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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Purdue University
  • Diane R Wang
  • (908) 392-4474
  • Gary Burniske
Award Date:06/09/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 299,945
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 299,945
  • FY 2021=$299,945
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.079
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:IRES Track 1: Plant Science for Global Food Security: Undergraduate Research Experiences at the International Rice Research Institute (Los Baños, Philippines)
Federal Award ID Number:2106718
DUNS ID:072051394
Parent DUNS ID:072051394
Program:IRES Track I: IRES Sites (IS)
Program Officer:
  • Kleanthis Psarris
  • (703) 292-5048

Awardee Location

Street:Young Hall
City:West Lafayette
County:West Lafayette
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:International Rice Research Institute

Abstract at Time of Award

Producing sufficient food for a burgeoning world population while coping with increased climatic variability and environmental degradation is a challenge for humankind. Our global food supply chains are inter-connected, whereby problems that arise in one region have repercussions in others. The next generation of U.S. scientists and thought leaders must reach beyond national borders to find and implement effective solutions to meet the challenge of feeding the world. To help address this need, Plant Science for Global Food Security (PSGFS) initiative prepares students for globally-oriented engagements in their future careers. PSGFS is an IRES research and training program that aims to strengthen the knowledge and abilities of students to conduct plant science research with international partners that contributes to resolving global hunger. The program recruits undergraduates from Purdue University and five partner universities, of which four are minority-serving institutions. Over three years, 24 undergraduate STEM students (8 per cohort) with academic interest in the plant sciences and international engagement spend six weeks conducting research over the summer at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in Los Baños, Philippines. During their research experience, students lead projects to evaluate a shared set of publicly-available genetic materials, master lab- and field-based techniques, and develop scientific communication skills under the mentorship of top scientists. As IRRI is home to hundreds of long-term and short-term researchers from all around the world, PSGFS participants have exciting opportunities to interact with scholars of diverse cultural and training backgrounds. Plant-based agriculture of the 21st century faces a multitude of challenges. Accordingly, crop breeders are faced with developing new varieties within these dynamic constraints. While the gene pools of wild and weedy relatives of the world’s major crop species are known to harbor beneficial allelic variation, they are rarely tapped due to the weedy characteristics that accompany crosses using wild parents. In PSGFS, students evaluate a newly released genetic resource in rice: three populations of Chromosome Segment Substitution Lines developed from crosses between three wild relatives and IR64, a historically important cultivar. These lines have already eliminated most of the undesirable wild traits through many generations of backcrosses with IR64 and await systematic plant phenotyping for their potential benefits. Working in a team setting, students are cross-trained in research techniques of various STEM disciplines, such as plant genetics, pathology, physiology and entomology. Together, the 24 students over three years will assemble the first comprehensive and publicly-available dataset on these valuable new genetic resources. Through participation in this program, students (1) contribute towards scientific research for the genetic improvement of rice through hands-on technical training in a structured research experience; (2) understand the role plant science plays in the context of global food security through interactions with international researchers; and (3) establish relationships with scientists and other researchers at IRRI that extend into participation and strengthening of plant science research networks. Students will gain an appreciation of how international research is conducted, how international research networks function and the kinds of global opportunities they have before them. They will share their research experiences in their respective university communities and instill their enthusiasm to a broad range of people, thereby raising the curiosity of their peers and others in their social and academic networks. PSGFS provides benefits to society by helping to position the next generation of U.S. scientists as leaders in the global research community. This project is jointly funded by the International Research Experiences for Students program (IRES) and the Division of Biological Infrastructure. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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