Pasture research funding opportunities now on offer

March 26 2022 - 1:00am
Beth Penrose, pasture science lecturer at the University of Tasmania, says the AW Howard Memorial Trust grants helped further her career.

A fresh suite of grants, awards and scholarships are now on offer through the AW Howard Memorial Trust.

The Trust's various awards encourage and promote research and investigation in the fields of natural science and social science (including economics) which relate to the development, management and use of pastures.

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Established in 1964 to commemorate the unique contribution of Amos Howard in the discovery and use of subterranean clover as a pasture plant in Australia, the Trust twice a year seeks grant applications from the research and academic community.

Applications are currently being sought for AW Howard Memorial Trust early career research grants, grants in aid, honours and masters scholarships, study awards, and pastoral industry extension awards.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

. Early career research grants support research activities that improve the development, management and use of pastures. Grants are limited to $15,000 each.

. Grants in aid, limited to $5000 each, are awarded to projects that: commemorate important contributions to pastoral sciences or industry; distribute scientific innovations to develop pasture use within Australia's regions or to invite prominent overseas pasture scientists to Australia to deliver keynote addresses at relevant conferences or visit regional scientists and community groups involved in pastoral industries; or need essential equipment for pastoral scientific research and development.

. Honours and masters scholarships are for projects that facilitate pasture research.

Each scholarship offers a stipend of $5000 and operating expenses of $3000.

Eligible recipients must be intending to commence approved honours or masters tertiary studies with any Australian university.

. Study awards of up to $5000 are awarded to scientists to undertake overseas study tours or participate in national or international conferences.

Tours and conferences must be related to pasture research and within the aims of the Trust.

. The Pastoral industry extension study awards, worth up to $20,000 each, aim to support study tours that examine successful grazing systems and practices and have the potential to benefit Australian pastoral industries and rural communities.

Applications for all the aforementioned awards close on March 31.

Former early career research grant recipient Beth Penrose strongly encourages others to apply for the funding on offer.

"The funds received through the Trust allow recipients to test their research ideas, build grant track records, be the foundation for larger projects, and help farmers at the same time," said Dr Penrose, who is a lecturer in pasture science at the University of Tasmania.

Dr Penrose used her grant, awarded in 2020, to investigate the effect of soil nutrients on nodulation of white clover and the status of the white clover seed bank of Tasmanian dairy pastures.

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The Grant enabled Dr Penrose to engage honours student Will Coad who worked closely with farmers during the investigation and has since found employment as a pasture agronomist in Tasmania.

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