Research Request for Proposals - Pork Checkoff

Research Request for Proposals

NPB Pork Scholar Program – 2022

Deadline: Tuesday, February 22 at 5 p.m. CST


Labor supply is a critical issue across the pork industry and developing the next generation of industry thought-leaders and decision-makers is key to the continuous advancement of the production of safe, wholesome pork for human consumption. Since 2020, the National Pork Board has invested in the education and training of professional students (M.S., Ph.D., Veterinary-Ph.D.) in disciplines critical to providing a pipeline of highly skilled employees to fill a variety of needs in the pork industry.

TO BE CLEAR, the intended outcome of this program is to support enhanced educational and training opportunities for professional students who are driven to become highly trained in areas that are critical to and have direct application in U.S. 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, the research described in the proposal MUST be in an area of importance to the pork industry. Additionally, proposals from or in collaboration with institutions focused on the education and training of individuals currently underrepresented in the pork value chain are HIGHLY encouraged.

Creativity in designing individualized graduate programs that combine education and training from traditional and non-traditional fields of expertise is highly encouraged. While the following fields of expertise were identified as “traditional” and “non-traditional” by the Workforce Needs Assessment workgroup 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


  • To be considered proposals MUST be submitted by Feb. 22, 2022 at 5 p.m. CT
  • Proposal selection will occur the week of March 15
  • Notification of grant awards will occur by April 1
  • Project funding will begin May 1


Training of professional students described in your proposal may take many forms but MUST demonstrate evidence that the proposed training goes beyond what is typical of a mentor-mentee relationship between faculty and graduate student. Evaluation of the proposed training components will be partially based on, but 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/or other industry consultants.
  • Development of work experience/internship programs for students where they are embedded with 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.
  • Development of acumen necessary for understanding how business decisions are made in companies who fill a sector of the pork value chain.


  • Added value will be given to proposals with representation from or, collaboration with institutions focused on educating individuals that are currently underrepresented in the pork value chain.
  • 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 highly 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 the ability to train multiple students simultaneously.
  • Multiple awards cannot be combined to cover a single student nor can multiple students be supported from one award. Each award is intended to support a single student.
  • Awards will be for a maximum of two years and can be used for either M.S., Ph.D., or DVM-Ph.D. programs. Second-year funding is contingent upon 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 tuition and stipend costs above the limit of each fellowship are the responsibility of the successful faculty member and the university.

Please direct all questions to:
Dr. Chris Hostetler, NPB Director of Animal Science
(515) 223-2606

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