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National Needs Fellowship: Opportunities for prospective Master and PhD students in soil health and data science


With support from the National Needs Graduate Fellowship program (NNF) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food, the University of Florida (UF) is seeking five Graduate Fellows (four at the Masters level and one at the Doctoral level) to study Soil Health and Data Science. The cohort of Fellows will matriculate through the Soil and Water Sciences Department in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences while also collaborating with and receiving training from data science experts in the Department of Biology and the School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences. The Fellowships are available to start in Fall 2022 and all Fellows will receive a bi-weekly stipend, full tuition waiver, and health insurance. Two years of support is available for the Masters-level Fellowships and four years of support is available for the Doctoral-level Fellowship.

Training within this cohort will equip Fellows with an expertise in the fundamentals of soil science and soil health and the interdisciplinary training to couple cutting edge data analytics with those fundamentals. Fellows will be engaged in data-enabled, team-based research that translates complex soil data into actionable management practices, extension recommendations, and/or policy recommendations and will receive focused training in leadership, diversity, and extension. Fellows will also have multiple opportunities to attend/present their work at professional research and/or extension-based conferences.


o   Soil Science
o   Statistics
o   Water Science
o   Data Science
o   Environmental Science
o   Computer Science
o   Geography
o   Computer Engineering
o   Environmental Microbiology
o   Forestry

How to apply?

1) Contact at least one of the faculty listed below and indicate your interest in the NNF program.

2) After communication with at least one potential advisor, apply for a Masters (Thesis) or PhD program though the Department of Soil and Water Sciences. General deadline is January 1st, 2022. Instructions can be found here:

3) In the online application, include a two-page Statement of Purpose reflecting on personal experience and career interests in soil health, environmental sustainability, or data science. Note that GRE score is NOT considered or required for the application.

4) Once your application is complete, email Dr. Yang Lin at to state your intent to be considered for the Fellowships.

For questions regarding the application process, email Dr. Yang Lin at

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