The World Food Prize Foundation

World Food Prize Announces 21 Students for Renowned International Internship


High-School students will go abroad this summer to gain firsthand experience at prestigious international research centers, working to alleviate global hunger.


Des Moines, Iowa (April 18, 2012) – Nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. As the world faces difficult economic conditions, climate change, population growth, rising food prices and other global challenges, the next generation will be charged with continuing the battle against hunger and finding new solutions to feed the world.

This summer, an unprecedented number of American high school students – 21 students from Iowa, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas - have earned World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Internships and will delve into issues relating to hunger and poverty throughout the world during eight-week, all-expenses-paid summer internships at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The 21 students who have earned this internship will each travel to one of the following 13 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Tanzania, and Turkey. 

Each student will complete an eight-week assignment at an internationally renowned research center.  This year, interns will be working with experts at locations including: the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Philippines; Peking University in Beijing, China; the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru; the African Insect Science for Food and Health in Nairobi, Kenya; the International Livestock Research Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Patancheru, Hyderabad, India; among others.

 “It is our hope that by engaging these young people in actual hunger-fighting research, they will be inspired to pursue academic and career paths in science, food, agricultural and natural resource disciplines, and thus prepared to become tomorrow’s innovative scientific and humanitarian leaders,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize. 

The late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug often said of the Borlaug-Ruan Internship program that it “is contributing importantly to spawning the agricultural leaders of the decades 2040-2050.”

The Borlaug-Ruan Internship is a unique program that allows student interns to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the globe. While getting a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, the students become an integral part of a project, spending time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews, and gathering data.

The interns are involved in global projects dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger such as: fisheries and aquaculture studies; biotechnology; micro-credit and the women’s self-help concept; the influence of education on household food security; and the calculation of Vitamin C concentration in numerous potato varieties.  

A prerequisite for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is attending the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, which occurs each October and exposes students to opportunities associated with careers in agricultural, natural resource, life sciences and affiliated fields.  Youth Institute participants present essays and interact with World Food Prize Laureates and renowned experts to discuss issues relating to food security throughout the world. 

A list of the 21 Borlaug-Ruan International Interns, including photos, can be found online at:  

THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE is the foremost international award recognizing – without regard to race, religion, nationality or political beliefs – the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. It was founded 25 years ago by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. The award is presented each October in conjunction with the 3-day Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, which draws 1,400 people from 75 countries to address cutting-edge issues concerning food security.  Learn more at


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