Scholarships, grants and awards | College of Agriculture and Life Sciences | The University of Vermont(title)

CALS offers a number of academic scholarships and grant opportunities to support students in their academic endeavors.

These opportunities are described below. Please thoroughly review the descriptions and eligibility criteria for each opportunity before applying.

In addition, CALS recognizes a small number of graduate and undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence both in and out of the classroom through its college-wide academic merit awards. Awards are selected based on a review of faculty nominations. Faculty are encouraged to nominate students for these annual awards.

Questions may be directed to CALS Student Services at

Student Academic Merit Awards

Alexander Kende Academic Merit Award (Undergraduate)

This award recognizes an outstanding CALS junior with a demonstrated interest in medicine or biomedical research. The award is named in memory of Alex Kende, a former CALS student who graduated from the Biological Sciences program at the top of his class. Students must be nominated by a faculty member.

Awarded annually during the Spring semester. 

Lawrence K. Forcier Academic Merit Award (Undergraduate)

This award is given to an outstanding graduating CALS senior who has distinguished themselves through academic achievement and outstanding service. Named in honor of former dean Lawrence K. Forcier who served the college with distinction from 1991-1998. Students must be nominated by a faculty member.

Awarded annually during the Spring semester.

Outstanding Leadership and Engagement Award for Undergraduate Students of Color

This award recognizes a student of color enrolled in the UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who has distinguished themselves through leadership and engagement in and/or outside of the classroom including participation in research, internships, student clubs, study abroad, or outstanding service to the community. Nominations can be made by faculty and staff of the University of Vermont, as well as a community partner who has worked closely with the student.

Awarded annually at the Mosaic Center's Spring Awards Banquet.

CALS Graduate Research Excellence Award (Graduate)

This award recognizes two graduate students - one master's degree candidate and one doctoral degree candidate - who are excelling in research and scholarly accomplishments. These may include laboratory and field research and analysis, journal article publication, paper/poster/abstract presentations at conferences, thesis and dissertation research, and grant funding. One doctoral student and one master's student is awarded each year. Students must be nominated by a faculty member. 

Awarded annually during the Spring semester.

Undergraduate Summer Research Funding

Agroecology Extension (AX) Summer Research Fellowship

The AX Summer Research Fellowship pairs students with unique, 10-week long research experiences at sites near Burlington, Vermont. Awards provide a $4500 stipend, on-campus housing, and all research expenses. The fellowship is open to undergraduates who are US citizens/nationals, from any college/university.

Learn more about the program, participating faculty and their projects by clicking here

See application deadlines, instructions and testimonials from former fellows on the Office of Fellowships, Opportunities and Undergraduate Research (FOUR) website

Gilman T. Dedrick Award - Summer Research Internship in Diversified Agriculture

The Dedrick Award supports an undergraduate student to conduct summer research in diversified agriculture. The award shall be used to fund the recipient's research which corresponds with a diversified agriculture topic with a preference for topics that involve animal-related projects. The award provides $2500 to fund the recipient's research.

Application deadline: Friday, April 12, 2024 by 5:00 PM EST

FOOD Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

FOOD SURF provides summer research funding to students conducting research that centers on pressing food systems issues in Vermont and/or the greater Northeast region. The award is sponsored by the Agriculture Research Services of the USDA and hosted by the Food Systems Research Center at UVM. Awards include a $4500 to students and $1500 research allotment direct to the faculty sponsor. 

FOOD SURF is one of several Summer Undergraduate Research Funding (SURF) programs available to undergraduate students at UVM, which pulls together several awards under one common application. See a full list of funding opportunities and application details on the Office of the Fellowships, Opportunities and Undergraduate Research (FOUR) website.

Simon Family Public Research Awards

Given out by the Office of Fellowships, Opportunities and Undergraduate Research (FOUR), the Simon Family Public Research awards provide talented and motivated students with an opportunity to do community-based research that enriches their educational experience and contributes to the welfare of their community.

In recognition of the strain felt by community partners during the pandemic, there are two pathways for funding, Simon Fellowships and Simon Public Research Awards.

  • Simon Fellowships are awarded to 3-5 students engaging in community-based research projects. Students write the proposals, perform the research, and create the deliverables for their community partners. Each student receives $6000 (to be split between research expenses and a personal stipend).
  • A Simon Public Research Award is a faculty-directed experience that seeks to enhance engagement with a community partner. As such, a faculty member submits a short proposal describing the educationally enriching experience ("research internship") they are creating for a student to assist in moving forward a relationship or project with a community partner in mind. Students receive a  $4000 stipend. 

See additional details and application information on the FOUR website.

Undergraduate Academic Scholarships

Aplin Scholarship


In the early 1970's, Cumberland Farms Dairy, Inc. established a scholarship in the name of Richard D. Aplin, Sr. honoring him for contributions to the New England dairy industry. The income from that endowment is available to financially assist eligible students in CALS.

Scholarship Criteria

Preference will be given to but not limited to students enrolled in dairy marketing, dairy technology or farm business management. Students must be an undergraduate in good academic standing and be eligible for financial assistance with UVM's Financial Aid Office. The scholarship may be awarded to more than one student.

Application deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024

Bennett Foundation Scholarship


In 1974 the Foundation for American Agriculture established a scholarship fund at the University of Vermont's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The award is given in the name of Edith T. and Charles Dana Bennett.

Scholarship Criteria

To be eligible, students must be in good academic standing and qualify financially according to UVM's Financial Aid Office. Students must exhibit leadership qualities and be active in non-athletic campus activities. The scholarship may be awarded to more than one student and is for undergraduate students currently enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Application deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024

Holzer Memorial Scholarship


This scholarship was established by the Holzer family in 1968 in memory of Richard H. Holzer who was killed in an automobile accident before the start of his sophomore year in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

Scholarship Criteria

Scholarship awards are available to CALS students who have financial need as defined by UVM's Financial Aid Office and exhibit qualities of leadership and good citizenship as members of the UVM campus community.

Application deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024

New England Farm and Garden Association Scholarship

Scholarship Criteria

To be eligible for the New England Farm and Garden Association Scholarship, a student must be enrolled as an undergraduate student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont, have financial need and meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a degree program with an academic concentration in at least one of the following subjects: environmental sciences, agriculture, arboriculture, conservation, forestry, landscape design, animal science, wildlife biology, oceanography;
  • Preference will be given to those students with a proven commitment to the environment and our natural surroundings, and a strong track record of extracurricular activities that demonstrate the student’s commitment to his or her field of study, as determined by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
  • Students will be eligible to receive a renewal of their scholarship award until they graduate from their undergraduate degree program provided that they remain enrolled at the UVM in one of the aforementioned academic concentrations and maintain the minimum GPA requirement of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Application deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024

Other UVM Scholarships

UVM has a number of additional scholarships available to university students. See a complete list of scholarships on the UVM Student Financial Services website. 

Professional Development Grants

FUSE Grant for Co-Curricular Activities (Undergraduate)

The Fund for Undergraduate Student Excellence (FUSE) is a grant program funded by supporters of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. A limited number of FUSE grants of up to $250.00 (to be matched by the student’s academic department) will be awarded by the Dean’s Office (as funding allows) to selected undergraduate students in CALS to enhance and enrich their undergraduate degree program through participation in a curricular and/or co-curricular activity that is outside of a student’s regular course load.  Examples include special research projects, conferences, professional meetings, alternative spring or winter breaks, and leadership development seminars. Funding is for non-credit bearing activities.

Deadline: Applications are considered on a rolling basis. 


  • Must be a part-time or full-time undergraduate student within CALS.
  • Must be pursuing a major in CALS.
  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
  • Have at least a 100% match by the department and/or the principle investigator.


  • Those students who have not received a FUSE grant will be given priority consideration over those who have already received one.
  • A student may receive only one FUSE grant in any one given year while pursuing his/her undergraduate degree.
  • The same project will not be funded more than once.


  • FUSE grant must be used before completion of the undergraduate degree program;
  • Grant recipients must agree to provide a written summary of the learning outcomes upon completion of the FUSE funded activity to the Dean’s Office.

Download Application

Graduate Student Enhancement Fund (Graduate)

The Graduate Student Enhancement Fund (GSEF) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is made possible by the generous donations of alumni and friends of the College. These funds are allocated at the Dean’s discretion to assist in defraying expenses of those graduate students in the College who are invited to present posters, abstracts, and/or papers at a regional, national, or international society meeting. Donations to this fund vary year to year and awards are granted based on availability of money in the fund.

To provide equity in the process, only one award per graduate student is made in the academic calendar year. In addition, no more than three awards per department can be made in an academic calendar year.

Deadline: Applications are considered on a rolling basis. 


Awarding of GSEF funds are based on the following criteria:

  • The fund has a $800 (lifetime) maximum award per person and requires at least a 100% match by the department and/or the principle investigator.
  • A request for this fund must be accompanied by the invitation to speak or present at the annual society meeting.
  • The application must have a copy of the abstract for the project to be presented.
  • The applicant must be a graduate student in CALS.

We are in the process of transitioning the GSEF to an digital application. In the meantime, please contact CALS Student Services ( to request an application.

Parsons Fund for Professional Development in Production Agriculture (Undergraduate + Graduate)

The Robert L. Parsons Fund for Professional Development in Production Agriculture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences supports the education and professional development of agricultural producers and students in CALS. 

Activities eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, attending national and international conferences and workshops; internships and partnerships with experienced practitioners; facilitation of guest speakers who represent production agriculture; workshops on farm profitability, viability and transition/transfer; professional development in sustainable agricultural production; and other professional skill building opportunities. 

The award was established in honor of Robert Lee Parsons (Bob) who served as a beloved Extension Professor in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics for nearly 20 years until his passing in 2018.

Applications for the next round of awards will be available in Fall 2024.