Two weeks left to apply for Horizon Scholarship 01 Feb 2016

First-year university students who are studying an agriculture-related university degree only have two weeks left to apply for the Horizon Scholarship.

The Horizon Scholarship, an initiative of the Rural Industries R&D Corporation, in partnership with industry sponsors, provides $5,000 per year for the duration of a student’s university degree. Applications close on Friday, 19 February 2016.

The Horizon Scholarship also offers students annual industry work placements that give them first-hand exposure to modern agricultural practices, access to industry leaders, professional development workshops and opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.

Current Horizon Scholar, Paul Sanderson is studying Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga and he said the Horizon Scholarship provides much more than just financial assistance.

“I really wanted to have a good go at Horizon, because it just really gave the complete package - there are a lot of other scholarships out there that are just financial, but the opportunities that Horizon creates are a lot more valuable than the money itself,” Paul said.

“The industry networks I’ve gained through Horizon will definitely help somewhere along the line - whether I do extra off-farm work or not, those contacts will help me through my career no matter what pathway I take,” Paul said.

“With industry placements and of course the financial payments providing support through university, it’s a fantastic all-round program,” Paul says.

One of the most valuable aspects for Paul has been the industry placements, with his first experience in January 2014 taking him to a cotton farm in southern Queensland.

“Being sponsored by the Cotton Research Development Corporation, I felt it was the best opportunity for myself not having any background in cotton to get up there and learn about the industry.

“Horizon put me on to a fantastic farmer and I went up there and spent some time with him, and he also gave me opportunity to work with agronomists and other industry people while I was there.

“It really is the all-round package for young people wanting to get into agriculture – it’s a great program because agriculture really needs a lot more people getting on-board,” he said.

RIRDC’s Managing Director, Craig Burns said the Horizon Scholarship has been developed to support the next generation of agricultural leaders who will take up the challenge of farming for the future.  

“The Horizon Scholarship not only provides students with financial support, but also invaluable personal development and networking opportunities,” Mr Burns said.

To be eligible for The Horizon Scholarship students must be entering their first year of university and studying a degree related to agriculture, such as agricultural science, rural science, livestock/animal science, veterinary science or agribusiness and plant science. Students must also have started their tertiary studies no longer than two years after leaving high school.

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record. The Scholarship winners are announced in March 2016.

Application forms can be completed via the RIRDC website at

Sponsors of the Horizon Scholarship are the Australian Egg Corporation, ANZ, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, McCaughey Memorial Institute, Meat & Livestock Australia, Sugar Research Australia, and RIRDC (Rice and Chicken Meat research programs).