Frequently Asked Questions
When is the deadline for the application?
Please see our Program Timeline page for deadline information.
How should the application be submitted?
The application must be submitted online, through our website. You may also mail your application package to our address but it must be RECEIVED by the deadline.
Can I email my application?
No, the application must be submitted online, through our website.
Who is eligible to apply?
An eligible candidate for a Borlaug LEAP fellowship must be
- a citizen of a USAID-assisted country. Currently we are only accepting applications from citizens of USAID-assisted countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Applicants cannot hold citizenship or permanent residency in the US and/or any non-USAID assisted country. This includes applicants with dual citizenship.
- currently enrolled as an MS or PhD student at a US or sub-Saharan Africa developing country university. Candidates must maintain student status for the duration of the fellowship.
- fluent in reading, writing and speaking English. All semi-finalists not enrolled in a US university will be asked to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. See eligibility requirements for minimum score information.
In addition, eligible candidates will have
- completed at least one year of graduate level course work in the graduate program the applicant is currently enrolled in with a US equivalent grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
- a thesis-topic related to agricultural development and related fields. Title XII legislation broadly defines agriculture as:
"...the science and practice of activity related to food, feed, and fiber production, processing, marketing, distribution, utilization, and trade, and also includes family and consumer sciences, nutrition, food science and engineering, agricultural economics and other social sciences, forestry, wildlife, fisheries, aquaculture, floriculture, veterinary medicine, and other environmental and natural resources sciences."
Successful candidates must:
- agree to return to their country of citizenship for a minimum of two years following graduation.
- remain enrolled as an MS or PhD student and have student status at their university for the duration of their fellowship.
- See Conditions of Training for more information
I'm STILL taking classes, can I apply?
Eligible candidates must complete one-year of coursework in either a Master's or PhD program by the time the fellowship would start. It is important for all candidates that they have a clear vision and plan for their thesis research. For PhD students in programs that do not require coursework, they have completed coursework in a Master's degree program and must have an approved thesis research plan.
CAN I reapply if my application is denied?
Candidates selected as Semi-Finalists or Finalists may not reapply unless expressly asked to by the Selection Committee. Applicants who were not selected as semi-finalists or finalists are not prohibited from reapplying. They may reapply but are advised to make significant changes to their application and use the correct application form for the round they are applying. Applicants reapplying must submit a completely new application package and are urged to review our selection criteria and tips for a successful application.
Do I have to start my internship immediately?
Each round of competition has a set timetable for the one-year fellowship. You must complete your fellowship within the fellowship period. More information on the current and upcoming fellowship timetables can be found on our Program Timeline page.
How can I find a CGIAR mentor?
The Borlaug LEAP Office does not match applicants with CGIAR mentors. We suggest going through the list of CGIAR centers and finding someone that is related to your field, asking university advisors for help or reviewing literature that is appropriate for your research study area. It's helpful if the applicant's work is already embedded in an existing program or project that will ensure the long-term mentorship of the student. Student applicants or US faculty mentors looking for collaborators within the CG Centers may contact the focal point at the Centre of interest.
How can I find a US faculty mentor?
The Borlaug LEAP Office does not match applicants with US Faculty mentors. We suggest consulting your thesis advisors for help or reviewing appropriate literature for your research study area. It's helpful if the applicant's work is already embedded in an existing program or project that will ensure the long-term mentorship of the student. Successful applicants should take the initiative to seek out US faculty mentors from a US graduate-level university appropriate to their research topic. CGIAR scientists looking to make linkages with US faculty should contact the focal point at their Center or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Will the Borlaug LEAP Fellowship provide funding for my complete PhD or MS program?
Borlaug LEAP offers fellowships to enhance the quality of thesis research of graduate students from developing countries. The program supports engaging a mentor at a US university and a CGIAR center. The fellowships are for one-year only and do not provide full funding for PhD or Masters. Students are expected to have other funding for their degree studies.
Can I start my research before I apply?
The primary purpose of the Borlaug LEAP fellowship is to engage a mentor at a US university and a CGIAR center. Some research funds are allowed on the award but the fellowships are for one-year only and do not provide full funding for PhD or Masters. Students are expected to have other funding for their research and often have started their field work before completing the fellowship.
Does Borlaug LEAP provide other funding?
No, Borlaug LEAP only offers fellowships to enhance the quality of thesis research of graduate students from developing countries. We do not offer funding for non-fellowship activities including short-term courses, conference travel, or any other support outside of the fellowship.
What are the additional eligibility requirements for the ongoing Request for Applications?
An eligible candidate must be a citizen of a USAID-assisted country in sub-Saharan Africa. Applicants cannot hold citizenship or permanent residency in a non-USAID assisted country. This includes applicants with dual citizenship. Applicants cannot have permanent residency or hold a "green card" in the United States. Successful candidates agree to return to their country of citizenship for a minimum of two years following graduation.
What type of Visa do I need to have during my fellowship?
Fellows coming to the US usually have a J1 or an F1 visa, successful candidates must agree to return to their country of citizenship for a minimum of two years following graduation. Applicants cannot have permanent residency or hold a "green card" in the United States. Applicants cannot be in the U.S. on a work visa.
Does my US mentor have to be a faculty member at UC Davis?
No, a US mentor can be from any graduate level US university, check here for more eligibility requirements. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, International Programs Office at UC Davis manages the Borlaug LEAP program.
Do I have to attend or complete my internship at UC Davis?
No, applicants must be currently enrolled as MS or PhD students at any US or developing country university. Check here for more eligibility requirements.
In the event of a discrepancy between this document and the regulations, the regulations take precedence.