With nationwide shortages of graduates in agricultural, environmental and life sciences disciplines projected in the near future, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences places a priority on recruiting well-qualified individuals from untapped segments of the population. Under the leadership of the Office of Diversity Affairs and the CALS Diversity Council, CALS offers several programs aimed at helping recruit and prepare underrepresented groups for opportunities available in these important fields.

Student and professor pose in lab

Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellows Initiative seeks to build on the progress made by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to increase opportunities for underrepresented postdoctoral fellows at the college.

Dr. Warren Sconiers is the CALS 2014-16 Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Frank in the Department of Entomology, Dr. Sconiers is conducting independent research with the city of Raleigh on the invasion and recruitment of pest insects on urban trees while determining the influence of abiotic factors such as temperature and drought, and biotic factors such as predators and nutrients, in the trees.

Dean’s Graduate Research Assistantship

The Dean’s Graduate Research Assistantship recruits highly competitive graduate students from underrepresented groups completing doctoral and master’s degrees in the agricultural and life sciences. View eligibility requirements, application process and selection criteria.


CAALS 3-D (Creating Awareness of Agriculture and Life Sciences Disciplines, Degree Programs and Discoveries) is a partnership between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). The project targets the most underrepresented minority groups in the CALS student population: African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American males.

Agricultural and Environmental Summer Institute for Educators

The two-day Agricultural and Environmental Summer Institute for Educators is designed to expose high school guidance counselors and community college transition counselors to degree programs in the agricultural and environmental sciences. Housing, parking, educational materials and meals are provided at no cost to all participating counselors, as are 1.5 CEU credit hours. The inaugural 2013 institute was a collaborative effort between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Natural Resources at NC State University. It was funded by a mini-grant from the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, with Dr. Lisa Guion Jones as principal investigator and Mr. Thomas Easley as co-investigator, and nearly dollar-for-dollar matching funds came from the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation. Some additional financial support was provided by the NC State Natural Resources Foundation, CALS and CNR diversity offices and CALS and CNR academic programs offices.

For more information about these student recruitment programs, contact the Office of Diversity Affairs.