International Studies & Programs

Home > About

Student Engagement

Building the Next Generation of Innovators

GCFSI connects students with opportunities to conduct and apply research, work with international partners, and develop the interdisciplinary perspective necessary to solve food systems challenges. GCFSI serves students from Michigan State University, Malawi's Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and a host of international research institutes and universities.

Frugal Innovation

The Frugal Innovation Practicum gives students from MSU and Malawi's Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources the opportunity to learn about barriers to food security, develop real-world problem-solving skills, and experience cross-cultural exchange while improving their communication and presentation skills.

Offered over the summer, the practicum combines a series of online and in-person classes, local field trips, and applied research. While conducting field work in Lilongwe, Malawi, students work with local food retailers to identify solutions to market challenges that block innovation, limit profits and undermine urban food security. Student teams consult with market committees, the Lilongwe City Council and other decision-makers to develop locally-controlled innovation plans. 

Communicating for Impact

The Food Fix is a multimedia platform that contains content related to food systems and agricultural innovations. MSU students curate content, host podcast interviews and write articles on the latest interventions. With practice, they develop the ability to distill complex research into accessible stories. Led by David Poulson, associate director of MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, the Food Fix provides opportunities to students and researchers interested in honing their communication skills. 

Through the Global Partnership Series, The Food Fix broadcasts food security-related radio segments recorded by Malawian reporters, and previously aired on local stations.

Student Innovation Grants

GCFSI awarded 10 students from around the world with a $10,000 grant to develop, refine or scale up a food system innovation. The grants mobilize students to use their passion and skills to improve food security on a global scale.