The ExcelAGator Program is designed to help ease the transition for graduate students and postdoctoral associates moving from academia to positions in industry



ALS 6031 -
Project Team Research:

There is a need to provide graduate students with real world, hands-on experience solving specific problems faced by agricultural industries and organizations. To meet this need, the Center for Stress Resilient Agriculture (CSRA) at UF developed Project Team Research: Agrobiology (ALS 6031), which assembles a diverse set of graduate students to address an industry-identified problem under mentorship from faculty and organizational representatives.

ALS 6031 provides an opportunity for students to work in interdisciplinary teams and tackle an existing issue faced by an industry or other organizational partner. Through this guided team approach, students will work to provide a detailed plan, design, and any relevant preliminary data for working towards a scientific evaluation and solution of the problem presented.

During the semester, a wide array of professional development skills will be delivered in a series of in-class and online modules. These modules emphasize the following skills: professionalism; project management; working in interdisciplinary teams; practicing oral and written communication; creative and novel approaches to problem solving; and formulating, designing, and presenting approaches in an effective manner.

ALS 5905 - International Immersion Course:

ALS 5905 offers the possibility for a UF student to get international experience over a 3 to 6 months research internship in one of the international CSRA partner institutions. This network has been developed over the last few years to reach today 14 institutions throughout the world, spread across 5 continents (see our international partners brochure). The goal of this 3 credit course is to provide students with an opportunity to go experience something different than what they are experiencing at UF, both culturally and scientifically. This course is also required for all students choosing to do a Ph.D. with a concentration in Agroecology, or taking the Global Agroecosystems.

The CSRA ask that the student’s advisor pay for the airfare, but all remaining living expenses abroad are at the charge of the student. The CSRA also can provide scholarships when funding is available.

Still unsure if you want to take this course and how it can benefit you? Then we encourage you to read blog posts from Ph.D. student Kelly Racette who spent 4 months at Harper Adams University in the UK (An English Adventure pt 1-4) and M.S. student David Hensley (Living in Saint Croix pt 1-2) who visited the University of the Virgin Islands in Saint Croix.

For more information or if you are interested in taking the course, please contact Romain Gloaguen romain.gloaguen@ufl.edu well in advance to plan your trip and find a mentor at the partner institution you want to visit.

A2I (Accelerate to Industry)

The UF- Accelerate to Industry initiative (A2i) unites industry partners with talented, highly successful graduate students and postdoctoral associates for a three-day symposium on professional skills development. At A2i, participants refine skills needed to thrive in industry and other stakeholder organization positions through seminars, workshops, and team-based exercises led by company and organizational representatives. More specifically, these programs will focus on teamwork and group problem solving skills, organizational management and best practices, and career opportunities available in agricultural related organizations.

The primary objective of A2i is to better prepare motivated graduate students and postdoctoral associates for employment in non-academic agricultural organizations. Our goal is to ease the transition from academia to professional practice by providing students with a platform for learning and applying organizational-identified critical job skills. For stakeholders, the symposium is critical for recruitment, active involvement in training the next generation of agricultural leaders, and valuable interaction with future professionals in UF CALS.

A2i +

In addition to the A2i Symposium, we will be offering additional opportunities for professional development throughout the year. These will include workshops on resume preparation and interview skills, optimizing your job search, and other student-identified topics of interest. Check in regularly for announcements on upcoming A2i+ activities!