Center for Global Food Security seeks applicants for U.S. Borlaug fellows

September 2, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Center for Global Food Security, a research center leading efforts to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers to help solve world hunger, is seeking applications for U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security.

A total of $400,000 in funding for the U.S. Borlaug Fellows comes from a five-year, $5 million grant to Purdue from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

"This program supports exceptional U.S. graduate students conducting research on topics related to USAID's global hunger and food security initiative, 'Feed the Future,' " said distinguished professor Gebisa Ejeta, who leads the center. "All topics that relate to food security and are linked to the research strategies of the Feed the Future initiative are eligible."

Grants from this round range from $15,000 to $40,000 per student for projects lasting from six months to two years and are intended to provide support for graduate students interested in conducting critical food security research toward a master's or doctoral degree.

Applicants must focus their food security-related graduate research in a single, developing country and collaborate with a mentor from an International Agricultural Research Center, or a qualifying National Agricultural Research System unit, said program coordinator Pamela McClure. Two application cycles are held annually - in the spring and fall.

Applications are due Nov. 9 by emailing the proposal to, she said. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate program. Applications are available at Borlaug Fellow Applications.

McClure said awards are made on a competitive basis to students who show strong scientific foundation and possess leadership potential. The project must outline a well-coordinated research plan, clearly articulating concepts and objectives that are innovative and feasible, and demonstrate a commitment to international development. Applicants will be notified of their status by Dec. 21.

Borlaug, an agronomist and humanitarian who died in 2009, is called the father of the "green revolution." He is credited with saving millions of lives worldwide by developing high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties. For his work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

Led by Ejeta, the Center for Global Food Security was launched in the university's Discovery Park in 2010 to take up one of the world's most pressing challenges: getting enough food to people who need it the most today and producing enough to meet even greater future demands.

Ejeta, a native of Ethiopia, received the 2009 World Food Prize for his work in developing sorghum varieties resistant to drought and the parasitic weed Striga. His research has dramatically increased the production and availability of sorghum for hundreds of millions of people in Africa, where it is a major crop.  

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Gebisa Ejeta, 765 494-4320, gejeta@purdue

Pamela McClure, 765-4945442, 

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