Register and Participate

 Why apply?

The Minnesota Youth Institute (MNYI) 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?
  • Network with peers and professionals across the state, and gain hands-on experience with immersive activities hosted by CFANS departments, from plant pathology detection workshops to turning restaurant by-products into biofuels. Have your voice heard and your ideas known.
  • Attendance at the Global Youth Institute (GYI) hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation: Based on paper and presentation scores, select students will advance to represent Minnesota at the Global Youth Institute which is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize Foundation's Borlaug Dialogue each October in Des Moines, Iowa. Students will connect with global leaders in science, agriculture, business, policy, and more as well as explore solutions to the world's most pressing challenges alongside hundreds of peers from around the world.
  • International Borlaug-Ruan Internship: Participation in the MNYI, regardless of GYI advancement, earns eligibility to international internships. Work with acclaimed 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: Participation in the MNYI, regardless of GYI advancement, earns eligibility to USDA internships. Wallace-Carver Internships at USDA research centers are available to students when they have entered college. 
  • 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.

How Do I Participate?

  1. Register at by April 1, 2024. 
  2. Fill out our online form if you'd like to gain access to additional tips and resources to help complete your research paper and prepare for the event.
  3. Research and submit your paper by April 8, 2024.
  4. Attend this year's in-person event on May 15, 2024. If this conflicts with your schedule, join the virtual youth institute hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation on different dates in May and June. 

Materials to Get You Started

Video file

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.

Video file

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 Flyer to begin spreading the word!