The GLOBES  program began in 2005 with the support of an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). IGERT is the NSF's flagship interdisciplinary training program, educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers by building on the foundations of their disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary training. IGERT students obtain the personal and professional skills to succeed in the careers of the 21st century. Since 1998 the IGERT program has made 215 awards to over 100 lead universities in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

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Here at Notre Dame, the $3.14M award provided fellowships to more than 40 graduate students from seven departments spanning the College of Science and College of Arts & Letters, and introduced new interdisciplinary education, research, and training activities. The results of the seven-year program is an engaged community of scholars that links distinct academic spheres, more than 30 affiliated faculty, and 40 plus graduate students and alumni. See the GLOBES NSF Project Outcome Summary Report 2012.

In August 2013, GLOBES became part of the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values.

Under the IGERT grant, the GLOBES acronym stood for Global Linkages of Biology, the Environment, and Society. Today, the program goes only by its former acronym.