Exchange Programs

The U.S. Mission to Sri Lanka & Maldives regularly conducts academic, educational, citizen, arts, and professional exchange programs.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is pleased to announce the 2020 Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program (Borlaug Fellowship Program) for Sri Lanka.

The Borlaug Fellowship Program promotes agricultural productivity, food security, and economic growth through collaborative research.  The program offers training for agricultural research, leadership, and agricultural policy to university faculty, researchers, and government officials in Sri Lanka.

Competitively selected Fellows will work one-on-one with a U.S. mentor who will coordinate the training program.  After completion of the fellowship, the mentor will visit the Fellow’s home institution within 6 months to continue collaboration on the research topic.  USDA will select U.S. host institutions and mentors for each fellow.  The 2020 Borlaug Fellowship Program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Global Programs (GP), Fellowship Programs (FP).

The application deadline for the 2020 Borlaug Fellowship Program is February 25, 2020.


  • Provide early to mid-career agricultural economists, research scientists, faculty, and policymakers with one-on-one training opportunities in the fields of agricultural policy and research (see acceptable research areas below).
  • Provide agricultural economists, research scientists, faculty, and policymakers with practical experience and exposure to novel perspectives and/or new technologies that can be applied in their home institutions.
  • Foster collaboration and networking to improve agricultural productivity and trade.
  • Facilitate the transfer of new economic, scientific, and agricultural technologies to strengthen agricultural practices.
  • Address Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures that will ensure our trading partners use science and risk analysis as a foundation for food safety regulations and SPS measures that mirror U.S. food and agriculture safety standards.

Research Topics

  • Biotechnology: Gene editing for pest and disease resistance
  • Biotechnology: Development of resilient agriculture through molecular techniques

Length of Fellowships

Fellowships last between 12 weeks.  All program proposals must include goals that are achievable within that timeframe.  Fellowships can begin as early as August 2020 or as late as the summer of 2021.  After completing the U.S.-based portion of the fellowship, the mentor will visit the Fellow’s home institution approximately one year after the U.S. portion of the training.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates will be evaluated, interviewed, and selected based on the following criteria:

  • Citizen of Sri Lanka
  • Proficiency in English reading, writing, and speaking skills
  • Master’s degree or higher with at least two years of practical experience (minimum) after degree completion
  • Currently employed by a university, government ministry, research institution, or other scientific institution
  • Intention to continue working in the home country for a minimum of two years following the return from the United States
  • Early/mid-stage of professional career (2-10 years of experience preferred; candidates with more than 15 years of experience are weakly competitive; candidates with 20 years or more experience will not be considered)
  • Proposal must be directly related to one of the approved research areas listed.  USDA will not consider proposals for unapproved countries and/or topics.

Application Requirements

Eligible candidates must apply using the Fluid Review application website no later than February 25, 2020:  Applicants must submit the following documents to complete an application:

  • Application form (using Fluid Review website). Proposals submitted by email will not be considered
  • Detailed program proposal and research action plan, that includes answers to all questions on the application
  • Letter of Reference from Post in home country
  • Signed approval from applicant’s home institution
  • Two letters of recommendation (academic and professional preferred)
  • Copies of diploma(s) for all college/university degree(s) received
  • Transcripts
  • Copy of passport identification page 

Contact Information

For questions related to the application process please contact:

USDA-FAS Sri Lanka
Foreign Agricultural Service
Embassy of the United States of America
Colombo, Sri Lanka – 0112498721

Additional information is available on the website

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) provides a diverse group of emerging student leaders with a scholarship for one semester of non-degree academic study at a U.S. college or university. The program is sponsored by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and aims to recruit participants from underrepresented, non-elite backgrounds, who have not had other opportunities to study in the United States. Successful applicants can expect an in-depth exposure to U.S. society, culture, and academic institutions, as well as opportunities to enhance their professional skills.

All participants will be enrolled in full-time, non-degree, undergraduate course work chosen from their host institution’s existing curriculum. Participants will be required to take one, 3-credit U.S. studies course to enhance their understanding of the United States. Participants will live in campus housing facilities with American peers, and will be required to participate in twenty hours of community service. There will also be a virtual arrival orientation and an in-person end-of-program workshop.


  1. Applicants must be a citizen of the country in which they apply for the Global UGRAD Program.
  2. Applicants must be studying in the country in which they apply for the Global UGRAD Program.
  3. Scholarships will be granted to students who currently are enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs only, having completed a minimum of their first semester of study. Participants must have at least one semester or an equivalent term to complete at their home institutions upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program.
  4. Applicants should demonstrate leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
  5. Applicants must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 45ibt.
  6. Preference will be given to those who have had little or NO experience in the U.S. or outside of their home countries.
  7. Applicants are required to return directly to their home country after the completion of the program.
  8. Applicants are over 18 years of age.

Global UGRAD online application

Application deadline December 31, 2019.
For more information regarding the program, visit the Word Learning’s webpage for Global UGRAD.