CEFS Compass Group USA Graduate Fellowship Program at NC State University

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Program Summary

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The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) NC State University Graduate Fellows Program was developed to provide financial support and recognition for the future leaders, researchers and contributors in sustainable agriculture and local food systems while they pursue academic research to further the field of study.

CEFS flourishes as one of the nation’s most important centers for research, extension, and education in sustainable agriculture and community-based food systems.  It is recognized as a national and international leader in the local foods movement, and is celebrated for its work in building consensus around policies, programs and actions that facilitate a vibrant local food economy.

This fellowship is sponsored by the Compass Group USA and will support one MBA student. All eligibility requirements below apply.


To be eligible to apply to be a CEFS Graduate Fellow, the qualifications below must be met:

  • Must be enrolled as a full time (enrolled in 9 credit hours) Masters of Business Administration (MBA) graduate student at NC State University (US citizens, permanent residents and international students are eligible to apply); and
  • Completed one semester of the Masters of Business Administration Program at NC State University

Stipend and Fellowship Tenure

A Master’s Student will be eligible for a one (1) year, $5,000 stipend to be used at the student’s discretion.

Fellowship Requirements

If selected as a CEFS Graduate Fellow you will be expected to complete the following activities or forfeit your stipend.

  • Present your work/poster at one (1) regularly scheduled meeting of the CEFS Board of Advisors. (The CEFS Board of Advisors generally meets 3 times a year). Students are also encouraged to present their posters at the NCSU Graduate Student Research Symposium.
  • Present your work/ research poster at one regularly scheduled All CEFS Meeting (these meetings are generally held in February and September each year and are a convening of all of the CEFS affiliated faculty/staff performing the work – academic, research, extension – of CEFS).

Your advisor of record will need to attend and introduce you at the All CEFS meeting. (Please make sure to notify your adviser of this requirement and to have them complete the Academic Advisor Certification Form)

  • Participate in one (1) educational program or event with CEFS Interns and/or Apprentices.
  • In working together with the cohort of CEFS Graduate Fellows, organize and coordinate a recruitment event/mixer for new/future CEFS Graduate Fellows.
  • Participate in an organized visit of your sponsoring organization (Compass Group USA) and present your work.

Evaluation & Selection

  • All applications will undergo a preliminary review by a team of CEFS faculty/staff to ensure:    1) that each element of the application was submitted as required and consistent with application instructions; and 2) that the essay demonstrates a clear, well thought out response to the essay questions as prompted, as well as relevance to sustainable agriculture and local and regional food systems.  Applications that do not meet the required criteria will not be forwarded to the Selection Committee for consideration.
  • The Selection Committee shall be comprised of members of the sponsoring organization.
  • Selection of Fellows will be made by the Selection Committee in June 2017 and candidates will be notified in July 2017; additionally Fellows will be announced at the September 2017 CEFS Board of Advisors meeting.