Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture

What is CERSA?

Regulatory science is a critical component to the responsible advancement of plant science and agricultural-use technologies, whether an agricultural trait, pesticide, crop protectant, or microbial product.

Many systems exist for communication among the agricultural enterprise. But there is a need for a more open forum that brings together stakeholders from federal and state regulatory bodies, scientists, growers and producers, commodity groups, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss issues of regulatory science in agriculture.

NC State University and N.C. PSI leadership are working to form a multi-sector consortium to address the regulatory challenges and barriers to innovation in agriculture. The Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA) will be co-led by NC State and Louisiana State University. CERSA will provide undergraduate, graduate and continuing education training in regulatory science and will provide a forum for the advancement of regulatory science in agriculture.

Our Mission

Become a national and international resource for furthering excellence in regulatory science disciplines in agriculture and to build a workforce with the skills to make research-based regulatory decisions.

CERSA Pillars


  • Courses offered in Regulatory Science for students and professionals
  • Curriculum co-developed with industry thought leaders


  • Industry-sponsored
  • Consortium model funded by membership fees and competitive grants


  • USDA and U.S. EPA
  • International regulatory authorities
  • Key U.S. stakeholders in industry and non-profits

How does CERSA work?

CERSA will form research teams to tackle challenges associated with advancing scientific knowledge, federal and state regulatory transparency, and gaining public acceptance and understanding of policy decisions. Research efforts will generate data that improves existing regulatory frameworks, providing proof-of-concept of these frameworks while also anticipating the regulatory needs of the future.

The interdisciplinary teams will use social science to understand better the barriers and decision-making processes that prevent the adoption and acceptance of biotechnology. Our well-respected Extension networks will allow us to provide a platform where all viewpoints can be considered, and stakeholder engagement and understanding will be enhanced.

These efforts will establish more efficient approaches to test products and traits and to transform current methods into long-term sustainable practices that will be accepted by the public. We aim to identify and develop the knowledge and technology to improve agricultural productivity, profitability, acceptability, and sustainability to meet the need for safe, higher-yielding crops to feed and clothe a growing global population.

Industry Support for CERSA

The agricultural biosciences industry – those who develop and sell pesticides, biological products and agricultural biotechnology to farmers – have been supporters from the start. Bayer CropScience made a 3-year gift in summer 2018.

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