CEFS Graduate Fellows Program at NC State University

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Program Summary

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The Center for Environmental Farming Systems 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 their field of study.

CEFS is 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.


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

  • Must be enrolled as a full time graduate student at NC State University (US citizens, permanent residents and international students are eligible to apply); and
  • Completed one semester of a Master’s  Degree  Program at NC State University;  or
  • Completed one semester of a Doctoral 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.
  • A Doctoral student will be eligible for a two (2) year, $5,000/year (total of $10,000) stipend to be used at the student’s discretion.

Fellowship Requirements

If selected as a CEFS NC State Graduate Fellow you will be expected to complete the following activities or forfeit your stipend. Items with an asterisk (*) are not required for Master’s level students:

  • Present your work/poster at one 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 NC State Graduate Student Research Symposium.
  • Present your 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 CEFS’ academic, research, and extension work).
  • 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)
  • Coordinate/participate in one education or extension experience (can be combined with a graduate program requirement).
  • Participate in one educational program or event with CEFS Interns and/or Apprentices.
  • Work together with the cohort of CEFS NC State Graduate Fellows to organize and coordinate a recruitment event/mixer for new/future CEFS NC State Graduate Fellows.
  • *Participate in one trip, coordinated by CEFS, to Washington D.C. to be exposed to sustainable agriculture at the policy/ federal level. Possible components of this trip include visits to the United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/ NIFA), Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR), Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
  • *Write one op-ed, blog, or article pertaining to your research on sustainable agriculture and food systems.

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 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 CEFS Board of Advisors and Emeritus CEFS-affiliated faculty members.
  • Selection of Fellows will be made by the Selection Committee in May 2019 and candidates will be notified in June 2019.
  • In the 2019/2020 academic year we are anticipating that two Fellows will be selected, with the opportunity for more pending additional funding.


The deadline to apply for the 2019-2020 CEFS NC State Graduate Fellows Program has passed.  Please check back next year!