New scholarship program focuses on agroecology

Scholarships will support incoming UCSC students as part of a new Multicultural Scholars Program focused on agroecology

March 07, 2019

A new scholarship program for incoming UC Santa Cruz students interested in agroecology, sustainable food systems, and food justice is now available, with an application deadline of April 1, 2019.

Funded through the US Department of Agriculture’s Multicultural Scholars Program, the scholarship effort seeks to build a more inclusive and equitable food system and academic community in agroecology. The program was developed by UC Santa Cruz environmental studies professors Stacy Philpott and Flora Lu, and Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems researcher Damian Parr.

“We hope that providing incoming students with extra funding and support, as well as training in agroecological knowledge and leadership skills, will help create a more diverse and better prepared next generation of leaders in agroecology and food justice,” says Philpott.

Qualifications and support provided

To qualify, students must be accepted to start at UC Santa Cruz in Fall 2019 as a transfer or first-year student, and intend to declare a major in Environmental Studies or a related field. Students must have an interest in agroecology, food systems, or food justice, be a member of a historically under-represented group in academia, and be a U.S. citizen.

Support includes $6,500 in funding a year for four years (or two years for transfer students), as well as assistance with books, leadership skills, and faculty advising.

Each student will also receive a $4,000 stipend to support a summer internship between their junior and senior years. Internship opportunities include research in on-campus labs, work at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems’s campus farm, and placements with local sustainable agriculture organizations, such as the California Certified Organic Farmers and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. 

Application process

To apply for the scholarship, please see this link.

Applications must include a 1–2-page statement of purpose essay, a 1–2-page essay about the student’s interest in agroecology, food systems, and/or food justice, and high school and (if applicable) community college transcripts. In addition, arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent to Dr. Stacy Philpott, Environmental Studies Department, UC Santa Cruz, One letter must be academic (from a teacher, counselor, principal), and the other can be academic or from a job or club supervisor. All materials must be received by April 1, 2019.

For more information, contact Dr. Stacy Philpott,, 831.459-1549.

Download a flyer for the new Multicultural Scholars Program.