Center for Global Food Security

PCGFS Student Innovation Grants

Innovation Grants for Undergraduate Students

NOTE: Application Deadline Extended to May 31, 2015


The Purdue Center for Global Food Security (PCGFS) was created with acknowledgment of the growing urgency of the global food security agenda and the capacity and legacy of faculty and students at our university in the discovery and delivery of technologies in agriculture, engineering, and food systems globally. The PCGFS now invites students to compete for Innovation Grants in food security for undergraduate students at Purdue University.


The PCGFS Student Innovation Grants will support undergraduate students in any academic discipline of our university, motivated to work in teams to develop an innovative technology or program that would render creative solution(s) to a vexing food security problem for stressed communities in a developing country or locally here in Indiana. The emphasis is on disruptive technologies that would lead to lasting solutions in addressing a key bottleneck at any point within the value chain of food systems, ranging from production, transport, storage, processing, marketing, distribution, or utilization of nutritious foods in support of marginalized populations. The technologies could range from design of devices, development of products, mobile technologies, data management systems, or improved communication technologies (ICTs) for communities and development agents. Two “international grants” at $10,000 each, and two “local grants” each for $3,000 will be funded. Successful grantees can use the funds for expenses, other than salary, associated in the design and development of the innovation including travel to a project site by a member(s) of the team.

Eligibility & Requirements:

  • Students must be undergraduates, at Freshman, Sophomore and Junior classes, enrolled on the Purdue University, West Lafayette campus.
  • A minimum number of 3 students representing themselves, student groups/clubs, or departments may apply.
  • It is required to have a Faculty advisor(s) to mentor the group, serve as co-PI, and act in support of the application to provide oversight of the project, and to help manage fund expenditures.
  • International projects should build partnerships with foreign students to promote solidarity and encourage sustainable use of the proposed intervention.
  • Applicants must abide by existing university guidelines set out for Purdue-derived IP rights for students.
  • Grantees must commit to enter their projects in other national or international innovation grant proposals.
  • Projects would be of defined duration, starting between June and August, with final product submitted in February 2016.
  • Completed projects will be presented at a Spring 2016 Student Innovation Launch Symposium in early March.
  • If grant funds are not sufficient for project completion, proposals should indicate source and feasibility for leveraging of additional funds from other sources.


Please include the following information in your application.

Page 1: General

  • Proposal Title
  • Students (Name, Class [e.g. Sophomore, Junior, etc.], Department, College)
  • Name of faculty advisor (Name, Rank, Department, College)
  • Collaborating Students and Faculty (Name, Department, University)
  • Summary of Food Security Problem and Proposed Innovation (limit ⅓ - ½ page)

Page 2-3: Project Description             

  • Background, geographical and institutional linkages
  • Anticipated results, outputs, and outcomes
  • Brief overview of methodology and/or main activities
  • Describe potential for follow-up including post-project actions by partners and funding from other sources

Additional Information:

  • Budget and budget narrative placed on a separate page
  • CVs of team members - one page for each member

Please combine your application materials into a single PDF document, with the name:

[Advisor Last Name, First Initial] Innovation Grants in Food Security.pdf

Submit your electronic application to the Purdue Center for Global Food Security ( by Sunday, May 31, 2015. If you have questions, please contact Gary Burniske (

Download PDF Announcement


Gerald D. & Edna E. Mann Hall, Rm 105
203 S. Martin Jischke Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1971

Gebisa Ejeta

Gary Burniske
Managing Director

Pamela McClure
Program Coordinator

Patrick Slack
Food Security Program Analyst

Angela Dillworth
Administrative Assistant