ASAP Scholars

The Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program (ASAP) seeks to enhance the quality of agricultural and environmental education at the University of Illinois through support graduate students studying critical issues in agriculture, food systems and their interactions with the environment and society.  The intent of this program is to recruit and support exceptional graduate students interested in topics of great societal import (eg: climate change, food security, environmental degradation, biodiversity, land stewardship, resource conservation and social equity).  Priority support will be given to topics that have obvious societal benefit that do not have well established sources of funding. Research must be interdisciplinary and address the needs of producers, resource managers or consumers.  In addition, proposals must include outreach to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois.  Extra consideration will be given to projects developed with input from partner organizations.

The ASAP Scholars program is housed within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences but is open to students working across campus.  The program consists of a 2 year commitment of a 25% 11 month research assistantship (RA) and tuition and fee waiver.  Students must identify and consult with prospective faculty advisers before developing a proposal. Co-advising arrangements are highly encouraged.  Partnering entities are being asked to provide a summary of the problem they would like to be addressed, a description of the physical, human and organization resources they could provide, and a commitment to match the level of ASAP support provided to the student in order to bring the student RA to a full time (50%) appointment.

Students should submit materials to by February 15, 2014.  Proposals should include a: 1) Title, 2) Problem statement explaining how the work will address an existing need or gap in knowledge, 3) Description of project participants.   The proposal should not exceed 3 pages excluding 4.  In addition, applicants should provide copies of transcripts, a resume, and three letters of support including letters from advisors and project partners.  Students must apply to, and be admitted into, the home department of one of their major advisors to receive this award.

Contact Michelle Wander for more information at