ASAP works to enhance the quality of agricultural and environmental education at the University of Illinois by supporting graduate and undergraduate students studying critical issues in agriculture, food systems, and their interactions with the environment and society. While ASAP is housed within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences our programs are open to students, staff and faculty working across campus.
The ASAP Scholars Program is designed to recruit and support exceptional graduate students interested in agriculturally- related topics of societal import (eg: climate change, food security, environmental degradation, biodiversity, land stewardship, resource conservation, and social equity). Priority support is given to topics that have obvious societal benefit that do not have well established sources of funding. We are particularly interested in supporting research that is synergistic with ASAP projects on local grain production and use, plant-soil interactions, animal welfare and/or agroforestry systems.
ASAP scholars recieve a 2 year commitment of a 25% 11 month research assistantship (RA) and tuition and fee waiver. Students are encouraged to work with prospective faculty advisers to develop their application materials. Co-advising arrangements are highly encouraged.
Application information here
ASAP supports undergraduate interns in numerous ways by engaging them in hands on research, writing projects, conferences and more. If you are a faculty member or student that wants to partner with ASAP on a project that engages students in efforts that address ASAP’s goals please contact us! If you have media and outreach skills and want to develop content for our blog please get in touch.
Reimagine the Future
ASAP supports the ‘Reimagine the Future’ competition on campus which invited students to develop an original proposal and ultimately a fact sheet that addressed one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Initated in 2021, the competition engages undergraduate students to work individually or in groups that can include projects that engage students from other institutions. Inspired by 2021’s success, the competition’s administration was transferered to the Student Sustainability Committee. With 180 participants from multiple institutions in 2022, competition organizers are looking forward to Fall 2023! For more on this visit the website.
Intern Institutional Network on Food and Agricultural Systems
In addition to these campus activities, ASAP collaborates nationally through INFAS which works to strengthen connections between food system scholars, educators, and action-researcher activists across the US. Over the past two years we have worked to move the institutional home of INFAS, which is supported by a 2010 endowment from the WK Kellogg Foundation, from U.C. Davis to a multi-entity, workgroup-based organization that implements a shared leadership structure to award funds supporting our initiatives. INFAS holds regular virtual summits and invites scholars to join in working groups. This is a great opportunity for early career scholars to network and have an impact!
ASAP special projects can support visiting scholors, conferences or workshops addressing priority issues. Examples of this are the Illinois Organic Project.