The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is seeking applications for its Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) program offered through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and its Education and Literacy Initiative. The program seeks to “promote research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agriculture workforce with exceptional skills.”
Through support of REEU Fellows, USDA will enable undergraduates to acquire laboratory research and extension skills, benefit from strong mentoring, and gain valuable experience to prepare them for future careers in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. In addition to responding to the 2012 report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Agricultural Preparedness and the Agriculture Research Enterprise, this program also follow from the 2009 National Research Council report on Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World.
Applications may request up to $300,000 total for up to four years, which is expected to be predominantly for student support (e.g., stipends, housing, meals, travel, lab fees). Fellowships may be provided for up to two years for each undergraduate student, who must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. USDA strongly encourages the involvement of underrepresented students and those early in their college careers. At least 50% of the supported undergraduate fellows must come from outside the host institution or organization.
The review process will give preference to projects that lead to a self-sustaining model for increased/enhanced experiential learning for a diverse undergraduate student population. USDA also encourage the development of new collaborations with institutions that have limited STEM opportunities and partnerships with industry.
REEU awards will support projects relevant to AFRI’s six identified challenge areas: agricultural and natural resources science for climate variability and change, childhood obesity prevention, food safety, food security, sustainable bioenergy, and water resources.
Projects should also be aligned with one of the six AFRI Foundational Areas:
- Plant health and production and plant products
- Animal health and production and animal products
- Food safety, nutrition, and health
- Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
- Agriculture systems and technology
- Agriculture economics and rural communities
- Request for Applications: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative
- Application Deadline: March 24, 2016, 5:00 pm local time