Apply and Participate in MNYI

Why apply?

The Minnesota Youth Institute encourages all students in grades 9-12 to participate regardless of their experience with food security or research. There are no fees associated with this program.

High school students who participate are eligible for:

  • $1,000 Scholarship: Every student who submits a research paper and presents at the Minnesota Youth Institute event will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) within the University of Minnesota. Which program of study will you choose?
  • Participate in Global Youth Institute and the World Food Prize: Based on paper and presentation scores, some students are selected to represent Minnesota at the Global Youth Institute which is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize (equivalent to the Nobel Prize in Agriculture) each October in Des Moines, Iowa. Students get to meet and discuss solutions to hunger issues with global leaders in science, business, philanthropy, policy, and more.
  • International Borlaug-Ruan Internship: Work with acclaimed international researchers and practitioners in the field to improve food security and solve the most pressing agricultural, nutritional, health, economic and environmental problems around the world. 
  • USDA-funded College Internships: Students who participate in MNYI are recognized as Borlaug Scholars, and are then eligible to apply for the Wallace-Carver Internships at USDA research centers when they are in college. Check out what students in previous years have worked on.
  • George Washington Carver Internship: Interns learn first-hand both the public and private side of operating an international non-profit organization and increase their understanding of the international fight against hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Open to undergraduate and graduate college students.
  • Network with peers across the state, and meet with research & industry leaders. Have your voice heard and your ideas known.

How to participate?

  1. Register now at to receive additional resources and weekly updates. 
  2. Research and submit your paper by April 8, 2024.
  3. Attend this year's in-person event at the U of M St. Paul campus on May 15, 2024.

Research Paper: Due April 8, 2024

For the paper, you will select a food security issue in a country of your choice (you must choose one that you not currently residing at), and research solutions to that issue. 

Connect with an MNYI Ambassador to receive paper feedback or ask questions related to the MNYI. Submit your connection request here. 

Video file
MNYI Writing Webinar covering the basic structure of the paper and notes for students to consider when researching.

MNYI Event 2024

The Minnesota Youth Institute event will be held in-person on May 15, 2024. 

At the event, you will present your solution to experts in small roundtable groups. Each group will usually have 6-8 students and 2-3 experts. Each student will have three minutes to present their solution followed by three minutes of Q&A. Slides are not required for presentations, this is an oral discussion. This is your opportunity to share your ideas with experts from across the state, learn from your peers, network, and have a great time! Remember, YOU are the expert of your chosen topic/country in the room and that this is a safe space to discuss. The general MNYI agenda can be referenced to provide an idea of the event schedule.

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Teacher and Mentor Resources

Students who are interested in writing a paper are recommended to find a mentor who can help them through the process. Expectations, step-by-step instructions on how to support students, and Teacher/Mentor FAQS can be accessed here. If you are a teacher or mentor yourself and would like to join our MNYI mailing list please visit Teachers and mentors can register here.

Share the MNYI! 

Want to share this with your peers, classroom, or teachers? Use the MNYI 2024 Media Kit to find formatted templates, important links, and photos to begin spreading the word! 

2022 Flyer

Green and blue infographic with white text detailing info about the MNYI 2022 with pictures of students engaging in discussion
Green and blue infographic with white text detailing info about the MNYI 2022 with pictures of students engaging in discussion

7 Steps to Write Your Paper

Blue text above a 3x3 grid reading 7 simple steps to write your paper