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Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program

The Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program (NNF) is designated for graduate degree (masters and doctoral) programs and postgraduate training of the next generation of policy makers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. 

Functioning collaboratively with eligible higher education institutions, this competitive grants program develops intellectual capital to ensure the preeminence of U.S. food and agricultural systems.

NNF trains students for masters and/or doctoral degrees. It also provides additional post-doctoral training for National Needs Fellows who have completed their doctoral degrees at institutions that have demonstrable teaching and research competencies in the food and agricultural sciences. Fellowships and Special International Study or Thesis/Dissertation Research Travel Allowances (IRTA) are specifically intended to support traineeship programs that encourage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees or obtain post-doctoral training in areas where there is an identified national need for the development of scientific and professional personnel. Funds from the fellowships and IRTA awards are invested in graduate training and relevant international experiential learning.

The NNF program provides funding to support graduate training through a student stipend and a cost-of-education allowance to the institution. Fellows matriculating from the NNF program are employed in academia and in USDA agencies such as the Agricultural Research Service, Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are also working in private sector entities such as CH2M HILL, ConAgra Foods, FMC FoodTech, Kraft Foods, National Dairy Council, Institute of Food Technologies, M&M Mars, Wal-Mart; and others.

Technical Assistance Webinars

Funding Opportunity

Legislative Authority

Legislative authority for this program, begun in 1984, is contained in section 1412. [Amendments to section 1417 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (99 Stat. 1548; 7 U.S.C. 3152)]. This program is subject to administrative provisions that can be found at 7 CFR 3402.


Program type
Grant Program

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