CAN (ON): 20 scholars enter new partnership to intensify training for agri-food leaders

The provincial government and the University of Guelph have partnered through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance and the University’s Food from Thought program to deliver enhanced training to graduate students.

The newly revamped Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Scholarship program brings together and aligns the former Food from Thought Research Assistantship Program and the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance-led HQP Program. Beginning September 2019, this partnership provides up to 20 master’s and PhD students with research and career interests in agri-food with stipends of $20,000 and $25,000 per year, respectively, through a competitive application process. The recipients will engage in innovative research that tackles key research priorities for the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance and Food from Thought.

“New technologies, approaches and consumer preferences are influencing the way our food is produced, processed, manufactured, and reaches customers, requiring new and different skills for those entering the agri-food workforce,” says Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research). “Through highly unique experiential training and education initiatives, the Highly Qualified Personnel Scholarship Program is one of the University of Guelph’s many approaches to equip graduates to enter a dynamic industry.”

The program targets students with potential to make significant contributions to the agri-food sector and to excel in their research and careers. Recipients are selected based on their academic achievements and strong initiative, leadership, and entrepreneurship qualities.

“I want to extend a warm welcome to the scholars participating in the HQP Scholarship program this year,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Ontario is committed to the growth and success of our agri-food sector, and their exceptional enthusiasm, academic expertise and leadership are key to shaping the sector’s future.”

The HQP Scholars will take an Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agri-Food Systems course, developed in partnership with the Arrell Food Institute. The practical course involves completing a team challenge project in collaboration with an industry partner, or participating in a workplace experience program. The HQP cohort will complete their experiential learning in the course alongside Arrell Scholars.

Source: University of Guelph

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