International Fellows

We host visiting fellows from a range of countries across the world to come and conduct scientific research in labs, fields and offices of our institute. These visiting fellowships range in length of time and topic of study. Two federally funded programs under which we have received recent fellows include:

Norman Borlaug Science and Technology Fellows (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service)

Borlaug Fellows

USDA-FAS Borlaug fellows program provides opportunities for scientists and researchers from countries that are strategically important to US agricultural trade to spend up to 3
months at an US institution of higher education. Borlaug fellows are competitively selected from their home countries and then US universities competitively bid to “match” fellows one-on-one with faculty from their institutions. The time together in the US is then followed up by a reciprocal visit by the US faculty member to the Borlaug fellow’s home country and institution to develop further collaborations.

UTIA hosted four USDA Borlaug fellows (BROKEN LINK: at its Knoxville campus for periods of 10-12 weeks each in the 2015-16 academic year. The following scientists/researchers came to UTIA and were paired with faculty mentors:

  • Marat Kuibagarov (S.Seifullin Kazakh AgroTechnical University [KATU], Kazakhstan) with Dr. Shigetoshi Eda (Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries) on new approaches for the diagnosis of Johne’s disease.
  • Ruba Ajjour (Royal Scientific Society, Jordan) with Dr. Neelam Poudyal (Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries) on identifying adaptation strategies to increase agriculture productivity, support food security and improve farmers’ livelihood under a changing climate.
  • Ali Daoudi (Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique, Algeria) with Dr. Don Hodges (Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries) on groundwater governance systems in the Sahara.
  • Mariella Carbajal (International Potato Center [CIP], Peru) with Dr. Sean Schaeffer (Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science) on modeling the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) and its relationship with land use, climate, topography and other properties in Andean soils.
  • Mykola (Nick) Kalashnyk (Ukraine) with Dr. Shigetoshi Eda (Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries) on Johne’s disease diagnosis approaches.  

BHEARD Program 

Borlaug Fellows

BHEARD provides opportunities for leading scientists from Feed the Future focus countries to study for graduate degrees at institutions of higher education in the United States. The final year of a BHEARD student’s program is spent back in his/her home country, conducting fieldwork for the thesis/dissertation. This builds collaboration with ongoing food security priorities and initiatives in the student’s home country.

UTIA’s Department of Plant Science is hosting Mr. Daniel Niyikiza from Rwanda for a Ph.D. program with world-renowned soybean breeders, Dr. Tarek Hewezi and Dr. Vince Pantalone. Mr. Niyikiza began his studies in August 2016 and will complete three years of coursework and research in Tennessee before completing his Ph.D. dissertation in his fourth year of study back in his home country, Rwanda.