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Costa Ricans can pursue doctorates with full scholarships at prestigious US university

SEPTEMBER 18th 2015

Initiative was coordinated during the promotional tour to the USA organized by CINDE and in which the president Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera participated.

Dole will fund full scholarships for doctorates that will focus on pineapple and banana genomics.

San Jose, Costa Rica September 18th, 2015. Two Costa Ricans have the opportunity to pursue doctoral studies at North Carolina State University in the United States, thanks to a full scholarships program to be funded by Dole and implemented by North Carolina Research (NCResearch), a recognized nutritional research center in the United States, and with the coordination of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE). 

The scholarships are full and cover a period of four years. These will allow the deepening of issues related to phytochemicals in fruits, nutritional value, resistance to pests and diseases, drought, among others. 

Those who are granted these scholarships, will perform their doctoral studies at North Carolina State University and their research processes at NCResearch. 

The academic initiative is also the result of several months of work and joint counseling with the Agricultural Research Center (CIA by its name in spanish), the National Center for Food Science and Technology (both of the University of Costa Rica) and EARTH University. 

Representatives of these institutions and CINDE paid a visit to NCResearch to establish joint educational opportunities with the research center, as well as exploring possibilities for further academic initiatives. 

"I am pleased with the fact that this initiative is showing results and will allow Costa Rican students to strengthen their studies and contribute their knowledge to Costa Rica in areas of improved agricultural production, specializing in plantation adaptation to the challenges of climate change impacts. We will always promote education because it guarantees democracy, economic impetus, creation of jobs and opportunities for our families, "said the President of the Republic, Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera. 

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, said "our goal is to find scientific collaboration between NCResearch and universities of our country, so that more students can pursue advanced studies on issues related to human health, nutrition and agriculture. Thanks to the continuous work we have maintained since our visit to the US last May, as well as the contribution of Dole, today we consolidate the initial results of an academic relationship that we hope will extend for many years, for the benefit of Costa Ricans. " 

Thanks to a meeting scheduled months ago by CINDE, the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, began negotiations with the founder and CEO of NCResearch, David H. Murdock, to implement programs of academic cooperation between Costa Rican universities and the research center, which today started to yield their first fruits.

It is even expected that this first step in the process of joint collaboration, will allow students in related careers in Costa Rica to participate in internships in research projects in the United States. 

Profile of candidates and selection process
Those interested in participating in the selection process that started September 17th and will run until Friday, October 16th, must be people with previous experience in research and willing to integrate and collaborate on multifaceted and high performance research groups as well as leading the investigative work of undergraduates.

Initially, students will live in Raleigh (North Carolina) during the regular courses and in Kannapolis, during the summer to perform research activities. When completing the courses, students will live permanently in Kannapolis, to complete the research project and graduation requirements.

Candidates must meet the application requirements (see below) and send their request to the address  

An evaluation committee will assess the pool of Costa Rican candidates and will pre-select those that meet the requirements. Pre-selected candidates will be invited to be interviewed in English by the evaluation committee.  

Specific requirements

-Academic degree of Baccalaureate or Master Academic Degree (M.Sc) in the areas of biology, biotechnology, agronomy, genetics, food technology or other related.
-Grade Point Average (undergraduate and graduate) equal to or higher than 8.0 on the scale of 0.0 to 10.0 or the equivalent.. 
-English proficiency (at least 80 points in the TOEFL iBT, at least 213 points in the TOEFL CBT, at least 550 points in the TOEFL PBT or at least 6.5 in IELTS).
-Knowledge of genomics / genetics..

-Submit the following documents:: 
1. Letter of personal motivation (maximum 1 page) in English (personal statement).
2. Letter of academic intent (maximum 1 page) in English (research objective).
3. Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) including research projects in which they have collaborated and scientific publications (to be attached).
4. A certified copy of the title. If obtained abroad, it must be officially translated, apostilled and matched by CONARE.
5. Original Grades Certification.
6. Original English language skills Certification.
7. Two letters of recommendation from people who know their professional and/or academic career.