WASHINGTON (April 16, 2012) -- The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is seeking applications from a single university or a consortium of universities to implement a new $3.8-million multi-institution effort to develop the human and institutional capacity in low-income countries and to create the knowledge and technologies essential for food security and economic and social development.
The Borlaug Higher Education Agricultural Research and Development Program (BHEARD) is part of the Borlaug 21st Century Leadership Program which was announced in June 2011 as part of Feed the Future (FTF), the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. The program honors the legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug.
BHEARD is primarily a long-term agriculture degree (MSc and PhD) and food security training program in support of agriculture-led growth and poverty reduction. It is a platform both for the development, testing and evaluation of new capacity development models as well as for shared learning on best approaches to training in institutional development.
“Enhancing food security to meet the projected demands of an increasing population will require a strong and empowered cadre of agriculture scientists and researchers with professional skills and extensive high-level knowledge across the developing world,” said Rob Bertram, director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy, Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development. “Through BHEARD, we hope to develop the workforce and the workplace necessary to develop and adapt agricultural innovations to drive long-term productivity and to build resilient systems capable of responding to change.”
USAID’s Bureau for Food Security will manage the program, with funding through the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). APLU will manage the application competition and its Knowledge Center will provide an analysis of lessons learned in the process. USAID/BFS will provide initial core funding of approximately $3.8 million and, coupled with projected Mission funds, an approximate $7.35 million will likely be available to start the program. Additional Mission and USAID/BFS funding support in the future is anticipated.
The BHEARD program aims to:
- Develop the human and institutional capacity of Feed the Future focus countries based on strategic analysis of institutional and national capability to address the global initiative’s goals of agriculture-led growth and reduction of hunger.
- Create strong and supportive linkages between the scientific and higher education communities in Feed the Future focus countries and in the U.S. in order to achieve the global initiative’s goals.
- Encourage and identify innovative and effective mechanisms for human and institutional capacity development through focused monitoring, evaluation and analysis.
- Create an efficient implementing entity through which USAID Missions and Bureaus can easily conduct capacity building activities with low transaction costs.
The selected institution or consortium will conduct an open competition to award sub-grants to institutions for the components of the capacity development program developed. They also will conduct an in-country strategic planning process that will further refine the design and nature of the capacity development program it proposes in its application. Plans that involve minority-serving institutions are encouraged.
APLU welcomes applications from any U.S. regionally accredited, degree-granting higher education institution and encourages applications from or with the participation of minority-serving institutions. If a consortium is applying, the lead organization must be a higher education institution.
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on May 31, 2012.
The complete RFA and application details are available on the APLU website at: www.aplu.org/BHEARDRFA. Questions should be directed to:
Send applications to: BHEARD Program, APLU, 1307 New York Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005-4722.
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC AND LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITIES
Founded in 1887, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research and advocacy organization of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems. As the nation’s oldest higher education association, APLU is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. Member campuses enroll more than 3.6 million undergraduate and 1.1 million graduate students, employ more than 670,000 faculty and administrators, and conduct nearly two-thirds of all university-based research, totaling more than $34 billion annually. For more information, visit www.aplu.org.