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​​​APS Foundation Student ​Awards

Award applications are part of the online process by which students register and submit abstracts to the APS Annual Meeting. We strongly recommend that you complete all application components as a Word document, and then paste each component as in the appropriate section of the online application portal. Pay special attention to the bulleted lists within sections 1-5, as they describe precisely how reviewers will score the applications. Section 6 will be used by the APS Foundation Board and will not affect your application score. ​However, Section 6 must be completed before you can submit your application.

For 2021, the travel awards will cover costs associated ​with virtual registration to Plant Health 2021. No travel funds will be administered. 

Applications must be submitted by April 15 in conjunction with the Plant Health 2021 abstract submission process.

Applicants must be a current paid APS student member and plan to give an oral or poster presentation at the upcoming APS Annual Meeting. In addition applicants who did not receive an award the previous year are eligible to apply.​​​


1) Abstract content and style (250-word limit, 20 points)

The abstract uploaded as part of the annual meeting registration will be automatically included in the student’s application package for the travel award. If a student is submitting multiple abstracts, within the online APS registration portal, only accept the option to apply for a Student Travel Award for the abstract you want to be evaluated as part of the travel award application. Students can only include one abstract as part of the travel award application.

  • Title clear, interesting, and with broad appeal? (0-5 points)
  • Clear objective? (0-5 points)
  • Study placed in context of pathosystem or larger field? (0-5 points)
  • Engaging style and clear summation or conclusion? (0-5 points)

2) Professional Development Plan for the Annual Meeting (500-word limit, 20 points)

Briefly describe your plan to make the most of your time at the meeting.

  • How will you choose and capitalize on networking opportunities? (0-5 points)

  • How will you make contacts and appointments before the meeting? (0-5 points)

  • How will you choose the above contacts? (0-5 points)

  • What 10 keywords would you use to search the meeting program? (0-5 points)

3) Tapping into Graduate Student Creativity (20 points total)

This section is split into two sub-sections, both of which are designed to allow graduate students to showcase their creativity in soft skills such as fundraising and public outreach.

   Part 1: Foundation Fundraising/ Generation of New Donors (250-word limit)

  • Propose an initiative to either raise additional funds for Foundation, to attract new donors from within membership, or to attract new donors from outside membership. Describe how someone could contribute to the above effort, ensure its success, or enlist others to help. If Foundation implements your idea, you’ll be offered a role in leading it, but your selection is not contingent on accepting the offer. 

  • Creativity/ originality of idea (0-5 points)

  • Potential for success and evidence in support (0-5 points)

   Part 2: Community Engagement (250-word limit)

  • Propose an idea for how to engage and communicate with your local community about topics in plant pathology. What is a way that you can generate interest about a specific topic with the general public?
  • Creativity/ originality of idea (0-5 points)
  • Potential for success and evidence in support (0-5 points)

4) Curriculum Vitae (CV) (2-page limit, 20 points)

Please provide a CV that gives emphasis to public engagement, service, and excellence in research and outreach.
  • Clear, attractive format, free of errors (0-5 points)
  • Evidence of engagement in APS at any level (0-5 points)
    • ​Membership duration, regional or national meeting attendance, publication in APS journals, committee involvement, etc.
  • Evidence of service and volunteerism at department, disciplinary, or institutional level (0-5 points)
  • Evidence of productivity and excellence in research, teaching, or outreach (0-5 points)

5) Advisor’s letter of support (1-page limit, 20 points)

Faculty providing the letter of support will submit their letter through a unique link that is emailed to them through the online travel award application system. The link leads to a web page within the student application where the text of their recommendation letter can be copied to a form field and submitted. This ensures the faculty letters of recommendation will not be accessible by the student applicants. Once the student applicant has designated within the online application who will be writing a letter of recommendation on their behalf, he/she will be able to see when the letter has been submitted by their advisor but cannot access the letter once uploaded. 

  • Does the letter provide a compelling reason to recognize the student with an award from Foundation? (0-10 points)
  • Does the letter provide specificity to support general claims regarding the student (0-10 points) 

6) Survey (no point value):

The following section is used for planning purposed only by the APS Foundation. Although it has no point value and is not used in the evaluation process, it's completion is required for all applicants. ​