While pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, Hillary Sardiñas’ goal was to translate research into practical information on the steps farmers can take to support native pollinators.
Along the way, she got critical funding support from a SARE Graduate Student grant. “Writing a SARE grant was a really great experience because it allowed me to articulate my research and come up with a budget for it,” Sardiñas says. “I was able to hammer out a lot of the details that up to that point had been largely theoretical.”
The impact of the SARE Graduate Student grant program is shared through stories, video, testimonials and numbers online at:
Sardiñas, now a pollinator conservation specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, is one of 600 agricultural scientists who have received a SARE Graduate Student grant since they were first offered in 2000. Like many others, she credits the funding program—intended to support young scientists engaged in collaborative, practical research on sustainability issues—with helping her conduct meaningful research, get published and achieve her career goals.
Investing in the Next Generation of Agricultural Scientists is also available as a 12-page report. Visit www.sare.org/graduate to download a PDF or order free hard copies.
Faculty members who work with graduate students on their SARE-funded projects also see the program’s value. “Often, through managing a SARE-funded project, the student, who may be focused on basic research, learns the importance of applied research and helping the farmer who is facing a real problem,” says Virginia Tech entomology professor Thomas Kuhar, who has worked with four SARE-funded students. “The experience clearly helps the students think more about what they are doing and how it fits in the real world.”