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​​​OPSR ​Plant Pathology Experiential Fund

The APS Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR), with support from APS Foundation, sponsors Plant Pathology Experiential funds to promote career and research development experience and opportunities​ with organizations classified within industry and/or government. This initiative was created in 2014 with seed funding from the Don and Judy Mathre Education Endowment and through the support of private sector companies. 

  • One $1,000 honorarium is available on an annual basis to an individual graduate student or post-doctorate for funding in support of a short-term learning experience with a non-academic institution. Funds are used to subsidize travel to the host organization. 
  • Every two years a travel subsidy of $4,000 is available to academia departments to support an on-site visit to 2+ non-academic organization​s to create and increase awareness of business operations and potential career opportunties. ​Funds available for FY24.

  • The purpose of this experiential fund is to support professional development, learn about career opportunities and/or gain technical expertise in support of ​​current research endeavors. 

Individual Applicants

  • Who should apply: Graduate students and post-docs who are current APS members are invited to apply

  • What to expect: a short-term experience with a government or private institution outside of academia

  • P​urpose: to support professional development to learn about career opportunities and/or gain technical expertise in support of current research endeavors

  • Funds available:  $1,000 grant is available annually to subsidize travel to the host institution.

​Departmental Applicants (given out every 2 years)

  • ​​Who should apply: Academic research departments​​
  • What to expect: a short-term experience for students and post-docs with a government or private institution outside of academia
  • Purpose: to enhance the awareness of business operations and potential career opportunities in institutions outside of academia
  • Funds available: One grant of $4,000 will be available in FY2024 to subsidize travel to the host institution(s)
  • Other details: This grant may contribute toward participation in the OPSR Private and Public Sectors Plant Pathology Tour​ when/if the tour takes place in the same year​

All required application documents noted below are to be combined into one PDF document and uploaded via the application by March 30, 2024​​.

Individual Application Requirements

  • one-page essay describing the objectives, approximate dates, and expected outcomes of the experience
  • applicant's current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • acknowledgement from the company or organization of the willingness to serve as host
  • approval from the student and/or post-doctorate's advisor for the short-term visit to the host institution/company​

Department Application Requirements​ - accepted in 2024

  • One letter describing:
    • the institution or company to be visited
    • approximate visit dates
    • estimated number of students/faculty/post-doctoral scientists/technical staff that might participate in the visit,
    • how the experience will add value to the department
  • ​One letter of approval from the head or chair of the university department for the visit
  • One acknowledgement from the host organization of its willingness to accommodate a visit from that university department

Both Individual and Department Applications are accepted through March 30, 2024

Recipients are selected by a review committee that will evaluate applications based on merit of individual applicants as well as the quality and expected outcome of the proposed experience.

Individual and department applicants will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of members of the APS Office of Private Sector Relations and the APS Foundation.​


  • 2023: Mychele Batista da Silva, Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station (Individual)

  • 2022: Association of Plant Pathology Scholars, University of Kentucky​ (Department)​

  • 2019: Annakay Diana Newell (Individual)

  • 2018: Shankar Shakya (Individual)

  • 2017: Mihir Mandal (Individual)

  • 2017: University of Georgia, Plant Pathology Department

  • 2015: Louisiana State University, PPCP GSA Department

  • 2015: Jade Florence (Individual)