Our goals in this USDA-ISE project are to build long-standing academic programs and research partnerships with the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil (UFLA) that: (i) significantly enhance the international nature of our curricula in key areas of common interest, specifically food security and safety, bioenergy, animal agriculture, and biodiversity; (ii) stimulate creative thinking in our students about how to develop innovative solutions to complex global agricultural and environmental problems; and (iii) lead to ongoing research and extension collaborations between UD and UFLA focused on providing advanced training and practical experiences for graduate students.
Internationalize UD and UFLA Curricula: develop or enhance curricula related to food security, biodiversity, biofuels, and international trade for developed and developing countries, using the U.S. and Brazil as examples. UD undergraduate students and UFLA graduate students will interact with faculty to develop teaching modules to be integrated into existing UD and UFLA courses and an online capstone course for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Visits to UFLA and other areas in Brazil by UD faculty and undergraduate interns will facilitate the development of curricula reflecting current real-world issues. In parallel, U.S. students will gain a multi-national perspective on broad agricultural issues and diverse approaches to addressing them.
Build research links and partnerships between faculty and students at UD and UFLA that enhance graduate student education and research: UD and UFLA will launch a three-year pilot program to enhance the international experiences of our graduate students. In this program: (i) UFLA Ph.D. students who have completed three years of their graduate program will receive funding from a UFLA Ph.D. “sandwich” program to conduct research at UD with UD faculty teams and (ii) UD graduate students and faculty will visit UFLA to view ongoing research conducted by UFLA cooperating faculty and obtain first-hand experiences on the nature of Brazil’s agricultural, environmental, and ecological problems.