Three PhD Fellowships to Study Food Security at the University of Minnesota

Waite Library at Ruttan Hall (Source: UMN).

Waite Library in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota (Source: UMN).

For those of you who (i) are thinking of going to graduate school, (ii) have an interest in food security, and (iii) happen to be US citizens, I am happy to announce that my colleague Tim Beatty and I were recently awarded a $262,500 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture‘s (NIFA) National Needs Graduate Fellowship program.

This grant will fund three PhD students, providing each of them with a three-year fellowship. The theme of the grant is food security broadly defined. So for example, a fellow could study any aspect of food security, from undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa to food stamps in the US, and everything else in between. That said, for students interested in international development, the grant does include some money for international travel–not enough to fund data collection, but enough to fund exploratory field visits.

For a period of three years, fellows will not have to work as research or teaching assistants, the only requirement being that they work on their own, food security-related research. To help them in that process, fellows will be assigned a faculty mentor at the beginning of their studies at the University of Minnesota. We are primarily interested in students interested in academic or policy research careers. That said, we will begin awarding these fellowships during the 2015 admission cycle, i.e., for students who are planning on starting their PhD in August 2015.

I can only take a very little amount of the credit for this grant, seeing as to how Tim and I iterated on a previous proposal that was developed by senior colleagues, and given just how much help we received from colleagues — most notaby Mike Boland and Liz Davis — in preparing our application.

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