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Sir Winston Churchill famously referred to gardening as the ‘natural occupation of man’.

It is, therefore, only fitting that horticulture industry participants have the chance to secure funding via the prestigious Churchill Fellowships to undertake study into key industry areas that can help to promote greater production and prosperity across the sector.

Churchill Fellowships provide an average $26,000 to help talented Australians to travel overseas to conduct study in their chosen field that is not readily available on home shores.  The Fellowships were established in 1965 after the death of Sir Winston Churchill and aim to provide recipients with opportunity in their pursuit of excellence for the enrichment of our society.

Hort Innovation, as part of its new Hort Frontiers strategic co-investment initiative, has joined forces with the Churchill Trust, to help fund three Churchill Fellowships with the aim of driving innovation and transformation within horticulture.  Three Fellowships are open to industry participants, including olive growers, who have an idea for a research project that can benefit the sector.

Applications for the Scholarships are open in February 2018, however now is the time to start thinking about your idea and the questions you could seek to find the answer to through research overseas.  Research questions should:

  • Be new – show in your application why you need to travel overseas to answer the question and advise who you will be visiting and why
  • Be wider than your specific industry – your idea needs to have the potential to benefit the wider horticulture sector. If the idea is specific to the olive sector, then think about how this research may be applicable to other horticulture crops.

No prescribed qualifications are required to apply and the subject of the proposed project is limitless provided there is a benefit to Australia and a willingness to share research finding with the community.  In the case of the three Hort Innovation funded Fellowships there must also be a benefit to the horticulture sector.

Hort Innovation chief executive, John Lloyd, said the organisation’s investment in these sought-after Fellowships formed part of its biggest industry leadership drive in history.

“In the face of an ageing horticultural industry and a fast moving technological landscape, we are rolling out a host of tailored development opportunities for growers, and this is one not to be missed,” he said.

For more information and to find out how to apply click here.