ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) and Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M University System, have announced the open call for applications for students interested in pursuing research in wheat or rice plant breeding.


Applications for the third round of funding from Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program (MBBISP) are being accepted now through February 1, 2011. Funds are available for scholars pursuing a doctorate in wheat or rice plant breeding. Students interested in applying can find more details at www.monsanto.com/mbbischolars.


"Every year, the quality of the entries exceeds our expectations," said Program Director, Dr. Ed Runge of Texas A&M University. "I anticipate another strong group of applications from students all over the world interested in improving breeding efforts in rice and wheat, two of the world's most important crops."


Monsanto is funding the program, which is administered by Texas AgriLife Research, through 2013. The program honors the accomplishments of Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug, who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively.


"I can think of no better way to honor the landmark work of these two important researchers than by encouraging new scientific research in these two important crops," said Ted Crosbie, Monsanto's vice president of global plant breeding. "The program named in their honor is ensuring the next generation of innovative rice and wheat breeders will have the tools and resources to lead the world through the second Green Revolution."


Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of global judges chaired by Runge, who is also a professor, and Billie B. Turner Chair in Production Agronomy (Emeritus) within the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University at College Station.


Students from anywhere in the world can complete their Ph.D. program at any university in the world that grants a Ph.D. in rice or wheat breeding. Part of the research program must be completed in one of the following developed areas: Australia, Canada, the United States or Western Europe if students are enrolled in a developing country university. The program also calls for award recipients to conduct at least one season of field work in a developing country if they are enrolled in a university in Australia, Canada, USA or Western Europe.


Monsanto announced its $10 million grant to establish Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program on March 25, 2009 at the 95th birthday of Dr. Borlaug who passed away in September 2009.


SOURCE: Monsanto