National Pork Board Professional Student Fellowship

DEADLINE: February 25, 2020 – 5 pm CST

Requests for Proposal

Instructions & Format

Application Website / Account Sign-In Page

Labor supply is a critical issue across the pork industry. Since 2010, the National Pork Board (NPB) has annually sponsored more than 20 scholarships aimed at supporting undergraduate students committed to a career in the swine industry as evidenced by plans to pursue advanced degrees in a swine-related field. Past NPB research funding supported graduate students depending on specific research priorities. As NPB now targets research for funding differently, there is an opportunity to ensure funding of professional student (MS, PhD, Veterinary-PhD) education and training in critical areas of study in traditional and non-traditional disciplines to provide a pipeline of highly skilled employees for the pork industry.

TO BE CLEAR, the intended outcome of this fellowship program is highly trained professionals who possess skills and abilities that have direct application to pork production now and in the future.  While results of specific, swine-related research projects is NOT the desired outcome, the NPB recognizes that research is a critical component of professional student training.  Therefore, research described in the proposal MUST be in an area of importance to the pork industry.

Creativity in designing individualized graduate programs that combine education and training from traditional and non-traditional fields of expertise are highly encouraged.  While the following fields of expertise were identified as “traditional” and “non-traditional” by the workforce needs assessment work group formed by the National Pork Board, these lists are not exhaustive:


  • Veterinary Science
  • Animal Science
    • Genetics
    • Nutrition
    • Reproduction
    • Meat Science
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Feed Science and Management
  • General Science


  • Data Science
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science/Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Math/Statistics
  • Biosystems
  • Business Analytics
  • Materials Science
  • Human Resources

Training of professional students described in your proposal may take many forms but must go beyond what is typical of a mentor-mentee relationship between a faculty member and graduate student. Evaluation of the proposed training components will be partially based on, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Activities designed to creatively foster relationships between students working in cross-disciplinary fields
  • Opportunities for students to meaningfully interact with pork producers, practicing veterinarians, swine nutritionists, swine geneticists and other industry consultants
  • Development of work experience/internship programs for students where they are imbedded within industry partners
  • Development and application of leadership, communication and interpersonal relationship skills in a team environment
  • On-campus involvement in swine-related activities to recruit and generate interest in the pork industry


  • Training programs that include creative or innovative training/educational opportunities across traditional and non-traditional fields are highly encouraged
  • Proposals that demonstrate a multidisciplinary, team approach to addressing swine industry workforce needs are highly encouraged
  • Evidence of industry partnerships and collaboration in conducting professional student training is encouraged
  • Application is NOT limited to a single fellowship for each faculty member. However, multiple fellowships will only be awarded to faculty who demonstrate evidence of ability to simultaneously train multiple students.
  • Multiple awards cannot be combined to cover a single student.
  • Awards will be for a maximum of two years and can be used for either MS, PhD, or DVM-PhD or programs. Second year funding is contingent submission and approval of a progress report at the end of the first year.
  • Fellowship funding is capped at $30,000 annually for two years ($60,000 total/fellowship) paid to the university at the start of the fall semester
  • Additional tuitional and stipend costs above the limit of each fellowship are the responsibility of the successful faculty member and the university.

Proposal Deadline:


Please direct all questions to:

Dr. Chris Hostetler

Director of Animal Science

National Pork Board



  • Proposal selection will occur the week of March 16, 2020.
  • Notification of grant awards will be done by April 1, 2020.
  • Project funding will begin May 1, 2020.

Want to learn more about the National Pork Board’s research proposal process? Could you use a few tips to make your research proposal more competitive? Regardless of whether you are an established investigator or a new faculty member, you will find benefit in this free webinar recording “Writing Research Proposals for the NPB.” Dr. Chris Hostetler provides information to investigators so that their proposal gets the best chance of a competitive review.

Previous RFPs

Funded Research Grants

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