National Needs Fellows: Graduate Fellowships

The National Needs Fellows in Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences at Florida International University is an interdisciplinary and integrative training approach. This 42-month project aims to recruit and train six outstanding graduate students from underrepresented and minority communities.


  • Provide training to six master’s level students in on of the Targeted Expertise Shortage Areas – Integrative Biosciences for Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems – with a focus on agroecology and sustainable urban agriculture
  • Provide these graduate students with opportunities for research, internship and urban agriculture outreach at area research and conservation organizations, urban community gardens and sub-urban small farms
  • Enhance multicultural diversity in the skilled agricultural workforce by recruiting from traditionally underrepresented groups. 

Training Model

Fellows will complete a two-year MS in Environmental Studies with a clear focus on sustainable urban and regional agriculture and through an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to managing natural resources, which support agricultural systems. Fellows will be trained with a rigorous course curriculum in basic, agricultural and quantitative sciences, master’s research in the field communities and area research institutions.

These activities will train students in cutting-edge lab and field techniques: soil and nutrient management, integrated pest management, agro-biodiversity conservation, economic and geospatial resource analysis and urban agriculture outreach. Students will work closely with USDA ARS, farmers and community/educational organizations. Comprehensive training will help fellows land a career or entrance to a doctoral program in food and agricultural sciences.