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Top scholarships in agriculture & environment

James Davis

Careers Commentator
Postgraduate study can be quite expensive, but with the help of these dedicated scholarships, you can get funded.

To help offset some of the postgraduate study costs, we’ve come up with a list of excellent scholarships you can apply for that specialise in and appreciate agriculture, environment and encompassed disciplines. If you’re intimidated by the prospect of scholarship applications, fear not! We’ve written a free, comprehensive guide to postgraduate scholarships and getting selected that you can reference throughout this article. If you’d rather not go elsewhere for now, here are just a couple tidbits from it that’ll help you understand some of the common terminology in relation to scholarship applications:

  • There are three main types of scholarships.
    • Merit-based scholarships rely on some combination of grades, professional or extra-curricular achievements to succeed.
    • Need-based scholarships adopt their namesake in only being given to those of greatest need. This is commonly in the form of financial hardship, but can be in reference to coming from a disadvantaged background or having a disability.
    • Research-based scholarships are often discipline-specific endeavours that requires applicants to undergo research in a very particular area. For instance, it may require a student of archaeology to travel to Macedonia and investigate the remains of ancient Macedonian soldiers.
  • Written statements require a short blurb about yourself, with your achievements as supporting evidence rather than being centre stage.
  • CVs or resumes put your achievements first in fairly terse language.
  • Professional references are former bosses or professors.
  • Personal references are family members, friends or community leaders, the latter being preferable.
  • Academic transcripts are official or unofficial documents provided by your university. When an application asks for these if you haven’t yet finished undergrad, an unofficial transcript will normally do just fine.

Without further adieu, here are some great funding opportunities in agriculture & environment.

Sydney Royal Wine Study Scholarship - $3,000 to $6,000

Students of agricultural science or viticulture can access this opportunity from the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) and Sydney Royal Wine Committee. Full-time students can gain access to the full $6,000, whereas part-time students can gain $3,000.

The criteria for earning this scholarship are as follows:

  • Demonstrate how this scholarship would assist them in achieving their educational goals
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Study in an accredited course
  • Demonstrate passion for the subject matter (wine-industry)

A great way to apply for this one would be via written statement primarily, wherein you detail your enthusiasm for the wine-industry, its importance to Australia and how this scholarship would be beneficial to your agricultural science or viticulture degrees. In the latter case, it’s quite obvious why this would be of benefit because the whole degree is centred around this, but agricultural science may require some light argument to justify. Although, it too can be applied quite appropriately here.

Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Scholarship - $3,000 to $6,000

This is similar to the prior scholarship with all previously mentioned conditions applying. The only exception is the subject matter being the production of dairy and its associated industry. Therefore, the recommendation is equally similar; a written statement detailing enthusiasm for the dairy industry and why you believe it’s important combined with information on how it could benefit your future career and current study.

Unlike the previous opportunity, students of Viticulture are not eligible for this one; it is only open to students of agricultural science. If you’d like to learn more about postgraduate agricultural science courses click here.

The PostgradAustralia Scholarship - $2,750

Our very own annual scholarship is available to students regardless of residency status, discipline, GPA, social or ethnic background. This makes it one of the most inclusive and accessible on the market. There are very few things students have to do to be in the running.

  • Make sure you’re either:
    • Already in a graduate certificate, diploma, master’s degree or PhD, or
    • Finishing a bachelor’s degree and preparing to enter one of these
  • Write roughly 500 words describing your passion for your discipline
  • Make a creative social media post that expresses this passion

We’re looking for ambition and drive most of all. If you’re a postgraduate student, chances are you have a very good shot at this.

ABARES 2018 Science and Innovation Awards - up to $22,000

These scholarships are available to students studying agricultural science, aquaculture and fisheries or forestry studies. They’re hosted by the Australian government, but supported by a variety of partners like Meat & Livestock Australia, AgriFutures Australia, Australian Eggs, Australian Wool Innovation and CSIRO Health and Biosecurity. As such, there’s a $22,000 grant available to students undergoing projects in any of their subject areas. The full list of eligible research areas are as follows:

  • Cotton
  • Dairy
  • Eggs and poultry
  • Established, new and emerging rural industries
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forest and wood products
  • Grains
  • Health and biosecurity
  • Meat and livestock
  • Pork
  • Red meat processing
  • Viticulture and oenology
  • Wool

As such, there are a great deal of potential research topics available, particularly under the highly broad ‘established, new and emerging rural industries’ category. 2019 applications are now available, with this opportunity reopening annually.

CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarships - Agriculture and Food - $10,000 pa

These are available to PhD students of agricultural science or environmental studies who are set to gain first or second-class honours in their field. They also must be expecting a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship and be an Australian citizen. It therefore has some of the highest barriers to entry on this list, but that still makes it worth pursuing if you’re eligible and have an idea for a useful research project.

ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program Innovative Wine Production Scholarship - $32,304 to $35,000 pa

These are scholarships for students of viticulture undergoing a master’s degree by research or PhD. Like the previous opportunity, it’s for high-achieving students who are on-track to receive first or second-class honours, but has no residency requirements; international students are welcome to apply.

It’s advised to check that your proposed project is eligible here before applying, as well as consulting with your faculty about your grades and whether or not they’ll meet their high standards.

Hopefully, these scholarships have provided you with a few new insights about all the funding opportunities available. However, there are some excellent general scholarships available that are worth considering due to their sheer value. You can browse some of these here.