The World Food Prize

Iowa Youth Institute



Don't miss the Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University - Monday, April 27, 2015!



IYI Paper Instructions 

(Please note: instructions do not change from year to year as of 2014)

Sample Paper 1
Sample Paper 2
Sample Paper 3
Sample Paper 4
Suggested Paper Writing TImeline

Student Registration & Paper Submission Form 
(Due 3/27/2015)

Teacher Registration Form

Important Dates

Contact the Program Director

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At this exciting day-long event, participating high school students have the opportunity to:

  • Present research and recommendations on how to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with local experts;
  • Connect with other students from across Iowa to share ideas, identify solutions to these problems and build lasting friendships;
  • Interact with global leaders in science, industry and policy;
  • Take part in educational sessions and interactive tours at Iowa State University to explore current research and issues in international development and life sciences;
  • Meet innovative researchers, professors and college students in Iowa working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security around the world, and;
  • Earn scholarships to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.


ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS regarding eligibility for the Iowa Youth Institute and Global Youth Institute, scholarships, and internships 

Click here to see photos from the 2014 Iowa Youth Institute. 

Click here to see photos from the 2013 Iowa Youth Institute.  

            Click here to see photos from the 2012 Iowa Youth Institute. 


The Global Youth Institute: Eighty exceptional students at the Iowa Youth Institute will be competitively selected to represent the state of Iowa as delegates at the Global Youth Institute, held in Des Moines on October 15-17, 2015. There, they will join over 300 other outstanding high school students and teachers from across the United States and around the world for an exciting three-day program to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and the more than 1,000 global leaders from 75 countries attending the World Food Prize's annual international symposium.

By participating in the Global Youth Institute, students are eligible to apply for a prestigious Borlaug-Ruan International Internship or USDA Wallace-Carver Internship.

The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship: an all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on experience for high school students to work with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Since 1998, over 227 Borlaug-Ruan Interns have traveled to Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Turkey to get a firsthand view of pressing food security and nutritional problems in poverty-stricken areas and take part in ground-breaking research.

The Wallace-Carver Internship: a paid two-month research or policy placement at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory or field office, or at USDA headquarters in Washington D.C. In 2015, up to 100 Wallace-Carver Fellows will intern at USDA, analyzing agricultural and economic policy; assisting in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and taking part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research. Fellows travel to Washington DC at the start of their internship for a week-long high-level leadership program hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

To participate in the 2015 Iowa Youth Institute, students research a global issue and write a two-three page paper under the supervision of a teacher mentor (using the downloadable guidelines above). To participate:

  1. Contact jacob Hunter, Director of Iowa Education Programs at the World Food Prize, at 515-245-3727 or and indicate your interest in participation;
  2. Each student works with their teacher to individually prepare a research paper about an issue impacting world hunger (guidelines available here and suggested timeline for completing the research paper available here);
  3. Each student's research paper must be electronically submitted no later than Friday, March 27, 2015 using the Paper Submission Form link;
  4. Students and teachers participate in the Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University on Monday, April 27.


Lunch and program expenses at the Iowa Youth Institute are provided by the World Food Prize Foundation and Iowa State University for participating student delegates and their teacher mentors. Both student and teacher participants must organize and fund their own transportation to and from the event at Iowa State University.

For more information on how to participate in the Iowa Youth Institute, contact the World Food Prize Director of Iowa Education Programs Jacob Hunter at or at (515) 245-3727.


Since 1994, over 1,000 Iowa high school students and 400 teachers from 200 high schools across the state have participated in the Global Youth Institute.

More than 200 Iowa high school students have traveled to Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East through the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program to work alongside renowned scientists at leading research centers. 

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