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Application Evaluation

Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility criteria to be considered. A selection committee will review promising applications and the top-ranked applicants may be interviewed before a final selection is made.

The Selection Committee will review eligible proposals based on the following four criteria: 

  • Quality and Feasibility of the Research Proposal: Potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and to make significant contribution to the knowledge-base within the broad field of agriculture and food security science scholarship or practice; feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will complete the work within the proposed timeframe; quality of the proposal with regard to methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature; ability to begin the research experience within a one-year time frame. (35% of total score)

  • Relevance to National and Global Food Security: Compatibility of the research proposal with key research themes of the Feed the Future initiative: advancing the productivity frontier, transforming key production systems, and enhancing food safety and nutrition through agriculture; consideration of the cross cutting issues of gender, climate change and the environment. (30% of total score)

  • Leadership Potential: Potential for creative achievement and promise of strong commitment to effective participation in the global community; evidence of excellent communication skills and a keen interest in mentoring colleagues, students, and practitioners; potential to work as a champion for sustainable intensification as a means to catalyze agriculture-led economic growth. (20% of total score)

  • Supervisory and Mentoring Plan and Letters of Recommendation: Clear plan of work that demonstrates a coordinated mentorship and support (both fiscal and scientific) between the US and IARC/NARS scientists to insure the success of the Fellow's overall project. Applicant's work should be embedded in an existing program or project that ensures the long-term mentorship of student. Letters of recommendation should provide an assessment of the applicant's research proposal, his/her ability to carry out the research successfully, the potential impact of the research on food security, and the applicant's potential as a leader in global food security. (15% of total score)


The selection committee will attempt to choose a group of fellows from a broad range of academic disciplines whose work will focus on a variety of topics related to food security issues.  Interdisciplinary research projects are encouraged, but applicants approaching an issue through a single discipline will also be considered.

U.S. Borlaug Fellows Program

About Dr. Norman Borlaug

Graduate Research Fellowship Grant Program

Summer Institute on Global Food Security

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