The World Food Prize Foundation

The World Food Prize Announces the Opening of the Borlaug-Ruan Intern Application Process


The World Food Prize announced today that the application process for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program has opened and Ellen Franzenburg has been named the new director of this prestigious program. 

The eight-week program gives high school students the opportunity of a lifetime for a hands-on experience working alongside world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers around the world. The prestigious internship has sent over 300 students to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, specifically: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey. 

The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is unique from other study abroad programs because it allows participants to be an integral part of original research projects. The students not only get to work with critically acclaimed scientists, but also get a firsthand glimpse of pressing food security problems and nutritional obstacles in poverty-stricken regions of the developing world. 

Eligible is any student who has participated in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute and is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. Applicants must be at least in the 11th grade at the time they apply and must reach their 17th birthday by the first week of June of the year in which the internship takes place. 

Interns will be provided travel to and from the center, lodging, and meal expenses from the World Food Prize Foundation, but will not receive compensation for their work. 

The deadline to apply is 11:59PM PST December 15, 2019. The selection process is competitive and will include interviews and multi-state screening. The selection committee takes into account: 

  • Background and interests of the student applicants.

  • Number of research centers available to host interns. 

  • Project needs of participating research centers. 

Click here to view the online application and requirements.

Ellen Franzenburg joined the World Food Prize Foundation in 2018 as Director of Secretariat Operations. In August of 2019 she was named DIrector of Secretariat Operations and Global Internships. Her responsibilities include facilitating the World Food Prize Laureate and Borlaug Field Award selection processes, organizing the annual Laureate Lecture Series and coordinating the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program.

Franzenburg was herself a 2009 Borlaug-Ruan International Intern at the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan and a Wallace-Carver Intern in 2013. She has also served as a member of the World Food Prize Corps of Volunteers, where she assisted staff during the week of events in the fall with VIP schedules and registration.

Prior to her position at the World Food Prize, Franzenburg was working on growing her family's farm - Pheasant Run Farm located in Van Horne, Iowa. She also worked for two years at the USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment. She was a volunteer for USAID's Farmer to Farmer program through Catholic Relief Services in Uganda and Ethiopia, training farmers in grain postharvest handling and storage.

Franzenburg has a Bachelor's of Science in Agricultural Engineering and Global Resource Systems from Iowa State University.

Press Contact:
Nicole Barreca, Director of Communications and Events

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ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE: The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 49 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.


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