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​​OPSR ​Plant Pathology Experiential Awards

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

  • One award of $1,000 will be given on an annual basis to an individual graduate student or post-doctorate for funding in support of a short-term experience with a government or private organization to subsidize travel to the host organization. 
  • An additional award of $4,000 for travel subsidy will be given every two years to departments for funding in support of an on-site visit to one or multiple non-academic organization​s. ​

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

Individual Applicants (awarded annually): $1,000 Award​

  • Who should apply: Graduate students and post-docs are invited to apply

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

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

  • How many awards are available: one award of $1,000 is available annually to subsidize travel to the host institution.

​Departmental Applicants (awarded every 2 years): Next award available in 2024

  • ​​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 of this award: to enhance the awareness of business operations and potential career opportunities in institutions outside of academia
  • How many awards are available: one award of $4,000 will be available in FY2024 to subsidize travel to the host institution(s)
  • Other details: This award 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 below must be combined into and submitted as one PDF document in the application linked below by March 15 of each year.

Individual Award 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 Award Requirements​ - next year awarded is 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

Individual Award Applications due March 15 of each year. No department award available in 2023.

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.​

Previous Award Recipients

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

  • 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

  • March 15​​ annually for individual award
  • March 15, 2024 for department award


  • $1,000 (Individual) awarded annually
  • $4,000 (Departmental) awarded every two years. Next award available in 2024​