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Research funding available for projects with China Agricultural University

By for CAES News

Applications for the second round of funding for a unique collaborative effort between the University of Georgia and China Agricultural University are now being accepted.

“We began this collaboration in 2018 with six teams of researchers, each with a principal investigator from both China Agricultural University and UGA,” said Amrit Bart, director of the Office of Global Programs in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“Because these collaborations are designed for projects that produce data within 12 months, they provide an ideal way for researchers to lay the groundwork necessary to secure additional grants in the future,” said Bart, noting that the criteria for the grants require that each proposal provide “evidence that it contributes to key societal challenges and fits with and complements the wider multidisciplinary research portfolios across CAU and UGA.”

“We’re fortunate to have alumni who are on the CAU faculty, which is ranked fourth in global rankings of agricultural universities,” said Bart. “There are a number of research areas at our two institutions that are complementary. Collaborating provides the opportunity for findings that are far more significant than might be accomplished at either institution alone. It also builds international relationships.”

Projects funded last year included a collaboration between Jason Wallace, a UGA assistant professor of crop and soil sciences, and Dingming Kang, a CAU agronomy professor, who is teasing apart how bacteria, fungi and other microbes found living in and on corn affects the crop’s response to various stressors, such as cold, heat and drought.

“Dr. Kang has been exploring the impact of various seed treatments on corn’s early-season cold tolerance,” Wallace explained. “In our collaboration, my lab is performing the data analysis on samples Dr. Kang has collected in four different corn-growing areas of China. We are trying to identify specific microbes that may play a role in how well corn germinates, especially when it has to deal with stressors like heat and cold.”

CAES Dean Sam Pardue accompanied Bart and several other administrators on a trip to CAU in the fall as part of a midterm review of the project.

“The global nature of our food system requires strategic partnerships of the best minds in the world to solve the grand food-production and environmental challenges before us,” Pardue said. “Our partnership with China Agricultural University is showing great promise and potential for a lasting, sustainable relationship between our university researchers.”

The deadline for applying for the new grants is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 8. The maximum amount to be awarded is $14,000. For more information, contact the Office of Global Programs at ogp@uga.edu.

Denise Horton is a contracted writer for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Global Programs.
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