Organized in 1999 as Asia Rice Foundation USA


Our Mission: Contribute toward a world that can feed itself, treasure the rich heritage of rice cultures, and value rice growing land as a precious resource .

 Join GRRF as a Member and attend the 2024 Annual Meeting and IRRI Reunion

July 26-28, 2024 in Portland, OR

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Donate to the Hei Leung Women in Rice Science Award! More information listed below. Please consider contributing to a fund honoring Hei Leung to support disadvantaged women scientists in agriculture.

Donations may be made by sending a check to:
GRRF c/o Robert Herdt, 82 Ashlar Village, Wallingford, CT 06492. Or, send a contribution through your Venmo account to AsiaRiceFoundation-USA. Please specify that your gift is for the Hei Leung fund for female rice scientists when making your donation. Thank you!

Applications for Global Rice Leadership Awards Now Being Accepted

GRRF makes travel and study grants – Global Rice Leadership Awards – to help scholars and artists learn more about rice in developing countries. Given the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, at this time GRRF awards may be used for laboratory- or library-based research in a hosting US institution (other than where the student is registered full-time) that has special competence in an area related to rice.

Applicants must be students registered at an accredited US institution of higher education or scholars associated with such an institution and have a supporting letter from a scholar in the developing world with whom they propose to be associated. GRRF may be able to help you identify and link with an appropriate scholar in the developing world if you request that in your application.

We support research and education to improve understanding of:

  • ​the role of rice in farming,
  • ​rice as an element in art and culture, and
  • ​rice as a food with a unique role.

We support efforts to help:

  • ​farmers to produce enough rice to meet world needs while conserving the environment,
  • ​preserve the rich artistic and cultural heritage of rice


Fostering a world that can feed itself, appreciate the rich heritage of its rice cultures and value its rice growing land as a precious resource to be shared with future generations.

Hei Lung Women in Rice Science Award

Dr. Hei Leung, Pathologist, geneticist, and Principal Scientist at IRRI, beloved and admired by all who worked with him, passed away after a long struggle with cancer.

Beyond his reputation as an excellent scientist and mentor, he devoted considerable energy to building many successful international partnerships and collaborations. He was particularly interested in supporting the professional growth and development of women scientists and has taken great pride in seeing some of those he mentored rise to very senior ranks in their respective organizations. Hei left a bequest to be used to support disadvantaged women rice scientists. The Global Rice Research Foundation ( formerly doing business as the Asia Rice Foundation, USA (ARFUSA) is proud to provide a means by which Hei’s many friends and admirers can complement his generous gift. Please consider contributing what you can for the GRRF to provide dedicated funding to supporting Hei’s vision of a better world for all to which all can contribute. Funds donated to GRRF for Hei’s memory will be used only to support women students from developing countries.

Donations may be made by sending a check to
GRRF c/o Robert Herdt, 82 Ashlar Village, Wallingford, CT 06492. Or, send a contribution through your Venmo account to AsiaRiceFoundation-USA. Please specify that your gift is for the Hei Leung fund for female rice scientists when making your donation. Thank you!

    What previous winners of the Global Rice Leadership Award say about their experience:


    Liberty Galvin, 2018 Award Winner

    The award enabled me to take the IRRI Research to Production short course and travel to the Batad Rice Terraces, a World Heritage Site in Banaue, Philippines. That greatly added to my rice knowledge, but also made me realize how much I don’t know about rice production, not to mention the cultural importance that rice holds for different people.

    As a PhD student, I didn’t have a choice to study rice cropping systems. This trip significantly increased my interest in rice, inspiring me to become more driven in my studies. And, because we all have the same weeds, the rice research knowledge that is generated in my lab by my peers, myself, and our research advisor can provide valuable information to many people across many countries.


    Hussain Sharifi, 2015 Award Winner

    The International Rice Research Institute is certainly a premiere institute for rice science. I found the work being done there fascinating. The 3-week Rice Research to Production course that I participated in there provided me with a great opportunity to be exposed to many different topics and issues. A high point for me was getting to know and become friends with the course participants from 12 countries. I’m sure I will come across many of these people again as colleagues at some point in my career.


    Alice Beban, 2013 Award Winner

    My GRRF experience was extremely enriching for me as I continue with my PhD research on the gender dimensions of land reform in Cambodia. It not only provided me with resources to undertake an extended period of research, but also connected me with a whole new network of wonderful Cambodian and international scholars.


    Colby Reavis, 2016 Award Winner

    Working with Dr. Ryu’s group was a great opportunity to have as a Master’s student. It was a rewarding learning experience in collaboration and will hopefully continue into the future. As a rice researcher, it was beneficial for me to see how impactful rice is culturally within South Korea. Rice has increasingly heavy ties within their economic process as a country, and rice continues to be present in many cultural traditions. I also enjoyed meeting students in my same position that have a strong appreciation for rice, both culturally and scientifically. I hope to continue studying rice and the effects it has in the global arena. I am incredibly thankful to Asia Rice USA for making this experience possible, and I hope to continue fostering relationships between my research and other places in the developing world where rice is influential.


    Ana Bossa Castro, 2014 Award Winner

    At the International Rice Research Institute, I was impressed by the fields and the labs, the genebank, and the genotyping facility. My GRRF grant gave me the chance to learn more about the cutting-edge rice research done in different topics and meet several scientists. Through the Rice Research to Production course, I got hands-on experience in field practices and was even able to interact with farmers.