Friday, August 12, 2016

NIFA Announces $3.1 Million in Available Funding to Train the Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders


WASHINGTON, August 12, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $3.1 million to train the next generation of agricultural leaders. This funding is available through the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program (NNF).
“In the next few years, we expect to see a significant number of job openings for graduates with degrees in agricultural sciences,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The fellowship program allows us to support the next generation of scientists and innovators, who will play an integral part in the future of our food and agricultural systems.”
The NNF program is designated for graduate degree (masters and doctoral) programs and postgraduate training of the next generation of policy makers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. The purpose of this program is to develop intellectual capital to ensure the preeminence of U.S. food and agricultural systems.
This funding invests in experiential learning, including international experiences, for individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to NIFA’s mission.
Applicants should propose training projects to support graduate fellowships in one of the eight targeted expertise shortage areas:  animal production; plant production; forest resources; agricultural educators and communicators; agricultural management and economics; food science, human nutrition and human sciences; sciences for agricultural biosecurity; veterinary sciences; food and agriculture data analytics and tools; and integrative biosciences for sustainable food and agricultural systems.
Michigan State University used a previous NIFA grant to provide veterinarians with new competencies in basic infectious and metabolic disease research through courses and research experiences in immunology, molecular microbiology, genomics, epidemiology, risk analyses, and food production systems. The University of Connecticut used a NIFA experiential learning grant to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the field of sustainable forestry.
Applications are due September 22, 2016. See the request for applications for more information.
Since 2009, NIFA has invested in and advanced innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA's integrated research, education, and extension programs, supporting the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel, have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability, and ensuring food safety.