Venkat said. The benefits of this research could have applications in the automobile industry.

Sai Venkat plans to pursue more research in either robotics or non-linear dynamics while pursuing a masters and Ph.D.

Harsh Manani
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay


Harsh Manani

“I would like to thank Prof. Singh, Prof. Contractor, Dr. Verma and other people for making this program possible during this pandemic,” Manani said. “Despite the devastating impact COVID-19 is having over the world, The RIYA program helped me gain clarity about research and future decisions.”

Harsh Manani, an undergraduate student at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, worked with Prof. Ardeshir Contractor and Dr. Navni Verma in Smart Vehicle Concepts Center on a project based on energy generation from a curved solar panel mounted on a vehicle roof.

Manani found challenges of an online internship because in his area the connection to the internet was poor and the major time change difference. Even though, he had a great experience and he says it prepared him for remote work in the future.

Manani plans to pursue a Ph.D. after completing undergrad with a dual degree from IIT Bombay.

Yash Mange
Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute


Yash Mange

“RIYA presented an exciting opportunity to utilize advanced topics of machine learning from computer science blended with core mechanical concepts to solve problems by utilizing the best of both fields,” he said. “I look forward to pursuing similar challenges in graduate school especially in domains such as Autonomous Vehicles and Generative Design.”

Yash Mange, an undergraduate student at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, focused his research on Microgeometry variations on characteristics like Load Distribution, Mesh Stiffness, Contact Ratio, Transmission Error and Mesh Harmonics. He also did some work with neural networks. Mange worked with Dr. David Talbot and Lokaditya Ryali as mentors for the research.

Initially, the RIYA program moving online was an incredible shock to Mange, who would have been travelling abroad for the first time. Although the major upside to him was being able to be closer to family during the pandemic.

“The support from Prof. Rajendra Singh to enable us to have an enriching experience despite the circumstances helped in accepting the reality,” Mange said. “Two months prior to the initial RIYA date, I got time to explore a completely new field of Machine Learning which then ended up being the crux of my research project. The pandemic thus gave me opportunities to get into something I would have not been able to otherwise.”


Click here to learn about previous RIYA Scholars.

Professor Emeritus Rajendra Singh

photo of Raj Singh
Professor Emeritus Rajendra Singh is the founder and director of the RIYA program.

Singh is well-respected internationally for his research, teaching and consulting work in machinery vibration, acoustics, nonlinear dynamics and digital signal processing, with applications to vehicles and geared systems.

“The intent of this unmatched program is to provide world-class internship opportunities to some of the best undergraduate students in India, while exposing them to modern aspects of mechanical engineering and enhancing their critical thinking skills,” said Singh.

Through a generous gift from the Singh Family Fund and other endowments, each RIYA participant receives an allowance of $5,000. This funding includes a nominal stipend, housing subsidy and an international travel allowance.

To support the RIYA Scholars Award Fund, please visit:

photo of Professor Singh with RIYA scholars
The 2018 RIYA group with Prof. Raj Singh and Mentor Luke Fredette during one of their team discussions.