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International Scientific & Technical Exchanges


The goal of the NRCS Scientific Cooperation Program is to improve the capacity for wise use of natural resources in this country and in the exchange country. Proposals are solicited in all areas of natural resource management in which NRCS is involved. Exchanges may be exploratory in nature; may further develop existing knowledge and scientific expertise; or may emphasize applied technology, rather than pure research. In all cases, exchanges are goal oriented.

NRCS also participates in the USDA Scientific and Technical Cooperation Program.

Who Can Participate

All NRCS employees are encouraged to participate in the Program.

Program Administration

The International Programs Division (IPD) administers the Program.  The following areas are of interest to NRCS, not necessarily listed in priority order:

  • Environmental/Water Quality
  • Forestry and Grazing Lands
  • Plant Materials
  • Resource Conservation and Development
  • Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting
  • Soil Survey
  • Watershed Protection/Flood Prevention
  • Watershed Surveys and Planning
  • Wetlands and Wildlife Habitat

Selection Criteria

  • Degree to which the proposal addresses a topic that supports the NRCS mission
  • Potential benefit to NRCS and the ability to transfer technology gained
  • Potential to develop into a long-term (3 to 5 year) cooperative program
  • Participation ratio between NHQ, Regions, and States
  • Representation of underrepresented groups or disciplines
  • Cooperative effort as needed with other agencies, universities, institutions
  • Geographic distribution



  • Notify supervisor of intent to develop and submit proposal
  • Identify subject area of proposal and country of interest
  • Establish contacts with counterparts in foreign country to initiate interest
  • Clarify mutual participation in exchange, establish mutual goals, and identify dates for implementation
  • Develop proposal using standard format which is available from NRCS/IPD
  • Submit completed proposal to NRCS/IPD


  • Select proposals according to NRCS selection criteria shown above
  • Select additional proposals for NRCS internal funding
  • Assist with identification of team members to participate in exchanges
  • Secure NRCS clearances
  • Monitor logistical arrangements
  • Maintain proposals in a reconsideration file for three years
  • Issue call for proposals when on-hand proposals are low
  • Provide advice on preparation of proposals

Final Processing

After proposals have been selected against the appropriate criteria, they are processed through the normal NRCS approval procedures.