Deadline Approaching for Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program


Program Awarded $2 million to 12 Students in First Year

Monsanto Company and Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M University System, remind students who are interested in improving research and production in rice and wheat that the application deadline for Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program is February 1.

Students interested in applying to the program can find more details at

Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program pays all costs for students pursuing Ph.D.s in wheat and rice breeding. In 2009, the first year of the program, the panel of judges awarded $2 million to fund 12 scholarships.

"The program received exceptional entries last year, and we're looking forward to students' research ideas for this year," said Program Director Dr. Ed Runge. "The panel of judges and I anticipate another strong group of applications, and we encourage students all over the world to submit their research ideas to improve breeding efforts in rice and wheat, two of the world's most important crops."

Monsanto is funding the program, which is administered by Texas AgriLife Research, through 2013. The program honours the accomplishments of Drs. Henry Beachell and Norman Borlaug, who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively.

"Dr. Beachell and Dr. Borlaug were innovators in breeding techniques throughout their lives," said Ted Crosbie, Monsanto's vice president of global plant breeding. "The program named in their honor is ensuring the next generation of innovative rice and wheat breeders will have the tools and resources to lead the world through the second Green Revolution."

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of global judges chaired by Runge, who is also a professor, and Billie B. Turner Chair in Production Agronomy (Emeritus) within the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University at College Station.

Joining the panel of judges this year is Dr. Catherine Feuillet. She is a research director of wheat genome research at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. She replaced Dr. Michael Gale, who passed away in 2009.

Students can complete their Ph.D. program at any university throughout the world. Part of the research program must be completed in one of the following developed areas: Australia, Canada, the United States or Western Europe. The program also calls for award recipients to conduct at least one season of field work in a developing country.

Monsanto announced its $10 million grant to establish Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program in March 2009 at the 95th birthday of Borlaug. Borlaug passed away in September 2009.

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