International Fellowship Programs

Faculty Exchange Program (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service)

The Faculty Exchange Program (FEP) enhances the teaching ability of agricultural educators from institutions of higher learning in developing countries. Participants come to the United States for one academic semester (4 months) to acquire new knowledge and enhance their ability to teach and build curricula at the university level. Since 1995, the program has provided training opportunities for hundreds of agricultural educators across the developing world. Program alumni play an integral role in training the next generation of scientists and policymakers to better understand the global agricultural marketplace and support science-based trade policies.

Led by Marcy Souza (UT CVM)

In Fall of 2023 UTIA is hosting ten FEP Fellows from the Philippines with each fellow paired with a mentor on campus. We welcome the following fellows:

Led by Marcy Souza (UT CVM)

In Fall 2022, UTIA hosted nine FEP Fellows from East Africa with each Fellow paired with a mentor on campus. We welcomed the following fellows:

Scientific Exchange Program (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service)

The Scientific Exchange Program (SEP) promotes trade, trade policy, trade capacity building, and food security. The program aims to educate a new generation of agricultural scientists, increase scientific knowledge and collaborative research, and extend knowledge to users and intermediaries in the international agricultural marketplace. USDA may also use the program as a market development tool to assist in opening markets and decreasing or eliminating trade barriers, which ultimately increases and creates new opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports. Candidates must hold a minimum of a Master’s-level degree, be in the early or middle stage of their career, and represent a university, government agency or research entity in their home country.

Led by Marcy Souza (UT CVM)

In the Fall, UTIA hosted five SEP Fellows from Kenya, and each Fellow is paired with an on-campus mentor. We welcomed the following fellows to Knoxville, August – November 2022, with reciprocal visits completed by the UT faculty mentors in June 2023:

Borlaug Fellowship Program (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service)

Borlaug Fellows

The Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program promotes food security and economic growth by providing training and collaborative research opportunities to Fellows from developing and middle-income countries.

Borlaug Fellows are generally scientists, researchers, or policymakers who are in the early or middle stages of their careers. Each Fellow works one-on-one with a mentor at a U.S. university, research center, or government agency, usually for 8-12 weeks. The U.S. mentor will later visit the Fellow’s home institution to continue collaboration. Fellows may also attend professional conferences and events within their field, such as the annual World Food Prize Symposium.

  • Duration of program: 12 weeks
  • Program dates: beginning July 2022
  • Led by: Dr. Bonnie Ownley

UTIA will host two Borlaug Fellows, both mentored by Dr. Bonnie Ownley, professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. We are pleased to welcome the following fellows:

  • 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.  

Cochran Fellowship Program (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service)

The Cochran Fellowship Program, named after the late U.S. Senator William Thad Cochran, provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. The goals are to help eligible countries develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations; and to strengthen and enhance trade linkages between eligible countries and agricultural interests in the United States. Fellows receive hands-on training to enhance their technical knowledge and skills in areas related to agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing.
UTIA is pleased to host the following two groups of Cochran Fellows:

Cambodia Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) Grain and Feed

  • Program duration: 2 weeks
  • Program dates: beginning August 21, 2022
  • Led by: Dr. Dave Ader

We are pleased to welcome the following fellows:

  • Te Bunleang
  • In Chantha
  • Meach Yady
  • Khy Youkheng
  • Kong Kea

Assessment of U.S. Beer, Wine, and Spirits for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda: A Focus on Production, Regulatory Standards, Trade and Policy

  • Program duration: 2 weeks
  • Program dates: beginning September 14, 2022
  • Led by: Dr. Andrew Muhammad

We are pleased to welcome the following fellows:

  • Eglay Aura
  • Gladys Kattam
  • James Kinuthia
  • Mercy Mureithi
  • Susan Gity
  • Victoria Mulu-Munywoki
  • Caroline Nguhi Kamau (FAS attaché for Nairobi)

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.