Researchers and tertiary students with a passion for pastures are being offered a unique opportunity to enhance their studies and further their careers.

A suite of scholarships and fellowships has been made available through the AW Howard Memorial Trust Inc.

The Trust’s various awards encourage and promote research and investigation in the fields of natural science and social science (including economics) which relate to the development, management and use of pastures.

Established in 1964 to commemorate the unique contribution of Amos Howard in the discovery and use of subterranean clover as a pasture plant in Australia, the Trust each year seeks applications from the research and academic community for its various awards, grants, scholarships and fellowships.

Applications are currently being sought for Howard Trust Honours and Masters Scholarships, Post-Graduate Research Fellowships and the Tim Healey Memorial Scholarship.

The not-for-profit AW Howard Memorial Trust has awarded more than 400 grants of various descriptions since it was established in 1964 by the then Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (now Ag Institute Australia) through donations from benefactors.

One of those recipients who has benefited enormously from the Trust’s funding program has been Dr Jane Kelly, who received a Post-Graduate Research Fellowship to support her PhD studies into the economic and animal welfare impact of barley grass seed contamination in sheep.

A lecturer in livestock production management at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga (New South Wales), Dr Kelly encourages others to seek out the awards on offer.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the Trust and the value of its support of agricultural research,” says Dr Kelly, a resident of Orange in NSW. “I would not have been able to complete my studies without the assistance I received through the AW Howard Fellowship.”

The Fellowship enabled Dr Kelly to not only investigate the impact of barley grass seed contamination in sheep, but she also researched management options to reduce the risk of contamination and has developed a mathematical model describing barley grass population dynamics over time and a complementary bio-economic model for seed contamination in sheep.

Dr Kelly, who has also presented on her work and authored a number of papers and publications, says results from her research will ultimately lead to a greater understanding of barley grass control measures, particularly in legume pastures, to manage contamination risk in sheep.

Unique in its focus on pasture-related research and development, the AW Howard Memorial Trust is now seeking applications for the second round of Honours and Masters Scholarships for projects that facilitate pasture research.

Each scholarship offers a stipend of $5000 and operating expenses of $3000. Eligible recipients must be intending to commence approved Honours or Masters tertiary studies with any Australian university.

The Research Fellowships, provided in the form of top-up postgraduate stipends of $10,000 per year for up to 3.5 years, are awarded to Australian postgraduate students or those holding similar awards.

The Tim Healey Memorial Scholarship was established by the Cooperative Research Centre for Future Farm Industries in recognition of a former Board Member, the late Dr Tim Healey. Dr Healey had broad interests encompassing agriculture, arts, architecture and travel. The Scholarship is administered by the AW Howard Memorial Trust.

It offers a $10,000 annual postgraduate stipend ‘top-up’ for up to 3.5 years for holders of Research Training Program awards or equivalent for research in a field that benefits the future of Australian farming. Study areas include pastures, livestock management, farming systems, agronomy, farm business management, woody crops, on-farm biodiversity and socio-economic aspects of farming.

The AW Howard Memorial Trust is managed by a committee drawn from the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Research and Development Institute which is the research division of the SA Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) and scientists experienced in crops and pastures including tropical pastures.

Application forms are available on the Trust’s website, More information is available via the Trust’s executive officer, phone (08) 8303 9400 or email

Jane Kelly

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