Lee Foundation scholarships available for promising rice scientists

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PhD scholarships in fields allied with the rice sciences are now available for South and Southeast Asian students. Grantees will work with some of the world’s leading agricultural scientists committed to reducing poverty via food security in the rice-consuming and -producing world. These scholarships are made possible by support from the Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship Program through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Interested students must apply online on or before 15 May 2015. 

"This exciting new program will offer students in South and Southeast Asia a unique opportunity to gain an excellent education in a key area of rice science and be part of helping ensure Asia will never have an empty bowl again," said IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler, referring to projected massive famine in the region in the 1970s that was averted by farm productivity gains of the Green Revolution.

As IRRI has partnerships with top institutions from around the world, the Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship Program—with young rice scientists from South Asia and Southeast Asian countries as its beneficiaries—will enhance linkages between rice research in Asia and international development.

The scholars are anticipated to be part of a new science leadership in the region and build key partnerships for food security over the next 20–25 years.

Established in 2013 through a USD 3 million grant from the Singapore-based Lee Foundation, the scholarship program aims to train and build a new generation of rice scientists.

The program has already granted 19 PhD scholarships to students from eight countries in South and Southeast Asia. The students have undergone a rigorous selection led by IRRI’s research thematic leaders. Some scholars are now graduate fellows at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). Nirmal Sharma (Bangladesh), Pradeepa Hirannaiah (India), Lenie Quiatchon-Baeza (Philippines), Hung Bui (Vietnam), and Parthiban Thathapalli Prakash (India)—made it to the top 15% of the graduate class in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), UIUC and were recognized for excellent academic performance late last year.

Learn more about the Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship Program. If you have inquiries, email  or visit the IRRI Training Center website.

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