The goal of the Seed Grant program is to support awardees in establishing a strong international relationship that will continue to expand and flourish into a larger and substantial international collaborative effort.

The funding of the International Seed Grants program is provided by the Arlys Conrad Endowment Fund, and the applications are reviewed by the International Programs and Policy Committee. The Office of International Programs issues requests for seed grant proposals once a semester.

Spring 2024


Diane Plewa, Crop Sciences, Plant Disease Identification and Outreach: Shared Experiences between the National University of Colombia Medellín and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign”

Gopu Raveendran Nair and Jorge Guzman, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, “Valorization of Pineapple Leaf Fiber for Adsorption of Phosphorous from Soil: a collaborative effort with Costa Rica”

Hope Michelson, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, “Digital Solutions for Climate Adaptation in Smallholder Rubber Farming” (Indonesia)

Mohammed Kamruzzaman, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, “Deep learning based hyperspectral imaging for hatching eggs gender detection” (Japan)

Sarah Janzen, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, “Innovative financial tools for increased agricultural investment by smallholder farmers in Kenya”

Isabella Condotta, Animal Sciences,I-PICS: Illinois Pig Identification through Computer Vision System” (Brazil) 



Fall 2023

Dr. Damir Torrico Arispe, Food Science and Human Nutrition, "Implementation of machine learning algorithms for understanding the physico-chemical and sensory properties of fermented tropical plant-based models in Honduras"

Dr. Carena van Riper, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, "Supporting sustainability transformations with research into the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities in the Ötscher region of Austria"

Dr. Matthew Wheeler, Animal Sciences, "Introduction of Girolando, a Tropically Adapted, Climate-Smart Dairy Breed to Sri Lanka to Uplift its Dairy Industry"


Spring 2023


Dr. Camila Urbano Braz, Animal Sciences, “Exploring the Genetic Regulation of Reproduction in South African Sheep Breeds”

Dr. Catalina Herrera Almanza, Agricultural & Consumer Economics, “Revisiting the Curse of the Mummy -ji: Mothers-in-Law and Women’s Welfare” (India)

Dr. Italo Braz Goncalves de Lima, Animal Sciences, “Using different sensors to determine forage intake by beef cattle in a tropical environment” (Brazil)


Fall 2022

Dr. Juan Loor, Animal Sciences, “Oil and condensed tannins alter the ruminal microbiome in ruminants raised under tropical conditions in Vietnam” 

Dr. Marin Skidmore, Agricultural & Consumer Economics, “The role of buyer-seller fidelity in zero-deforestation supply chain policy” (Brazil)

Dr. Matthew Stasiewicz, Food Science & Human Nutrition, “Scalability and Technology Transfer of Single-Kernel Spectral Sorting to Reduce Mycotoxins in Maize from Upper Eastern Kenya”

Dr. Salah Issa, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, "Survey of Agricultural Machinery Injuries in Pakistan"


Spring 2022

Dr. Jaume Amengual, Food Science & Human Nutrition, “Towards the development of a mouse model to study the implication of Lipin-2 in atherosclerosis” (Spain)

Dr. Shadi Atallah, Agricultural & Consumer Economics, “Indigenous Communities and Species Conservation in India—Examining the Role of Nature-Based Practices in Promoting Ecosystem Services”

Dr. Gopu Nair and Dr. Jorge Guzman, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, “Hemp-Based Cellulosic Fiber Value Addition—A Collaborative Effort with Poland”

Dr. Al Roca, Animal Sciences, "Genomic analyses of elephants" (Denmark)

Fall 2021

Dr. Crystal Allen, Animal Sciences:  “Improvement of Dairy Cattle Genetics in Tanzania”

Dr. Hong Chen, Division of Nutritional Sciences:  “Functional and mechanistical analyses of bioactive components from Kluthuk Banana (Musa balbisiana) originated from Indonesia on gut health”

Dr. Kent Rausch and Dr. Ann-Perry Witmer, Agricultural and Biological Engineering:  “International Collaboration for Development of an Experimental Bench Scale Dryer to Improve Cardamom Quality on Guatemalan Farms”

Dr. Michel Robe, Agricultural and Consumer Economics:  “Unanticipated Components of USDA Crop Condition and Progress Reports:  A Machine-learning Approach to Quantifying the Impact on Food Prices” (Germany)

Dr. Michael Ward, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences:  “Understanding the ecology of a species of conservation concern on their wintering grounds in southern Mexico”

Spring 2021

Dr. McKenzie Johnson, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences: "Environmental Peace in Two Dimensions: Assessing the role of Environmental Peacebuilding in the Colombian Peace Process”

Dr. Catalina Herrera-Almanza, Agricultural and Consumer Economics: “Obesity, Maternal and Infant Health in Mexico”

Fall 2020

Dr. Juan Arbelaez, Department of Crop Sciences, "Integration of Multi-Trait Genomic Prediction Models to Improve Rice Grain Quality for Latin America and The Caribbean"

Dr. Salah Issa, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, "Investigating and Improving Safety for Soybean Innovation Lab’s Multi-Crop Thresher"

Dr. Michael Miller, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, "Microbial diversity analysis of a cheese facility"

Dr. Al Roca, Department of Animal Sciences, "DNA-based software to identify the source of confiscated trafficked lions"

Spring 2020

Dr. Neslihan Akdeniz, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, "How to dispose of hatchery waste in the egg industry: developing collaboration with the largest layer hen hatching company in Japan”

Dr. Yi-Cheng Wang, Food Science and Human Nutrition, “Developing Biosensors for the Detection of Foodborne Contaminants” (China)

Fall 2019

Dr. Anna Arthur, Food Science and Human Nutrition, "Feasibility of a carbohydrate-restricted, high-fat diet to improve cancer outcomes: A pilot randomized controlled feeding trial" (East Jerusalem)

Dr. Angela Lyons, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, "Enhancing the Livelihood and Economic Security of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon"

Dr. Kenneth Olson, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (Emeritus), "Impact of extracting massive amounts of arsenic laced groundwater on the land subsidence and food supply of the Vietnamese living on the Mekong Delta"

Dr. Cory Suski, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, "Role of size-selected harvest on stress responsiveness: implications for harvest fisheries" (Germany)

Spring 2019

Dr. D.K. Lee, Crop Sciences, “Integrating Deep Learning Technology to improve management practices and environmental impact of energy crop production” (South Korea)

Dr. Glen Hartman, Crop Sciences, “Testing Seed Quality of African Grown Soybeans and Development of a Guide to Seedborne Pathogens”

Dr. Tiffany Jamann, Crop Sciences, “Using host resistance to protect maize from tar spot” (Ecuador)

Dr. Anna Kukekova, Animal Sciences, “Effect of early life experiences on gene regulation and adult behavior” (Austria, Russia)

Fall 2018

Dr. Jaime Amengual Terrasa, Food Science & Human Nutrition, “Evaluation of the biological properties of neurosporaxanthin, a fungal carotenoid with potential provitamin A activity” (Spain)

Dr. Rex Gaskins, Animal Sciences & IGB, “Building a Partnership with the African Microbiome Institute” (South Africa)

Dr.  McKenzie Johnson, Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, “Environment and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in Colombia”

Dr. Jason Ridlon, Animal Sciences, “Androgen production by urinary microbiome as a novel risk factor for prostate cancer” (South Africa)

Dr. Chance Riggins, Crop Sciences, “Collaboration for research on betalain pigments in Amaranthus species and implications for studies of stress adaptation, enhanced nutrition, and natural food colorants” (Mexico)

Dr. Maria Villamill, Crop Sciences, “Net Benefits of cover cropping when using glyophosate for spring growth suppression” (Argentina)

Spring 2018

Dr. Kevin McSweeney, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, "Towards a mechanistic understanding of the relationship between soil and podoconiosis – a neglected tropical disease" (Guatemala)

Dr. Yong-Su Jin, Food Science and Human Nutrition, "Modulation of gut microbiota using oligosaccharides derived from marine biomass" (South Korea)

Dr. Karen Kramer, Human Development and Family Studies, "A Social Capital Perspective on the Fertility Crisis in South Korea"

Dr. Peter Christensen, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, "Expanding Access to Mobility-on-Demand Services in Cairo" (Egypt)

Dr. Alfred "Al" Roca, Animal Sciences, "Conservation genetics of Indonesian rhinoceros species"

Fall 2017

Dr. Kathy Baylis (Agricultural and Consumer Economics): “Effects of irrigation on smallholder welfare:  Evidence from Haiti”

Dr. Andrew Margenot (Crop Sciences):  “Developing novel approaches to assess and manage soil heavy metal contamination in Ecuadorian cacao production”

Dr. Andrew Steelman (Animal Sciences):  “Neuro-aggregate culture model to study oligodendrocyte plasticity” (Japan)

Dr. Anthony Studer (Crop Sciences):  “Dissection of photosynthetic evolution using C3-C4 intermediates and interspecies” (Argentina)

Dr. Frank Zhao (Crop Sciences):  “Minimize the threat to the apple and pear industries in China due to recent discovery of the fire blight disease in surrounding countries”

Spring 2017

Drs. Cristina Alvarez-Mingote and Paul McNamara (Agricultural and Consumer Economics): “A New Approach to Measure Extension Quality” (Malawi)

Dr. Juan Andrade (Food Science and Human Nutrition):  “Food Environments in Urban and Rural Ecuador”

Dr. Yuji Arai (Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences): “Global Adoption of Manure for Sustainable Soil Phosphorus Management” (China)

Dr. Felipe Cardoso (Animal Sciences):  “Evaluation of the Supplementation of Rumen-Protected Methionine on Lipid Profile of the Preimplantation Embryo and uterine tissue of Holstein Cows” (Columbia)

Dr. Hope Michelson (Agricultural and Consumer Economics):  Supply Chains and Fertilizer Quality: Can Agro-Dealer Incentives Change Quality Outcomes” (Tanzania)

Dr. Dan Miller (Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences):  “Building Knowledge of the Long-term Impacts of International Conservation Aid in Benin’s W National Park”

Dr. Hayri Onal (Agricultural and Consumer Economics): “Impacts of Displaced Populations on Economies of Host Countries: The Case of Turkey Hosting Three Million Refugees”

Fall 2016

Benjamin Crost, Agricultural and Consumer Economics: “Using Microcredit to Facilitate the Adoption of Postharvest Technologies: A Randomized Control Trial” (Partnering with International Rice Research Institute in The Philippines)

Erik Sacks, Crop Sciences: “Identifying genes that confer flowering‐stage heat‐tolerance in rice” (Partnering with International Rice Research Institute in The Philippines)

Matthew Wheeler & Marcello Rubessa, Animal Sciences: “New strategy for embroyo freezing” (Partnering with University of Naples, Federico II, Italy)

Spring 2016

Rabin Bhattarai, Agricultural and Biological Engineering: “Water resources management for food security in Northern Haiti”

Maria Cattai de Godoy, Animal Sciences: “Building an international research program with Brazil and the companion animal nutrition program of Illinois”

Laura Christianson, Crop Sciences: “Woodchip bioreactors for agricultural water quality improvement: International assessment of design methods and environmental trade-offs”

Megan Dailey, Animal Sciences: “Metabolic control of adult sperm cell proliferation and tissue growth”

Kelly Freeman Bost, Human Development and Family Studies: “Preschoolers’ relationships, self-regulations, and pediatric obesity in three sociocultural contexts”

Peter Goldsmith, Agricultural and Consumer Economics: “Identification of soybean diseases and pests in Africa:  Development of a diagnostic guide”

Anna Kukekova, Animal Sciences: “The timing of fear behavior in juveniles predicts adult behavior”

Fall 2015

Dr. Cory Suski, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences: “Field tests of fisheries induced evolution.” Partner: Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Hong Chen, Food Science and Human Nutrition: “Molecular mechanisms of anti-inflammation and apoptosis-induction by herbal extracts from Toona sinensis (Chinese Toon leaf).” Partner: Xi’An Jiaotong University, China

Dr. Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Food Science and Human Nutrition: “Reengineering of a metamaterial-based biosensor for early cancer detection.” Partner: Bogazici University, Turkey

Dr. Alfred Roca, Animal Sciences: “Conservation genetics of the elephants of Kenya.” Partner: Kenya Wildlife Service

Fall 2014

Dr. Paul Davidson, Agricultural and Biological Engineering: “Controlled environment vegetable production to alleviate adverse environmental impacts and increase food security”

Dr. Youngsoo Lee, Food Science and Human Nutrition: “Hybrid pickering emulsion for encapsulation of light sensitive micronutrients”

Dr. Rita Mumm, Crop Sciences: “Evaluation of the West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) and its recently-developed PhD program in Plant Breeding to identify key factors for effective design and implementation of new MS programs in Crop Improvement”

Spring 2015

Dr. Juan Andrade, Food Science & Human Nutrition: “Fortification of dairy products to ameliorate micronutrient deficiencies in India”

Dr. Matthew Hudson, Crop Sciences: “High performance computing for soybean agriculture”

Dr. Cameron Pittelkow, Crop Sciences: “Improving the sustainability of intensive rice cropping systems in the Taihu Lake region of China”

Dr. Yuanhui Zhang, Agriculture & Biological Engineering: “UIUC-CAU research and education collaboration in environment-enhancing energy”

Dr. Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, Crop Sciences: “Unleashing the power of molecular dynamics for genomics of crop improvement”

Dr. Gail Ferguson, Human & Community Development (HCD): “Feel American, eat American, weigh American? Remote acculturation and obesity risk in Mexico”

Spring 2014

Dr. Patrick Brown, Crop Sciences: “Genomics-accelerated breeding of multipurpose edible Jatropha for smallholders’ perennial hillside agriculture in Haiti”

Drs. Richard Cooke and Alan Hansen, Agricultural and Biological Engineering: “Fabrication and field testing of a manual grain planter for Sierra Leone”

Dr. Gail Ferguson, Human and Community Development, Family Resiliency Center: “Americanization, Health Habits, and Family Life in Jamaica”

Dr. Cory Suski, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences: “Impacts of growth and climate change on mangrove fishes in The Bahamas”

Drs. Yilan Xu and Angela Lyons, Agricultural and Consumer Economics: “Shadow Banking in China: Demand for Formal and Informal Financial Markets”

Fall 2013

Dr. Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, Department of Crop Sciences: "Untangling Organismal Diversification" (Germany)

Dr. Felipe Cardoso, Department of Animal Sciences: "Re-hydrated Corn Grain particle Size: Digestion and Performance in Dairy Cattle" (Brazil)

Dr. Tara Felix, Department of Animal Sciences: "Establishing Research Collaboration with Argentina to Enhance Future Funding Requests"

Dr. David Miller, Department of Animal Sciences: "Sperm  Storage and Chemotaxis in Animals”

Dr. Kent Rausch, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering: "Mitigating Postharvest Storage Losses in Southeast Asia"

Dr. Margarita De L Teran Garcia, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition: "Obesity, Metabolic Disease and Kidney Damage" (Mexico)

Spring 2013

Dr. Aaron Hager, Department of Crop Sciences: "Facilitating Scholarly Exchange, Collaboration and Student Recruitment through the Development of International Agronomy Day on the Campus of the University of Illinois"

Dr. Mohammed Babadoost, Department of Crop Sciences: "To Teach Plant Disease Diagnosis and Management in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan"

Dr. Gustavo Caetano‐Anolles, Department of Crop Sciences: "Linking Protein Evolution and Molecular Dynamics"

Dr. Jody Endres, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences: "Bioenergy and Transformation to a Green Economy: Building Socio‐economic Metrics through Comparative Approaches"

Dr. Hong Chen, Department of Food Sciences & Human Nutrition: "Using Ultra High Purity of Extract of Gingko Biloba in the Fighting Against Liver Metastasis of Colon Cancer"

Dr. Michael Ward, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences: "Tracking Migratory Birds across the Gulf of Mexico: The Inclusion of Cuba"

Fall 2012

Dr. Barrett Kirwan, Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics: “Impact of China’s household registration reform on housing rental prices”

Dr. Yoshie Hanzawa, Department of Crop Sciences: “Developing educational contribution of ACES‐UIUC in genomics‐enabled plant breeding in UK”

Dr. Juan Andrade, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition: “Physical activity among farmers in rural Honduras”

Dr. Gail M. Ferguson, Department of Human & Community Development: “The reggae values study”

Spring 2012

Dr. Kathy Baylis, Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics: “Effect of Marketing Institutions on Post‐harvest Loss and Farmer Welfare”

Dr. Yuanhui Zhang, Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering: “A USA‐Brazil‐China Consortium for Environment‐Enhancing Energy Research and Education”

Dr. Xinlei Wang, Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering: “Develop Exchange Program between University Illinois and Zhejiang University for Student Study Abroad”

Dr. Richard S. Gates, Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering: “First
International Workshop on Emissions, Ventilation and Well‐‐‐Being for Animal Production Systems”

Dr. Patrick J. Brown, Department of Crop Sciences: “Genomics—Assisted Improvement of Jatropha as a Source of Feed, Fuel, and Hillside Stabilization in Haiti”

Fall 2011

Dr. Hayri Onal (Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics): “Bioenergy, Food, and Global Environment: A Modeling System for the Agricultural Sectors of US, Brazil, India and China."   

Dr. Youfu (Frank) Zhao (Department of Crop Sciences): “Bacterial genome sequencing and data analysis as a tool for the Faculty Development Program at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in Pakistan

Ms. Theresa Herman (Department of Crop Sciences): “Developing Interactions with Rwanda to Improve Soybean Production 

Dr. Tony Grift (Department of Ag and Biological Engineering) and Dr. Martin Bohn (Department of Crop Sciences): “Changing the course of Maize breeding for a changing world”  

Dr. Rodney Johnson (U of I ACES Division of Nutritional Sciences): "Discussion of future collaborative projects and identification of potential candidate students for Exchange" 

Dr. Youngsoo Lee (U of I ACES Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition): “Collaboration for Research on Efficient Bioactive Compounds Delivery Systems Using Microencapsulation Techniques with Ewha Woman’s University in Korea”  

Dr. H. Rex Gaskins (U of I ACES Department of Animal Sciences): "Comparative molecular analysis of microbial hydrogen metabolism in the rumen of Bostaurus, B. indicus and swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)"

Spring 2011

Dr. Gustavo Caetano-Anollés (U of I ACES Department of Crop Sciences) will be fostering collaborative links with Korea in studying the power of evolutionary genomics. Dr. Caetano-Anollés was awarded a $2,500 seed grant.

Dr. Michael Ellis (U of I ACES Department of Animal Sciences) will be developing a diploma in Swine Production Science organized jointly by the Universidad Nactional Autónoma de México, the Instituto Nactional de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuario and the U of I College of ACES. Dr. Ellis was awarded a $2,500 seed grant.

Dr. DoKyoung "D.K." Lee (U of I ACES Department of Crop Sciences) will be collaborating with the Université de Rennes, France, in researching prairie cordgrass, a bioenergy crop, in order to develop a model for sustainable feedstock production on less productive lands. Dr. Lee was awarded a $2,500 seed grant.

Dr. Juan J. Loor (U of I ACES Department of Animal Sciences) will be collaborating with the Universidad de Leon, Spain, and conducting research on the role of unsaturated lipid supplementation on mammary gland molecular systems in order to enhance milk quality in Aasaf dairy sheep. Dr. Loor was awarded a $2,500 seed grant.

Dr. Mindy Mallory (U of I ACES Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics) will be developing a collaboration with faculty and students at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi on the marketing of grains and oilseeds in India. Dr. Mallory was awarded a $2,500 seed grant.

Fall 2010

Dr. Gale Summerfield (Human and Community Development): A study to address migrant women’s land rights in China, in collaboration with the Women’s Studies Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Summerfield hopes to lay the foundation for economic restructuring policies and the well-being of families in China.

Dr. Juan Andrade (Food Science and Human Nutrition): In partnership with Zamorano University in Honduras, Dr. Andrade will focus on the Nutrigems project, which will teach Honduran mothers how to fortify rice with iron in order to battle malnutrition in rural areas.

Dr. J. Ryan Stewart (Crop Sciences): Enhancing understanding of undergraduate horticulture students, at the U of I and Hokkaido University in Japan, of methodologies in plant propagation useful for propagation of uncommon fruit crops native to the U.S. and Japan.

Spring 2010

Dr. Katherine Baylis - Assistant Professor for the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics was awarded a 2010 Internationl Seed Grant for her project entitled, "Community governance and forest management in Mexico." She was awarded $2,234.

Dr. Vijay Singh - Associate Professor for the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering was awarded a 2010 International Seed Grant for his project entitled, "Developing faculty/student exchanges with G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology." Dr. Singh was awarded $2,500.

Dr. John Masiunas - Associate Professor for the Department of Crop Sciences was awarded a 2010 International Seed Grant for his project entitled, "Developing a capacity to address issues of food security in Kenya." He was awarded $2,500.

Fall 2009

Dr. Mohammad Babadoost - Associate Professor, Vegetable and Fruit, Department of Crop Sciences,was awarded an International Seed Grant for his project entitled, "Implementing a weather-based disease warning system for management of apple diseases in Azerbaijan."

Dr. Michelle Wander - Associate Professor of Soil Fertility, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, was awarded an International Seed Grant for her project entitled, " Management and Ecology of Black Soils."

Dr. Craig Gundersen - Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, was awarded an International Seed Grant for his project entitled, "Analyzing the Effect of Assistance Programs Between Countries: The role of the intra-household allocation of benefits."