Borel Global Fellows

University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Aim and Scope: The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware has partnered with AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) to build a Master’s degree program to train African students in plant breeding, crop protection, soil science, agricultural economics, and other areas vital to food security in Africa. Made possible by a generous gift from Jim and Marcia Borel, the program provides opportunities for two students per year to complete an MS degree at the University of Delaware while conducting research in their home country in an area of critical need.

Current Focus: In response to identified needs in Africa, the 2017 focal areas are 1) plant breeding and genetics, and 2) agricultural economics and agribusiness development. In plant breeding and genetics, emphasis is on germplasm characterization and development for studying and deploying resistance to diseases of maize. In agricultural economics, emphasis is placed on entrepreneurship and small business growth in the home country in areas of need such as certified seed development, crop inputs or technological services related to agriculture.

Program: Students will spend the first 12-18 months at the University of Delaware completing course work, developing research skills, and outlining a research project to be completed upon return to their home country. Students will spend approximately 12 additional months in the home country completing their research. The faculty mentor will travel to Africa during the final 12 months at a time appropriate to prepare the student for their thesis defense and the writing of their thesis.

Criteria, Eligibility:

  • African students with a BS degree (or equivalent) in plant sciences, agronomy, horticulture, agricultural economics or a related discipline.
  • 3-5 years of work experience post-graduation in the agricultural sector
  • A sincere and demonstrable passion to return to the home country and contribute to agricultural development, increased food security, and/or agribusiness development.
  • English language proficiency.
  • Acceptable scores on the GRE and TOEFL exams.
  • Ability to obtain a student visa (F-1) and travel to the USA from the home country.
  • Access to the internet in the home country. For field research, access to appropriate resources for the student in Africa will be made by the faculty mentor.

How to apply: Candidates that hold a position in a scientific organization (e.g. university, national program, international non-profit organization, etc.) in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Uganda are being considered at this time. A two-stage application process is required for the program. Before applying to UD’s graduate program, send the following documents directly to AGRA (JNaibei@agra.org) with the subject line “Borel Global Fellows Program.”

1) Statement of interest (2-page max)

2) Resume or curriculum vitae

3) Undergraduate transcripts

4) Up to three letters of reference from individuals who can judge your scholastic capability and potential for research at the graduate level

Following the first stage evaluation by AGRA, candidates will be invited to apply to the University of Delaware. Details regarding UD’s graduate school admission can be found at: http://www.udel.edu/gradoffice/apply/

When to apply: The deadline for applications to AGRA is April 20, 2018. Applicants selected for further consideration will be notified by May 15, 2018 regarding how to make a formal application to the University of Delaware.

Financial support provided by the University of Delaware: Each Borel Global Fellow will receive generous financial support including:

  • A stipend of $2000/month to cover living expenses while in Delaware
  • Settling allowance of $2000
  • A supplement to be paid upon completion of the program of $3000
  • A full waiver of tuition for up to 33 credits (currently valued at ~$56,000)
  • Roundtrip airfare to/from the USA (economy class)
  • Computer allowance of up to $1000 (to be purchased at Delaware)
  • Reimbursement for the UD application fee ($75)
  • Financial support and travel allowance for the faculty mentor

Students are responsible for purchasing their own health insurance upon arrival to the university; for details, costs and options, see: http://www.udel.edu/gradoffice/polproc/insurance.html

AGRA