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CBEY Regenerative Agriculture Initiative: 2021-2022 Request for Proposals!


The CBEY Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI) was founded in the spring of 2019 to 1) support Yale graduate student research on regenerative agriculture, and 2) to inspire and educate decision-makers to support and invest in regenerative agriculture models. 

There are many ways to think about what regenerative ag really means, and this is continuously evolving. Here’s an article that helps consider complexities/nuances regarding what regenerative agriculture is.

The opportunity:

Students interested in agriculture have an exciting opportunity to build on the program’s success by exploring research questions that are important to them and by connecting with innovative practitioners. CBEY invites students to propose new project ideas to pursue in the coming year. Ideally, projects would begin in Fall 2 of this year (2021) and can continue for a full year (if needed) through the end of the Fall 2022 semester.

As the RAI goes forward, we invite the iteration and development of its existing format and goals. Student projects could expand the current scope of the regenerative agriculture ecosystem in the U.S. or choose to go deeper into investigating specific issues (such as innovative financing vehicles, policy and insurance reform, market development, farmer training, and decision-making, consolidation of input industry, the transition of farmland ownership, etc.). The form of this project could vary based on student interest (e.g. independent study, research job, travel vs on-campus engagement). 

To include in a proposal:

Proposals should specify:

  • a compelling research question, 
  • project goal, 
  • target audience, 
  • team membership (ideally 2 - 4 people), 
  • key mentors, 
  • a high-level research methodology, 
  • a plan for engagement with the CBEY’s community, 
  • timeline, and 
  • budget.
How we will evaluate:

Projects will be evaluated upon (in order of importance): 

  1. Excitement, passion, and commitment to the project
  2. The relevance of the research question to the target audience
  3. The methodology’s alignment with the research question 
  4. Thoughtful plan for sharing learnings/outcomes with CBEY’s community
  5. A reasonable timeline and budget 
Process and deadline:

Please send proposals by 11:59 PM ET October 1, 2021 to: 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
  • Do I need to be a returning student to apply?
    • No. First-year students can apply. 
  • Do I need to be a student at SOM or YSE to apply? 
    • No, but you need to be a graduate student. These are not open to undergraduate students.
  • What is the typical length of an RAI project? Can I apply to pursue a project for only one semester? 
    • We want to give you ample time to dig into this research. So CBEY will sponsor your work through at least the end of this summer. It can go through the end of the Fall 2022 semester if you are returning students and more time is needed.
    • It's very unlikely that you can complete research and create a meaningful way to connect your work with CBEY’s community in one semester.
  • What are examples of past projects and/or deliverables from RAI project teams?
    • You can see past projects and deliverables on the RAI website.
    • We are about to publish a guidebook from one of our current teams on developing community-driven state soil health policy and programs. Stay tuned for that!  
  • Is this a paid position and/or can I receive class credit for an RAI project?
    • These are paid positions.