NSF IGERT Graduate Program – Genetic Pest Management, Agricultural Pests & Social Impacts

A message from NSF IGERT for students interested in the social and natural sciences who may be considering going on for a PhD:

We are recruiting 6-7 students to participate in a PhD graduate program. This NSF funded IGERT in Genetic Engineering and Society: The Case of Transgenic Pests is located at North Carolina State University.  This will be our IGERT’s third year. Students of the 2012 Cohort have been examining questions linked to the genetic modification of mosquitoes while students of the 2013 Cohort have been delving into issues surrounding invasive rodents. Both cohorts are also extensively examining the scientific, cultural and ethical ramifications their respective topics present.  We are excited about expanding our discussion to include the technical hurdles and social questions associated with genetic engineering as applied to agricultural pests. Possible applications of these technologies include offsetting losses to crop harvests and alleviating related negative social impacts agricultural pests worldwide. As in the past, the students of the 2014 Cohort will explore the social, ethical, and ecological consequences of current pest control techniques as well as those associated with a genetically engineered approach. Such impacts include (but are not restricted to) food inequality, the role of scientific literacy and local expertise in subsistence and industrial agricultures, ideals of food autonomy, and the concept of food origin as a way to combat mass production.

We are looking for excellent students who are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to their graduate training.  Students may have majored in humanities, mathematics, or a social/natural science, and should be seeking broad and rigorous graduate training across these areas. We welcome students with either a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree specializing in one of these areas who seek strong interdisciplinary training at the doctoral level.

Students who participate in the program will receive a PhD in a home doctoral program and a graduate minor in Genetic Engineering and Society. The minor will include four courses, one of which will be taught in Latin America. In addition to full fellowships ($30,000 per year), funds are available for international internships.

Please visit our website for more details on the program, including a list of participating
faculty: http://GeneticEngSoc.ncsu.edu/.  In addition to contacting potential faculty mentors, prospective students are encouraged to email questions to: GES_GPM@ncsu.edu.

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