Legume Scholars Program Launched
Submissions Due By December 19, 2014
By 2050 the world will need to feed two billion additional people. A challenge this serious requires the best and brightest ideas in agricultural science. Want to help feed the future? Consider applying for a Graduate Fellowship from the Legume Scholars Program.
Announcing a new partnership between the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and USAID’s Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes (Legume Innovation Lab) and Peanut Productivity and Mycotoxin Control (Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab).
This new program is specifically targeting promising young scientists from developing countries committed to pursuing research careers involving legume crops. Graduates from the program will further strengthen the research capacity of institutions in their home countries committed to the growth and development of the legume sectors through scientific inquiry.
Legumes—especially grain legumes—are critical crops in developing countries. They are nutrient dense, staple foods that help ensure food and nutritional security while providing needed household income for smallholder farmers, a majority of whom are women, who are the principle producers of grain legumes in many regions of the world.
Accepted students will conduct research at major U.S. and other international universities in key areas, including agriculture economics, crop physiology, food science, gender studies, nutrition, plant breeding and genetics, plant protection, soil science, and the social sciences.
The Fellowship provides full tuition and living expenses for up to two years for an M.Sc. and up to four years for a Ph.D. program; medical coverage; airfare and related travel expenses; a personal computer; field and lab research opportunities; and professional development workshops.
Advances in agricultural science and technology present opportunities to overcome constraints to achieving adequate nutrition for good health, increasing agricultural productivity for household economic and food security, and for utilizing natural resources in a more sustainable manner.
Beginning in 1980, the Bean/Cowpea CRSP (1980–2007) and its successor, the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP (2007-2012), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) strove to achieve positive impacts in these strategic areas through innovative research and training focused on bean and cowpea value chains for the mutual benefit of developing countries in Sub‐Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the United States.
With the extension of its award from USAID beginning in 2013, the Dry Grain Pulse CRSP was renamed the Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes.
The global mission of the Legume Innovation Lab (and the previous Dry Grain Pulses and Bean/Cowpea CRSPs) is to leverage the capacities of U.S. universities’ to generate new knowledge and technological outputs through collaborative research and training activities with the ultimate goals of:
- building the human resource base and institutional capacity of national agricultural research systems and agricultural universities and
- enhancing bean and cowpea consumption, utilization, and food security in Sub‐Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the United States.
Click on the links on this page or under “Achievements” in the main menu for highlights and a sample of the most recent achievements by the Legume Innovation Lab as well as ts predecessors, the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP and the Bean/Cowpea CRSP, in the areas listed below. Note that because projects under the Legume Innovation Lab are only just beginning, the most recent work cited in these links will be from the final year of Dry Grain Pulses CRSP projects. This work will be updated as Legume Innovation Lab projects advance.
- Impact Brief, 4: Economic impact of CRSP’s investment in the development and dissemination of improved cowpea varietal technology: New evidence from Senegal
Impact Brief, 3: Farmers in West and Central Africa Obtain Economic Benefits from Enhanced Cowpea Storage Technologies
Impact Brief, 2: Sustaining a Steady Flow of High Yielding, Improved Bean Varieties Through the Bean Research Network in Central America
FTF Newsletter Features Legume Innovation Lab Project
USAID’s Feed the Future Newsletter featured a Legume Innovation Lab project, IPM-omics: Scalable and sustainable solutions for pest management of insect pests of cowpea in Africa, in October 2014. Situated at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the project’s work is in West Africa, specifically, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Niger. Part of the project’s many objectives involves teaching smallholder farmers some of the pest management techniques. To advance this goal, the project team developed a series of animated educational videos that can be downloaded and viewed on cell phones. Using voice-over technology, the same easy-to-understand video content can be used throughout countries and regions by simply changing the narrative language.
Legume Innovation Lab Launches Facebook Page
The Legume Innovation Lab is on Facebook. Please “like” our page here to receive updates and stories on legume research.
Legume Innovation Lab on Twitter
The Legume Innovation Lab has launched a Twitter account named Legume InnovationLab. Follow our feed to receive the latest updates on the Lab and research and development work related to the legume sector.