Cohorts selected for Cochran trainings come from both the public and private sectors.

Cochran Fellowship Program

Cochran Fellowship at WSU

The Cochran Fellowship Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service’s Office of Capacity Building and Development-Trade and Scientific Exchanges Division, provides short-term (2-3 week) training opportunities for cohorts of agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies.

Training opportunities are for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators working in agricultural trade and policy; agribusiness development; management; animal, plant, and food sciences; extension services; agricultural marketing; and many other areas. Training programs are designed and organized in conjunction with U.S. universities, USDA, and other government agencies, agribusinesses, and consultants.

Since 1984, USDA has provided U.S.-based training for over 18,000 international participants from 126 countries. Hosting budgets for the U.S. university are typically in the range of $45,000-$90,000. 


Cochran Fellowship Program goals

  • Help eligible countries develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations
  • Strengthen and enhance trade linkages between eligible countries and agricultural interests in the United States



Past Cochran Fellowship training sessions at WSU have created new formal partnerships that resulted in expanded programming, including a USAID-funded project to train Ph.D. students from Indonesia. All participants return home with an action plan for steps they will take to improve conditions in their home country as a direct result of learning at WSU while providing faculty the opportunity to expand formal partnerships in countries of interest.

Proposal and implementation support options for Cochran Fellowships

Option 1: Global Partnerships and Research Services assists WSU faculty with proposal writing and general development, while our campus partners retain 100% of the funds and perform 100% of the implementation. Responsibilities include arranging all lodging and transportation; paying per diems; ensuring each Fellow completes the Cochran Training Program Evaluation; developing an Action Plan with each Fellow; conducting and analyzing pre-training and post-training questionnaires for all Fellows; and completing a final report within 2 weeks of the program.

Option 2: Global Partnerships and Research Services develops a split budget with our campus partners. Salaries and support for the technical component of the Fellowship go to the partner while all resources for logistics and salary for a coordinator go to GPRS. GPRS acts as the primary point of contact and is responsible for all reporting to USDA. This arrangement places the majority of fiscal resources with GPRS, but all logistics are managed so that faculty are free to focus on the content of the program. GPRS has significant experience with Cochran Fellowships and similar study tours and is well positioned to support interested faculty.

Proposal tips

  1. Cochran Fellowships are intended to enhance international trade, specifically the export of American agricultural products. It is important to keep this in mind when designing the program and writing justifications for the proposed plan.
  2. USDA will want to see applicants:
    • facilitate the development of an action plan for Fellows to take what they learn on the study tour and apply it in their own businesses/countries.
    • incorporate cultural experiences for the Fellows. Conversely, they will want to see evidence that the applicant understands the cultural context of the Fellows and has developed an appropriate program with that knowledge in mind.
    • propose a detailed schedule/agenda in their submission.
  3. Proposal submissions are initiated by the leading department through EZFedGrants and completed by ORSO. GPRS has access to the system and can provide support.


Steve Overfelt

International Engagement Specialist
Global Partnerships and Research Services
Bryan Hall 206M
Washington State University
Office of International Programs
+1-509-335-1348 |

Erin-Kae Rice, CRA

Director, Partnership Engagement and Research Administration
Global Partnerships and Research Services
Washington State University
Office of International Programs