Inspiring The Next Gen

We want more young Australians involved in international agricultural research – for the impact they then bring to food and nutrition security, for the benefit the experience provides them personally and professionally, and for the benefits to Australian agriculture in having the added knowledge and resilience that only comes from working in very different  environments, with greater challenges. And we hope you will help us by supporting our NextGen programs.

The Crawford Fund offers a growing set of programs to encourage passionate next generation ‘nextgen’ students, researchers and farmers in their studies and careers and into volunteering opportunities in agriculture for development.We deliver opportunities through our partnership with Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) Network; by providing conference scholarships to our annual conferences and specially developed scholar activities; through our student awards that provide international research experience; and, by providing volunteering opportunities within our mentoring program.

RAID – connect and engage

RAID is an active network of early to mid-career researchers with an interest in agriculture and international development, through which they share knowledge and opportunities, build research capacity, and communicate the value of agricultural research.

We value the contribution of our ‘nextgen’, with RAID having an increasingly active role in Crawford Fund activities. The Fund partners with RAID to connect, engage and support up-and-coming researchers in Australia, and while RAID operates as an independent committee of the Fund, RAID members work with us in our outreach, capacity building and State Committee programs. 

A pivotal part of RAID’s vision is its public and professional presence, which is achieved through its online profile, networking events, professional development workshops and its partnership building.

The Crawford Fund Scholar Program

The Crawford Fund Scholar Program is a unique learning, networking and mentoring opportunity for young students and scientists with a genuine interest in international agricultural research and development.

This initiative represents one of the foundations of our efforts to encourage young Australians into international research, development and education careers. Each year we have around 40 scholars and since the program started in 2010, we have had around 250 scholars participate.

The fun and informative scholar activities around the annual conference – Australia’s key food security event – include personal discussions with inspiring international leaders providing career advice, speed-meeting Australian and developing country researchers explaining how to break into international agriculture, the matching of personal mentors for the duration of the conference and, depending on those involved, well into the future.

You can read the wonderful experiences of our 2018 cohort here or you can hear some of the scholars being interviewed from an earlier conference in the video below. 

Each conference scholarship costs $2000, which covers all travel, accommodation, catering, conference registration, two half day scholar activities and other costs for this inspiring opportunity.

It is possible to nominate and support a scholar, contribute towards provision of a scholarship, and attend the conference and offer your time as a mentor.

If you wish to donate to this program, you can do so here and specify your wish.

Your scholar support is acknowledged in our conference materials and you will be provided with a report from the year’s scholars.

Adding the International Context

The Crawford Fund Student Awards  allow university students to incorporate an overseas focus or component into their studies, including valuable experience and expertise overseas ‘in the field’, making them both more employable and more certain of their career pathway.

These awards are targeted at university students in any area related to food and nutrition security to enable practical, feet-on-the-ground, involvement in an overseas project or study related to a development project as part of university studies.In one year alone, our Student Award recipients travelled to countries including Vietnam, Honduras, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Cambodia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Malaysia and the Philippines. They researched commodities as diverse as beef cattle, spiny lobsters, cassava, fisheries, sweet potato, mango and rice, as well as areas related to biosecurity, integrated cropping systems, media and marketing.

The written reports of our young and enthusiastic researchers are proudly highlighted on our website and social media platforms. Read what recent  Award recipients had to say of their experiences.

Awardees’ safety is paramount and each award is linked to an existing project, which can be governmental (e.g. university, ACIAR, FAO), non-governmental (NGO) or commercial (e.g. seed company).

Each award can be used for airfares and other travel costs, accommodation and subsistence, and/or operational research costs. These awards can vary in amount but will generally be around $3,500. It’s possible to donate towards an award or support an award for a student in a particular State, at a particular university or in a particular field.

If you wish to donate to this program, you can do so here and specify your wishes.

Volunteering for Impact

Volunteering in our Mentoring Program enables young Australians to work on specific targeted projects while being mentored by experienced Australians, with overseas partners working together on agricultural projects. We have regular and dedicated programs delivering outcomes with long-term benefits in Laos, Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Vietnam.

As part of our mentoring program, the Crawford Fund helps to place, develop programs with, and encourage young Australian agricultural volunteers, to work in developing countries to build local and personal capacity.

As the volunteers are supported through the Government’s Australian Volunteer Program, donations for the volunteers in our mentoring program are used to provide additional equipment and impact to the work underway. You can donate to volunteers being placed in each of our mentoring programs, highlighted on our website.

Watch two former volunteers with videos of Madaline Healey  and Kylie Ireland who have both completed their volunteering and returned with us as mentors.

By donating funds to support young scientists and students you can help shape their future in Australian agriculture and international development.

Donations are tax deductible, and your support is appreciated and acknowledged.


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