Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART) Program
2011 Program Information and Application
Goals and Objectives
The Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) SMART
Program is designed to help Cornell’s students span the gap between knowing and doing.
Students’ academic experience is enriched through hands-on situations in which students can
apply concepts they have learned in the classroom. It also allows Cornell researchers to extend
their theoretical work to real-world applications. Combining students and faculty in
multidisciplinary teams helps strengthen their ability to develop innovative solutions aimed at
solving the complex problems surrounding markets, food, agriculture, and development. The
goal of the program is to offer students a unique learning and team experience, working with
companies and communities in developing countries. The specific objectives of the program
1. Provide students with an innovative “hands-on” learning and team experience in
international economic development, and with the opportunity to gain a greater
understanding of development processes and applications in a developing country
context and setting
2. Provide technical assistance and analytical support to underserved businesses and
3. Develop case studies and other learning material for use in the classroom
Fill in the attached application form and submit to Jenny Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) via email
on or before Oct. 8, 2010, at 5:00pm. Please also submit a copy of your CV/resume. Note that
participation in this program is highly competitive and no late applications will be accepted.
Only short listed candidates will be interviewed. Decisions will be announced by Oct. 22.
Students are responsible for covering their airfare to the field site plus any personal incidentals.
CIIFAD will cover local transportation, meals and accommodation expenses for the duration of
The field study trips will take place in January 2011 during the winter intersession. While many
of the project assignments will be conducted and completed during the field trip, the case study
and some additional assignments will be completed during the spring 2011 semester, so
students must register for the three-credit course in the spring of 2011. Only letter grades are
available for this course.
Eight trips are being planned for 2011 (see list below with a short summary of the project scope
and attached PPT with more information about each trip). For additional questions about the
projects, the tentative itineraries, estimated out-of-pocket expenses, etc., please contact the
instructors directly at the following email addresses:
Belize (Flower of St. Therese): Jenny Nelson, email@example.com. Flower of St. Therese
is a family-owned cut-flower business in Cayo District. They need horticultural advice as
well as business planning help.
China (Hebei Qimei Agriculture Science and Technology Co., Ltd): Jie Li,
firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a large organic vegetable farm about 3 hrs outside of Beijing
that is looking to expand its markets (both nationally and internationally) and would also
like advice on its distribution system.
Ghana (Microfinance & Small Loan Center): Henry Richardson, email@example.com. This
initiative needs assistance with loan loss evaluation. Students with finance or
microfinance experience are encouraged to apply.
Indonesia (System of Rice Intensification): Erika Styger, firstname.lastname@example.org. P.T.
BloomAgro would like advice on marketing organic products within Indonesia.
Malawi* (Soils, Food, and Healthy Communities): Beth Medvecky, email@example.com.
A local NGO affiliated with a local hospital is using farmer participatory research &
development approaches to explore ‘best bet’ legume options for improving soil
fertility, food security and child nutrition.
Malawi* (Catholic Relief Services and FINCA): Beth Medvecky, firstname.lastname@example.org. This
team will be groundtesting a software ‘Turbo Tax’-like systems for smallholder
South Africa** (Ezulwini Chocolat): Ed Mabaya, email@example.com. This is a small start-
up gourmet chocolate company run by a woman entrepreneur that needs help with a
marketing plan, employee training and website development.
South Africa** (Defynne Nursery): Ed Mabaya, firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a new
horticultural company that sells ornamental plants and fruit trees and is looking for
creative ways to break into this competitive market.
* Note about the Malawi projects: Beth Medvecky will lead one of these trips, and the faculty leader of
the other will be determined soon. These projects are not close to one another geographically so the
teams will not be working together in the field.
** Note about the South Africa projects: Student on the South Africa trips will be working together
about 60 percent of the time and are therefore expected contribute meaningfully to both projects.
Thus, students applying to either South Africa project must be willing and able to work on either of the
projects. The instructors (not the students) will make the final decision on the teams based on both
student preferences and building the best team.
2011 SMART Program Application
Submit via email to jmn99cornell.edu by 5:00pm, Friday, Oct. 8, 2010
Matriculation (started at Cornell) date: Expected degree date:
Degree Program (BS, MS, MPS, PhD, or Non-Degree):
Major: Advisor or Committee Chair:
Minor: Advisor or Minor Member:
Thesis Research or Area of Concentration:
List of Development or other relevant courses you have taken (and are taking now):
FIELD STUDY PREFERENCES: (check one or rank your preferences)
____ Belize, Flower of St. Therese
____ South Africa, Ezulwini Chocolat
____ South Africa, Defynne Nursery
____ Ghana, Microfinance & Small Loan Center
____ Indonesia, System of Rice Intensification
____ Malawi, Soils, Food and Healthy Communities
____ Malawi, Catholic Relief Services and FINCA
____ China, Hebei Qimei Agricultural Science and Technology Co., Ltd.
Describe significant international work, travel, and/or experience with small businesses:
Outline your career objectives:
Reasons for interest in the SMART Program:
What special skills and/or experiences will you bring to the team?
Have you previously applied for the SMART Program? When?
Date of birth:
Cornell (or local) address:
Foreign students US Visa type and expiration date:
Country issuing passport:
A CV/resume is also required. Please attach to your email when you submit this application.