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Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture

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.

Under the umbrella of N.C. PSI, Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA) collaborates with state and federal agencies, private industry, commodity groups, growers and producers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academics to advance regulatory science in agriculture through education, research and engagement.

CERSA is co-led by NC State and Louisiana State University. It provides undergraduate and graduate certificates, continuing education training in regulatory science, and sponsored research for the advancement of regulatory science in agriculture.

CERSA Pillars

  • Certificates to train a workforce armed with the skills to make, inform and follow agricultural regulatory guidelines
  • Internships with companies, regulatory agencies and NGOs to provide students with critical hands-on experience
  • Research to advance scientific knowledge informing policy and to anticipate the regulatory needs of the future
  • Consortium model to leverage expert advice and competitive grants for impactful research
  • Develop workshops with thought leaders on emerging issues in regulatory science, such as using drones or vegetative filter strips
  • AgTech 360 Podcast to explore emerging agriculture technology topics and to facilitate constructive dialogue among stakeholders

How does CERSA work?

Through NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences certificates program, CERSA is providing training in regulatory science to undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. These students have access to hand-on experience in regulatory science through internships with regulatory agencies and private companies.

CERSA has developed a series of workshops with thought leaders on various emerging issues in regulatory science in agriculture. CERSA also works with N.C. PSI’s Executive Director, Adrian Percy, to host the AgTech 360 podcasts, which explore topics related to emerging agricultural technologies to facilitate constructive dialogue among stakeholders.

Additionally, CERSA is forming 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.

CERSA’s Mission

To become a national and international resource for furthering excellence in regulatory science in agriculture and build a workforce with the skills to make, inform and follow agricultural regulatory guidelines.

Industry Supports CERSA

Image curtsey Syngenta

The agricultural biosciences industry – those who develop and sell pesticides, biological products and agricultural biotechnology to farmers – have been supporters from the start.

“Ensuring the safety and quality of food requires strong and innovative regulatory science capabilities to develop new tools, standards, and approaches that efficiently assess the safety, quality, and performance of products in the agricultural industry. We are proud to support investment in this critical science field, and look forward to continuing a strong collaboration with NC State University to create opportunities for developing students and working professionals, hosting workshops on critical agricultural science topics and supporting agricultural research.” — Vern Hawkins, President of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC