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The Rodney Nichols Science and Technology Innovation Fellowship



The Rodney Nichols Science and Technology Innovation Fellowship

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rodney “Rod” Nichols, a former CRDF Global Board Member, passed away in August 2018. During the course of his career, he served as the Vice President and Executive Vice President at Rockefeller University; President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie Corporation of New York; member of the Executive Committee for the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government; and consultant to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He also served as an advisor to the State, Defense, and Energy Departments; National Institutes of Health; National Science Foundation; Peace Corps; United Nations; Congressional Office of Technology Assessment; and the National Academies of Science and Engineering. While an applied physicist in practice, Rod Nichols embodied the spirit of science diplomacy, especially in an era when science and technology innovation paves the way for solutions to global challenges. In honor of Mr. Nichols’ commitment to science and technology and his belief in the need for science diplomacy, CRDF Global is pleased to announce The Rodney Nichols Science and Technology Innovation Fellowship.   

The Fellowship

The Rodney Nichols Science and Technology Innovation Fellowship is a 6-month fellowship program supporting early-career U.S.-based scientists who are working to obtain or have obtained their PhD in the past 5 years, as they engage in innovative, international efforts to advance the field of science and technology in a meaningful and applicable manner. Each fellowship will:

  • Strengthen science diplomacy by pairing a U.S. scientist with an international host institution to collaborate on innovation advancement in the science and technology space;
  • Provide mentorship to early-career U.S. scientists through a formalized mentor pairing; and
  • Enable early-career U.S. scientists to develop professional skills in the scientific field through opportunities to professionally share and report on scientific findings. 

The focus area for the 2021 Fellowship is the Agricultural sciences: sciences dealing with food and fiber production and processing. They include the technologies of soil cultivation, crop cultivation and harvesting, animal production, and the processing of plant and animal products for human consumption. Sub-themes can include but are not limited to Drone Technology, Biotechnology, Mobile Application, Horticulture, and Aquaculture. 

The selected fellow will conduct fundamental or applied research in partnership with an international research institution for a period of six months. The fellow will have the opportunity to travel for up to one month to the host country to meet with research partners. Travel may be coordinated as a one-month-long trip, or 2-3 shorter trips depending on the needs and discretion of the fellow. Total travel will not exceed 30 days. 

Fellowships include round-trip airfare from the U.S. to the international host institute; stipend for meals and incidentals; lodging expenses; and emergency medical insurance while abroad during the fellowship.

CRDF Global welcomes applications from early-career scientists and PhD students collaborating with an international host institution in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are ineligible for Rod Nichols Fellowship funding.

Applicants are encouraged to connect with international host institutions of interest to their research and are welcome to apply without letters of commitment from potential international partners. A commitment letter is not required for the application, but a commitment letter will be taken into consideration during the review process.  CRDF Global will work with applicants to identify suitable host institutions relevant to their work.

Please submit the application form (in Word or PDF format) and required documents outlined in the Program Announcement to no later than September 30, 2020.

Please address all inquiries to the fellowship team at