Graduate Student Grants
ATTENTION: When applying for this grant, please refer to the guidelines in the Call for Proposal and carefully follow the application procedures.
SARE may be a small program compared to other USDA agricultural efforts, but it consistently has an impact out of proportion to its budget. One aspect of the program contributing to this success is the high level of continued engagement researchers have with the SARE program; researchers and Extension specialists routinely revisit SARE as a source of grant funding for sustainable agriculture projects.
In the Southern region, this relationship is best illustrated through the Graduate Student Grant program. The grant was started in 2000 to give Master’s and PhD students the opportunity to conduct sustainable agriculture research projects. It has been a vehicle to apply for other SARE grants as students further their research careers.
The funding level for Graduate Student Grants initially was $10,000 for up to a three-year project. In 2012, that amount was increased to $11,000, and in 2017 the funding level was increased to $16,500. To date, Southern SARE has awarded 161 Graduate Student grants, totaling more than $1.5 million.
Graduate Student Grant projects should address sustainable agriculture issues of current and potential importance to the Southern region and the nation.
Who can apply for a Graduate Student Grant?
Full-time Ph.D. and Master’s students enrolled at an accredited institution in the Southern region are eligible to apply. The graduate student must be considered full-time (according to his or her institution’s requirements) at the time of proposal submission.
How much will the grants fund and how many are funded?
Project maximum for Graduate Student Grants is $16,500 for up to three years of research. SSARE funds about 8 proposals each year.
What can Graduate Student Grant funds be used for?
Graduate Student Grant funds MAY be used for the following purposes:
- Equipment (any equipment obtained becomes the property of the university that the funded graduate student attends);
- Labor (The graduate student project investigator may receive up to a maximum of 50 percent of the project total. This is actual identifiable work on the project and NOT a general graduate stipend);
- Special texts not readily available;
- Farm equipment rental or operating charges;
- Travel and per diem necessary for the project (use your university per diem rules).
Are there things that Graduate Student Grant funds can't be used for?
Graduate Student Grant funds MAY NOT be used for the following purposes:
- Graduate student stipends;
- Travel to scholarly meetings or any international travel;
- Preparation of thesis or dissertation copy;
- Publication costs;
- Purchase of classroom books or payment of tuition;
- Permanent capital improvements (e.g. land, buildings, etc.)
What else should I know about Graduate Student Grants?
- An applicant may receive only one Graduate Student Grant during his or her degree program.
- Successful proposals include a clear and well-defined research topic that directly contributes to a better understanding of sustainable agriculture.
Ready to Apply?
When you are ready to apply for a Graduate Student Grant, download the Graduate Student Grant Call for Proposals and carefully follow the instructions. The application process always begins with the Call for Proposals. All the rules and guidelines and everything you need to complete the application process and successfully submit your project can be found in the Call for Proposals.