Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility criteria to be considered. Promising applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee and top-ranked applicants will be interviewed before a final selection is made.
Applications will be judged on the following criteria:
Technical Soundness and Feasibility of the Research Proposal: Scientific merit and clear relevance to the overall thesis research objectives, and viability in terms of budget, timing, and potential to add value to the existing body of knowledge related to the proposal's targeted area of research within the broad field of agriculture and food security. Maximizes opportunities to leverage outside funds. (35% of total score)
Relevance to Development Priorities: Strengths of the research proposal to support the goals of the US government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Compatibility of the research proposal to development priorities of the applicant's home country. (15% of total score)
Leadership Potential: Potential to advocate for agricultural science at the policy level. Potential to work as a change agent in his/her home country to help transform the research culture and to promote innovation. Demonstrated commitment to return home to work in agriculture research or agricultural education, and to continue international interaction. Demonstrated willingness and ability to mentor colleagues, students, and research technicians. Potential to complete his/her graduate degree program and move into a position of responsibility in the agriculture science and/or education community in his/her home country. (30% of total score)
Supervisory and Mentoring Plan: Clear plan of work that demonstrates a coordinated mentorship and support (both fiscal and scientific) between the US and CGIAR scientists and institutions to insure the success of the student's overall thesis research project. The mentoring institutions provide graduate-level support in the student's field of study and at comparable level. Student's work should be embedded in an existing program or project that ensures the long-term mentorship of student. (20% of total score)
The Selection Committee will also consider the diversity of the applicant pool in making decisions.