Pest Management Scholarships

Get Paid to Learn About Bugs!

People working in the field of pest management continue to gain knowledge in the prevention, suppression, and eradication of organisms that endanger plants and structures. Pest management uses evolving technologies to ensure the safety of both crops and places where people live and work.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture funds many university studies of troublesome plants and animals. For example, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) gave out $4.6 million in 2010 for research in stopping the invasion of plants that threaten agriculture.

That level of federal investment guarantees that scholarships in the field will remain available, and some examples appear below.

pest control scholarship

Scholarship Programs

PPQ William F. Helms Student Scholarship

This scholarship provides not only financial assistance but also paid work in biological control during your break periods, and possibly also later employment with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS’ mission is to protect the nation’s agriculture and natural resources, and to that end the organization invests in educating future workers it will need to combat pests.

The William F. Helms Scholarship pays up to $5,000 per year for your education and gives recipients on-the-job experience in trapping unwanted insects, managing them with pesticides, inspecting agricultural exports, and other related tasks. Nothing will look better on your resume than such hands-on training, and you’ll be working for APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) division.

Harry Scott Smith Endowed Fund in Entomology

The University of California (Riverside)’s Department of Entomology offers the Harry Scott Smith award to UCR graduate students specializing in biological pest control. The Department’s Chair determines how the award will be distributed, and you may contact that office directly for details.

Robert van den Bosch Scholarship in Biological Control

The University of California (Berkeley)’s College of Natural Resources offers the Robert van den Bosch Scholarship to underwrite CNR graduate student research. The scholarship’s amount ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, depending upon competitive rank, and research may be in either biological control or systematics.

The Dixon Scholarships

In the University of Florida’s Entomology and Nematology Department, R. Earl Dixon has established two scholarships for students with majors that fall within the department’s scope. Applicants must be studying either agricultural or urban pest management, and a number of factors such as academic achievement and financial need will be considered in making the awards. Look for the Earl Dixon, Jr. Scholarship and the Carolyn D. Richardson Scholarship on the department’s scholarship page.

National Pest Management Association

Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) is an affiliate group of the National Pest Management Association, which focuses on fighting nuisance insects and animals. PWIPM, which supports women working in the traditionally male-dominated pest control industry, awards a scholarship of at least $1,000 each year to a woman interested in a career in pest management.

The recipient will also receive $500 to defray travel expenses to the National Pest Management Association’s annual conference. Applicants must have two years experience, be currently employed in the field, and submit an essay plus two letters of recommendation.

Pesticide upstart Nisus Corporation, through PWIPM, awards a scholarship in the amount of $2,500 each year to a female graduate student who intends to pursue a career in the urban pest control industry. Applicants must have either a research or a practical background, or a strongly demonstrated interest, in a related field such as urban entomology. An additional award of $500 pays for travel as above.

Lynn Hopper Memorial Scholarship

Arkansas residents studying business and pest management on a full-time basis are invited to apply for the Arkansas Pest Management Association’s Lynn Hopper Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is renewable, in the amount of $500 per semester. Candidates are asked to submit an original essay and three letters of recommendation as part of the application process. The scholarship recipient must intend to work in pest management for a minimum of two years after graduating.

International Organization for Biological Control

The International Organization for Biological Control Nearctic Regional Section sponsors two Outstanding Graduate Student Awards in the field, Robert J. O’Neil Outstanding PhD in Biological Control Award and the Outstanding MS in Biological Control Award. Applicants must supply a description of their research and its relevance, a curriculum vitae, and two personal references.

Pest Control Operators of California

The industry association known as Pest Control Operators of California offers scholarships with very flexible terms, in the interest of raising awareness of the pest control industry as a career option. California is a very ecologically minded state, and students there view pesticides with great disfavor, so the association is attempting to counteract that effect. The dollar value of the scholarship varies each year, but the goal is to reach the amount of $5,000 per award.


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