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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP)

Deadline: August 31, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will support food and agricultural sciences baccalaureate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree training of the next generation of scientists, policy makers, and educators in the Food and Agricultural Sciences. The purpose of the Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) is to provide scholarships to support recruiting, engaging, retaining, mentoring, and training committed, eligible multicultural scholars, resulting in either baccalaureate degrees within the food and agricultural sciences disciplines or the D.V.M. degree. The scholarships are intended to encourage outstanding students from groups that are historically underrepresented and underserved to pursue and complete baccalaureate degrees in the Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences, or achieve a D.V.M., that would lead to a diverse and highly skilled work force.

In addition to coursework and related experiences that prepare students for graduation, grantee institutions will be expected to identify and develop opportunities through partnerships with food and agricultural research programs at other academic institutions, and cooperate with public and private entities, to ensure Scholars are exposed to a wide spectrum of careers in the food and agricultural sciences.

The MSP also provides funding through Special Experiential Learning (SEL) opportunities to further the development of student scientific and professional competencies through programs that provide MSP Scholars with hands-on opportunities to solve complex problems including policy development and management, in the context of real-world situations. SEL is a component of the MSP competitive grants program that will support MSP Scholars for one- or two-year experiential learning activities that would not normally be available to students without support.

Amount: $868,720 is available. Awards are calculated based on $6,500 per scholar per year for up to four years; a cost of education allowance per student of $2,000; and SEL support of $4,000 per scholar.

Eligibility: Land-grant institutions; colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, and other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food, and agricultural sciences. Applicants should be institutions that confer an undergraduate or D.V.M. degree in at least one of the disciplines in the food and agricultural sciences.

Link: http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp

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