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Brazil and Purdue launch new graduate fellowship program in agriculture

Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and the Brazilian Ministry of Education through CAPES, a public foundation for the development of graduate education in Brazil, have signed an agreement to forge a new educational partnership.

Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University, welcomed Mauro Rabelo, Brazilian national secretary for higher education; Connie McManus Pimentel, director of international relations for the Brazilian agency CAPES; and Luiz Valcov Loureiro, executive director of Fulbright Brazil, to Purdue on March 26. The delegation met with Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships, and College of Agriculture associate deans and department heads, and toured campus facilities. The visit culminated with a signing ceremony to establish a new CAPES-Purdue Agriculture Ph.D. Fellows program.

“The establishment of the new Agriculture Ph.D. Fellows program with Brazil is very exciting,” Plaut said. “Purdue has a strong track record of engagement with Brazil in the field of agriculture, starting with its capacity-building work with what is now the Federal University of Viçosa, more than half a century ago. This program will further strengthen our academic partnerships in Brazil and help build a cadre of Brazilian Purdue Ph.D.’s that will ultimately strengthen joint research collaboration and more.”

CAPES’ Pimentel said: “For us, partnering with Purdue on an Agriculture Ph.D. program is an obvious choice. Purdue’s College of Agriculture is world renowned. Purdue is the only university with the distinction of having produced three World Food Prize laureates. Purdue has also shown a historical commitment to collaborating with Brazil in the field of agriculture, including helping with the development of EMPRAPA, Brazil’s equivalent to the USDA’s research service.”

Per the agreement, the Brazilian government will finance up to 10 doctoral students in Purdue’s College of Agriculture per year. CAPES will issue a call for applications, and prospective candidates must first be selected through a rigorous pre-selection process. Finalists will then follow the standard graduate admissions process for the Purdue department to which they are applying. The first call for the 10-year agreement is expected to be announced by CAPES in May 2019, with the first cohort of Ph.D. students beginning in fall 2020. 

From left are Connie McManus Pimentel, director of international relations for the Brazilian agency CAPES; Mauro Rabelo, Brazilian national secretary for higher education; Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture; and Dan Hirleman, Purdue's chief corporate and global partnerships officer, after signing the new CAPES-Purdue Agriculture Ph.D. Fellows agreement at the Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility. From left are Connie McManus Pimentel, director of international relations for the Brazilian agency CAPES; Mauro Rabelo, Brazilian national secretary for higher education; Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture; and Dan Hirleman, Purdue's chief corporate and global partnerships officer, after signing the new CAPES-Purdue Agriculture Ph.D. Fellows agreement at the Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility.

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