During his Borlaug LEAP Fellowship, Nhuong Van Tran worked towards a PhD in Applied Economics as well as a Master's in Rural Sociology and a Statistics Minor at Auburn University. Early in his education, Tran pursued interdisciplinary studies comprised of natural and social sciences. A Vietnamese student from Nghe An province, he entered Hanoi Agricultural University, but then transferred to and graduated from Nha Trang Fisheries University with a Bachelor’s degree in Aquaculture in 1997. He also specialized in the socio-economic and environmental aspects of Aquaculture. He got a Master's degree in Natural Resource Management from the Agricultural University of Norway in 2000, and has had over ten years of research experience with the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 (RIA1), a governmental institution in Vietnam.
In 2004 he received a grant from the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) with supporting funds from the Aquaculture CRSP. This grant allowed Tran to attend the biennial IIFET conference in Tokyo to present the research he had been working on. It was this experience that inspired Tran to pursue his graduate studies in the US. Tran received a three-year fellowship from the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Program in 2006 for his PhD program in Applied Economics at Auburn University. Tran’s doctoral research focused on the impacts of food safety and environmental standards in the seafood trade in Southeast Asia. Based on fieldwork in his home country of Vietnam, Tran looked at how global market pressures have impacted small-scale shrimp farmers and the consequences/benefits of large-scale and industrial shrimp production systems.
Nhuong Tran began his Borlaug LEAP Fellowship in the summer of 2009 and was mentored by Dr. Robert Pomeroy, University of Connecticut, Dr. Conner Bailey, Auburn University and Dr. Michael Phillips, Worldfish Center. His research was integrated with an AquaFish CRSP project in the Lower Mekong basin which was, and still is, working on improving aquaculture and seafood markets and trade in order to reduce poverty and hunger in the region. Upon completion of his PhD Mr. Tran, plans to return to Vietnam and work with small-scale producers and enterprises.