Limited Competition: National Needs Fellowship

This limited competition invites responses to the “USDA NIFA Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship” opportunity. UMaine is limited to a total of $525,000 in funding under this program. All faculty interested in pursuing this award should prepare a two-page concept paper as detailed below, submitted through UMaine’s InfoReady portal.

Concept Paper Deadline: April 28th, 2023

Sponsor Proposal Deadline: June 8th, 2023

Sponsor Synopsis:

The purpose of the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program, Assistance Listing 10.210, is to provide funding to support graduate student training and completion of master’s and/or doctoral degree programs in identified national need areas within the food and agricultural sciences. The overarching goals and objectives of these graduate fellowships are to encourage outstanding students to pursue and complete graduate degrees in the areas of food and agricultural sciences designated by NIFA as national needs. Awards made by the NNF program are specifically intended to support traineeship programs that engage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees in areas where there is a national need for the development of scientific and professional expertise in the food and agricultural sciences. NNF awards invest in graduate training and relevant international experiential learning for diverse individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of the USDA.

Concept Papers should include the following:

1) Plans to recruit NEW students at the master’s and doctoral levels.

2) Plans for required Leadership Skills Development

3) Plans for the Incorporation of Social Sciences and Enhancing Impacts (if appropriate, see page 7 of the RFA)

4) Specific plans to address ONE of the following TESAs through this fellowship: a) Animal Production b) Plant Production c) Forest Resources d) Agricultural Education and Communication e) Agricultural Management and Economics f) Food Science, Human Nutrition and Human Sciences g) Agricultural Biosecurity 10 h) Climate-smart Agriculture i) Data Science (to enable systems and communities to effectively utilize data, improve resource management, and integrate new technologies and approaches to further U.S. food and agriculture enterprises)

Additional notes: recruited National Needs Fellows must meet the following requirements:

i. Be citizens or nationals of the United States of America as determined in accordance with Federal law. ii. Have strong interest, as judged by the institution, in pursuing a degree in a national TESA; are preparing for a career as a food or agricultural or natural resources scientist or professional; are registered as full-time students; and iii. Not have completed more than one semester or equivalent hours of full-time study as defined by the institution in the same academic program at the same degree level

Please contact Saul Allen ( with any questions concerning this opportunity.