NIFA Announces $3.1 Million Available to Support Food and Agricultural National Needs Fellowship Grants Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $3.1 million in available funding to train the next generation of policymakers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. There is a significant shortfall between the number of jobs being created and availability of graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or environmental specialties.

“These investments support future science leaders,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “We are cultivating students’ skills in leadership, management, critical thinking and problem-solving, along with technical knowledge in the food and agricultural disciplines so they can address the emerging agricultural challenges of the 21st century.” 

The National Needs Fellowship Grants Program seeks to increase diversity in the agricultural sciences by supporting outstanding master’s and doctoral-level students in the Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences (FANH) disciplines. The program supports individuals who demonstrate their potential to complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of the USDA.

The request for applications also supports international study or thesis/dissertation research travel allowances for eligible master’s and doctoral USDA fellows or current applicants.

Among previous grants, Washington State University trained National Needs Fellows in food processing and packaging technologies. As a result of these investments, the fellows have published and presented their research findings extensively. The University of Connecticut (link is external) provided intensive training to fellows studying sustainable forest resource management. The fellows have published three peer-reviewed journal articles and provided 15 presentations or posters at local, regional, and national conferences.

Eligible applicants include land-grant institutions (1862, 1890 and 1994 institutions); colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences; and other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food, and agricultural sciences.

The deadline for applications is October 31, 2017.  See the request for applications for details.

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