Institutional Capacity Building and Human Resource Development
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research strengthens human resource development and makes institutional capacity building a priority for all projects awarded through the following practices:
- Providing degree and short-term training to address strategic needs and priorities of host country institutions
- Facilitating regional and international networking with scientists and public and private sector organizations
- Supporting equipment purchases and training to enhance institutional research and extension program effectiveness
- Leveraging resources to assist in strengthening research programs and institutional capacity building objectives
Long-term degree training includes advanced studies in the United States and in highly qualified third country universities, such as those in Brazil and Central America. Under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research, MS and PhD degree programs link U.S. and host country scientists with each trainee, ensuring that the training meets both local needs and international standards.
Short-term nondegree training serves several objectives. It provides targeted training in the languages and environments of local researchers to meet current needs and enables regional networking since training often brings together scientists from several countries, leveraging resources to contribute to capacity building.
Regional and international networking enables focused professional exchanges among a range of actors from the public and private sector with limited time availability, both in host countries and in the United States, often in thematic workshops or global conferences.
Additional capacity building funds, primarily for purchasing equipment or funding training for host country institutions to enable scientists to invest in research infrastructure and the training to use it, including laboratory equipment, transport, field machinery, and new communications and computing technology. Such investments help create a work environment that will retain scientists in the national research systems, enabling them to conduct the research for which they are trained. They also provide funds to work with new technologies on a trial basis.
Leveraging resources allows scientists to combine efforts and investments across sources to ensure sufficient human, physical, and financial resources to address a constraint or take advantage of an opportunity.
Overall, it is this combination of investments in people and infrastructure that helps to build local research institutions, based on trained host country researchers integrated within an international network of grain legume professionals.