USDA-ARS Climate-Smart Dairy Forage Cropping Systems Fellowship

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted. Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • Two educational or professional recommendations

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline
3/29/2024 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), located in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

The U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC) is an ARS research institution whose mission is providing dairy industry solutions for food security, environmental sustainability, and economic viability. USDFRC scientists build uniquely valuable, science-based research initiatives focused on improving dairy production systems, soil ecology, forage production, forage quality, nutrient management, and ecosystem services.

Research Project: We are seeking an ORISE post-undergraduate candidate to train with our Dairy Forage Research Unit. The ORISE fellow will join an interdisciplinary team to investigate how crop selection, management practices, and cropping system diversity affect greenhouse gas emissions, soil health, and profitability. This mentorship opportunity offers research training investigating cropping systems and practices that will advance climate-smart agriculture. 

Learning Objectives: As an ORISE fellow at our Center, the candidate will: 

  • Research collaboratively with an interdisciplinary research team exploring interactions among land cover, management practices, farm profitability, and environmental sustainability;
  • Develop skills specific to measurement of field greenhouse gas emissions relevant in dairy forage cropping systems;
  • Acquire field and analytical skills applicable to a career in the agricultural sciences;
  • Assist research scientists and technicians with soil and forage sampling and processing

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Alison Duff ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 2024. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields within the past five years or is to be received by 6/2/2024.

Preferred skills:

  • Educational or work experience in outdoor research in fields such as agronomy, ecology, or soil science is required.
  • Successful candidates must have a demonstrated ability to collaborate well both independently and with colleagues to:
    • collect field data carefully, consistently, and with attention to detail;
    • and use quality control best practices for acquiring, entering, and managing field and laboratory data.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 6/2/2024 12:00:00 AM.
  • Academic Level(s): Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (3 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (5 )

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