Steve and Riea Lainoff Crop Trust Fellowship in Honor of Cary Fowler '71
The Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust) is an international organization located in Bonn, Germany whose mission is to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide. For further information about the Crop Trust, consult the web page at https://www.croptrust.org/.
Rhodes College, in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, offers an annual 12-month Fellowship to a graduating Rhodes student. The Fellowship provides the opportunity for recent graduates to develop an understanding of the Crop Trust’s work and the issues associated with agricultural biodiversity conservation.
To apply, graduating Rhodes students must be nominated by a professor and must submit a letter of interest with a resume (more information on the required application materials is provided under Section 3 below).
This year, the Crop Trust is seeking individuals to work with the External Affairs team. Below are the Terms of Reference and Qualiﬁcation Criteria for the position.
To request a Handbook with more general information about the Fellowship (including information on stipend, and logistics information), contact Dr. Will Eckenhoff, Chair of the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program.
2. Position description and required qualifications
Terms of Reference
The selected Fellow will have the opportunity to engage in a number of ongoing initiatives that provide a unique window into the working processes of the Crop Trust. The selected Fellow will support the work of the Communications and Partnerships Units. Speciﬁcally, the fellow will provide support in the following areas:
The activities of the External Affairs Fellow will be allocated equally between the Communications and Partnerships Unit as follows:
For the Communications Unit:
- Draft blogs (mainly upcoming Q&As with Crop Trust staff and partners)
- Copyedit/proofread Communications materials (blogs, pamphlets, outreach)
- Assist with development of policies and guidelines (e.g., new branding guidelines, strategy annexes)
- Assist with social media (particularly the design of social cards if he/she has interest and relevant skills)
For the Partnerships Unit:
- Conduct proactive research on individual donors to the Crop Trust Endowment, Project, and Operational Funds. This includes:
- Multilateral organizations
- Private corporations
- High net-worth individuals
- Prepare research brieﬁngs, presentations, and other communication materials on potential donors and funding opportunities at the direction of the Director of External Affairs, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Partnerships Assistant, or other member of the senior leadership team.
- Assist in necessary preparations for donor and other administrative meetings of the Crop Trust, including:
- Donors’ Council meetings
- Executive Board meetings
- Meetings with potential and current donors
- Meetings within the multilateral stakeholder framework e.g., UNFCCCCOPs
- Other possible partnerships and communications events
- Draft letters and other communication to current and potential donors.
- Organize and maintain an accessible archive of documents and records of past interactions between the Crop Trust and partners, current, former, and potential.
- Support the Corporate Operations team in the recruitment and guidance of the incoming Partnerships Fellow for 2025/26
- Track and measure progress on assigned tasks and make resulting data available to the Head of Partnerships.
- Assist in any other tasks as assigned.
The qualiﬁcations that will be considered in the application process include, but are not limited to, the following. The ideal candidate:
- has just completed an undergraduate degree at Rhodes College, Coursework in business administration, international relations, environmental sciences or studies, ﬁnance and economics is desirable;
- has excellent research, writing and analytical skills;
- has foreign language skills beyond English(desirable but not essential);
- demonstrates resourcefulness and creativity in problem-solving;
- demonstrates the willingness and ability to readily respond to changing circumstances and expectations;
- can establish and maintain effective working relations with people from diverse backgrounds;
- has advanced computer skills: sound, hands-on, knowledge of standard oﬃce software (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.); and
- has a demonstrated interest in issues relating to biodiversity conservation and food security.
Terms and Conditions
The Fellowship will be for a period of twelve months, with a start date of 1 August 2024 and the position will be located in Bonn, Germany. The total funding including salary, a stipend for health insurance, and the travel and moving allowance is $50,000 for the year. The Crop Trust will assist with obtaining the required residence certiﬁcate, providing housing information and will assist the Fellow to settle into their new environment. The Fellow is required to enroll in the German health care coverage required by the Crop Trust for temporary staff. The Crop Trust will provide the necessary registration information. Please see the attached Fellowship Logistics for more general information.
3. Application Process
The application process is conducted in four stages. Instructions for each stage are detailed below:
1. A two-page Letter of Interest – this letter should address the following:
- Your motivation for applying
- Summary of your qualiﬁcations and experience with an indication of how you meet the terms of reference and competencies for the position;
- Description of previous work experience and coursework that is relevant to this Fellowship;
- How this Fellowship relates to your future career goal
2. Your resume (including current residence address, telephone and email address)
3. Nomination from a Rhodes professor.
In the nomination letter, the professor should assess the following items:
- How long and in what capacity the professor has known the student
- The student’s standout qualities
- Ways the student has demonstrated leadership while at Rhodes College
- The student’s communication and interpersonal skills
- Utilize this ranking scale: (Outstanding: upper 5%; Excellent: upper 10%; Above Average: upper 25%; Average: upper 50%; Below Average: Lower 50%; No Basis for Judgment) of the characteristics:
- Academic excellence
- Ability to perform the tasks noted in the job description (pages 1-2)
The above documents must be submitted to Dr. Will Eckenhoff by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2024.
Dr. Will Eckenhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org
The second stage consists of a medium-listing process that is undertaken by a faculty committee of the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program. The documentation provided in Stage 1 is reviewed by the Committee with the aim of identifying those candidates who most closely meet the qualiﬁcation criteria described above and who will be put forth to the Crop Trust for consideration.
The third stage consists of a further short-listing process by the Crop Trust. The candidates identiﬁed through this ﬁnal short-listing process will then be interviewed (Stage 4).
The fourth and ﬁnal stage consists of a virtual interview that will be arranged in advance with each applicant. The purpose of the interview is to help the Crop Trust better understand the applicants’ motivations, expectations, and goals vis-à-vis participation in the Fellowship. The interview will also assess the applicants’ communication skills and interpersonal skills.
Successful applicants will be required to sign a contract with the Crop Trust that will act as the working contract between the Fellow and the Crop Trust for the duration of the Fellowship. This contract will be sent to the selected candidate who must countersign and return the contract in order for the assignment to be complete. Once completed, the Crop Trust will begin working with the candidate to ensure that all arrangements are in place for obtaining a temporary residence permit for Germany. Please also see the Handbook for more detailed information about the logistical arrangements for this Fellowship.
For feedback about the Fellowship experience with the Crop Trust and information on living in Bonn, contact:
External Affairs Fellow
The Global Crop Diversity Trust
The Global Crop Diversity Trust
Partnership Development Associate
The Global Crop Diversity Trust