Applications for 2019 Horizon Scholarships have opened with the announcement of significant changes to the selection criteria.
Targeted at university students aiming to pursue a career in agriculture, the scholarships include a $5000 bursary along with opportunities for work experience and significant industry networking.
While previously open to students enrolled in the first two years of an agricultural degree, scholarship overseer AgriFutures Australia have relaxed the criteria to include students from any discipline broadly aligned to agriculture, while shifting the focus to those in their final two years of study.
In a media release, AgriFutures Australia said while students studying traditional agricultural degrees such as rural science, animal science and agribusiness could still apply, eligibility was extended to those studying science, technology, engineering and maths, along with studies more broadly aligning with rural industries.
“Students studying in faculties that support the prosperity of rural industries, such as logistics, communications and IT, who are passionate about a career in an agriculture, are also eligible,” it said.
“AgriFutures Australia recognises there is a broad range of skills which contribute to all areas of rural industries, and are looking to attract those skilled individuals into careers in agriculture.
“Fostering collaboration across multiple disciplines contributes to a growing Horizon Scholar Alumni entering the workforce.”
AgriFutures said shifting the scholarship to the last two years of study would increase networking opportunities and pathways into careers in agriculture.
“Providing networking and professional development opportunities, along with valuable industry placements, sees Horizon Scholars beginning their careers in agriculture with direction and readiness.”
Whilst overseen by AgriFutures Australia, the $5000 bursaries are funded by a number of organisations including Australian Eggs, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, the McCaughey Memorial Institute, Meat & Livestock Australia, AgriFutures and Westpac.
Horizon Scholar, Matt Champness, was one of 13 scholarship recipients in 2015, and one of the six funded by the GRDC.
A recent graduate of Charles Sturt University, Mr Champness was awarded the 2018 Agricultural Science medal and said he plans to travel to Lao this year to continue his research in weed management.
“Without a doubt, the Scholarship broadened my horizons and exposed me to so many opportunities that I didn’t know existed. It also connected me with like-minded young people from across Australia,” he said.
“The most enjoyable part about the program was seeing others grow and develop in their confidence.
“The AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship provides an opportunity for students to collaborate with other young agricultural enthusiasts from various walks of life.”
The online application form and terms and conditions for the Horizon scholarship can be found at agrifutures.com.au/horizon
Applications close at 5.00pm AEDT Friday, 1 March 2019.
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