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USDA APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program

USDA APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program

The purpose of the USDA APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program is to build the necessary technical and subject matter expertise to support stand-up of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, KS. In addition to serving as an international reference laboratory for foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) and as a national reference laboratory for other foreign animal diseases such as classical swine fever and African swine fever viruses, at NBAF, FADDL’s mission will expand to including emerging and zoonotic diseases, including BSL-4 pathogens.

To minimize the SME gap and identify highly qualified candidates to fill key roles in the new NBAF facility, APHIS has developed a graduate training program, the APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program (NSTP). NSTP fellows will receive full tuition and supplementary support to complete a MS, PhD or DVM/PhD program in target laboratory-based fields of study: microbiology, virology, molecular biology, diagnostics, bioinformatics, etc.

Applications should be submitted to by May 18, 2020


APHIS NSTP fellows will receive funding to cover the following for a maximum of 5 years:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Stipend (Up to $50,000 annually) and health benefits
  • Materials and supplies ($20,000 annually)
  • Travel ($5,000 annually)
  • Publication costs ($1,000 annually)


Successful candidates must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Meet all requirements of the University graduate program and have been accepted into an approved graduate training program (MS, PhD, DVM/PhD) at time of application to NSTP.
  • At time of enrollment, must have three or less years remaining in program (MS); 4 years or less (PhD); 5 years or less (DVM/PhD).
  • Identify a faculty mentor supportive of enrollment in NSTP.
  • Exhibit a strong interest in emerging, zoonotic and/or foreign animal diseases.
  • Demonstrate a desire to work at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, KS, after degree completion.


NSTP fellows must meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA to ensure continued funding.
  • Support development of NBAF standard operation procedures and work instructions.
  • Participate in meetings with the NSTP advisory committee and provide biannual process reports.
  • Continuation of funding is dependent on satisfactory progress through program.
  • Upon successful completion of program, fellows will be guaranteed a federal position at target grade and area of expertise.


All NSTP fellows must fulfill service commitment in federal position at NBAF and or Plum Island at completion of the program.

  • Length of commitment is determined by the number of years of funding received:
  • 4 years of service at target position for 2 years of funding; 5 years for 3 years; 6 years for 4 years; 7 years for 5 years. Failure to complete service commitment will require fellow to repay funding (prorated) to APHIS NSTP program.


  • Download the full terms and conditions, requirements, and service commitment (PDF)
  • For Fall 2020 admission applications must be submitted to the College’s Office of Research ( by May 18, 2020.