Rhodes and the Global Crop Diversity Trust Announce New Environmental Studies Fellowship

Rhodes College is proud to announce the The Steve and Riea Lainoff Crop Trust Fellowship in honor of Cary Fowler in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, made possible through the generous donation of Steve and Riea Lainoff.

Application materials are due April 1. To apply, graduating Rhodes students must be nominated by a professor and submit a cover letter indicating their interest and qualifications and a resume to the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Ideal candidates will have a background in Environmental Science/Studies. After an interview, an applicant will be chosen by the Trust based on current needs. The next Trust Fellow will start in July/August 2013.

The Fellowship provides the opportunity to develop an understanding of the Trust and the issues associated with genetic resource conservation. Fellows will be given projects based on their specific strengths and the needs of the Trust. The Fellow should be willing to participate in a wide range of activities and projects. Previous Fellows have assisted in planning conferences, worked on publications, and contributed to marketing and social media campaigns.

The 12-month Fellowship will provide funds for travel/moving allowance as well as for the Fellow to acquire health insurance as mandated by the Trust. All travel and living expenses during the fellowship are the responsibility of the Fellow. The total funding including the salary, a stipend for health insurance, and the travel and moving allowance is $50,000 for the year.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust is an independent international organization established in 2004 by the CGIAR system and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The mission of the Trust is to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide. It is addressing this challenge primarily by raising an endowment, the interest from which will guarantee the effective conservation – and, crucially, the ready availability to those who wish to use it – of the biological basis of all agriculture. In parallel, it also implements shorter-term projects aimed at overcoming specific impediments to the development of a truly sustainable global system for ex situ conservation of crop diversity.

The Trust is the sole dedicated worldwide funding organization for the conservation of crop diversity. The Trust operates under the political blanket of the new International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. Twenty-six countries signed the Establishment Agreement of the Trust. In June 2006, the Relationship Agreement between the Governing Body of the International Treaty and the Trust was formally approved. The agreement recognizes the Trust as an essential element of the funding strategy of the Treaty.

The Trust’s endowment now stands at $135 million and the proceeds now support the long-term availability of twenty international ex situ germplasm collections. In February of 2012, the Trust entered into a 5-year partnership with the CGIAR Fund Council and the CGIAR Consortium through which the Trust will provide full funding for the international collections of crop diversity held by CGIAR Centers. The Trust has recently completed a 5-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at rescuing and documenting threatened germplasm collections involving dozens of partners worldwide. The Trust has also recently started a ten-year initiative on crop wild relatives conservation and use funded by the Norwegian government, in collaboration with the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

In January of 2013, the Trust moved to Bonn, Germany and has become a fully independent international organization under German law.

Rhodes alumnus Brian Lainoff ’12 worked for the Trust in Rome, Italy and moved with the Trust to Bonn on the 1st of January. Lainoff has helped the Trust in preparations for the transition to Bonn, organized the move to Bonn, assisted in planning a conference on Crop Wild Relatives, helped write an article on crop genebanks to be published in an encyclopedia, and has begun to manage the Trust’s social networking campaign.

For further information or questions contact:

Brian Lainoff | Global Crop Diversity Trust 
Platz Der Vereinten Nationen 7 
53113 Bonn, Germany 
brian.lainoff@croptrust.org  | skype: brianlainoff 
+49 (0) 228 85427129


Dr. Tait Keller 
Assistant Professor 
Department of History 
Rhodes College 
(901) 843-3655

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