Center for Global Food Security

Application Package

Application deadline: Monday, April 11, 2016, 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Notifications of the Spring 2016 awards are expected to be made in June.

A complete application will consist of the two components (PART A and PART B) described in detail below.


The following documents must be submitted as a single PDF document with the file name: "LastName FirstName Spring 2016 Borlaug Graduate Research Grant."  Submit via email to with an identically named subject heading.

  1. A completed Application Form (deadline has passed for Spring 2016)
  2. A Project Narrative on given topics Instructions for writing Project Narrative
  3. Completed Budget Form, Budget Justification Form, and Project Timeline Form
  4. Proof of US citizenship
  5. Institutional letters of support from the submitting university and from the participating IARC/NARS. The letter from the submitting university should come from a Department Head, Dean, or other appropriate official and should state support for the student’s research and a willingness to take responsibility for the financial management of the grant. The letter of institutional support from the IARC/NARS should come from the mentor’s unit head or center director and should convey the center's commitment to the project.
  6. A letter of approval from the submitting university's sponsored programs office. The proposal must be approved by the sponsored programs office (or similar office), and the approval letter must accompany the applicant's submission.


The two referees named in the Application Form should email their letters of support directly to: The subject heading of the email should read: “ApplicantLastName ApplicantFirstName Recommendation Spring 2016 Borlaug Graduate Research Grant."

  • The letter of recommendation from your advisor must include:
    • An assessment of the applicant’s character, motivation, leadership potential, communication skills, and ability to work in groups.
    • An assessment of the student’s academic and professional performance and potential.
    • An assessment of the student’s commitment to global development.
    • A description of the advisor’s role in the student’s research work and the role of the selected IARC/NARC scientist, with respect to both the research linkages between the two institutions and the mentorship of the student applicant.
  • The letter of recommendation from your IARC mentor must include:
    • An assessment of the relevance of the student’s research to the research priorities of the center or to the development priorities of the country.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that letters of support are submitted by the application deadline.

Instructions for Writing Project Narrative

The Project Narrative is a critical component of the application packet and it is your opportunity to demonstrate the quality of your research proposal, how the proposed project relates to the Feed the Future initiative, and your leadership potential. The Project Narrative consists of a three-part essay that addresses each of the following topics:

Scientific Background and Graduate Research Plans (1500 word limit). Provide the scientific background for your research that will lead to your graduate degree and describe how your Borlaug supported project will help you obtain your degree.

Vision & Leadership Statement (1000 word limit). Describe your vision for a food security intervention as a means to catalyze agriculture-led economic growth, the role of science and technology in achieving this vision, and how you will apply the knowledge and experience gained from the research experience to achieve that vision. Describe what leadership means to you and what experiences have informed your perspective; include your thoughts on the role of the U.S. in enhancing global development. Provide examples of leadership experiences, how you believe you will be a future leader, and how you expect to develop your leadership skills.

Plan of Activity (750 word limit). Describe a clear plan of activity at the IARC or NARS, including project goals and milestones during the research period.  Include a description of and rationale for the linkages between your graduate program of study and the participating IARC/NARS, including the role of the mentorship in optimizing the research plan of activity. A timeline of activities must be included in the Budget, Justification and Timeline Form.

VIDEO - U.S. Borlaug Fellows Information Webinar
(February 2, 2016)

Borlaug Information Webinar

U.S. Borlaug Fellows Program

About Dr. Norman Borlaug

Graduate Research Fellowship Grant Program

Summer Institute on Global Food Security


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