North Carolina State University will receive $300,000 – and possibly more – in research grants from DuPont for plant research over the next five years.

The grants are to fund $60,000 in fellowships over each of the next five years. Additional funds are available on a competitive basis.

DuPont is funding the program at NCSU and similar efforts at four other universities to encourage plant breeding research through its crop genetics research and development program and its Pioneer Hi-Bred seed business.

"Our industry depends on a continuous source of outstanding talent who can address growing global agricultural needs through creative and innovative science," said William Niebur, vice president of DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development. "Based on current trends, we will not have enough talent to meet the needs of this rapidly growing industry. We need to identify and support students who have the interest, abilities and passion necessary to become the next generation of plant breeders."

The grants will be awarded beginning in January 2008.

Also receiving grants will be Cornell University, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In all, DuPont will make $2.175 million in funding available for the program, including $675,000 in competitive grants.