Dekalb Vietnam: four years of fostering talent

On November 6, 2017, Dekalb Vietnam and the Faculty of Biotechnology of Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) will organise the fourth Monsanto-VNUA scholarship reward ceremony, which is a part of the five-year, VND1.5-trillion ($65.8 million) Monsanto-Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) scholarship programme.  

A day of field research of corn seeds with students at VNUA

1,500 days since the scholarship fund’s foundation, numerous activities and milestones have been reached in order to nurture potential agricultural biotech talents.

Nurturing talents

Four years might be short compared to someone’s lifetime, but it could bring an entire different life and career prospects to outstanding students at VNUA as the scholarship programme alleviates their financial burdens as well as directs physical and intellectual energy towards academic pursuits.

Nguyen Thi Trang, one of the five winners of the fourth Monsanto-VNUA scholarship reward, said she has been doing her best to get the scholarship ever since her university admission.

She also added that the whopping VND42.5 million ($1,863) per year per student scholarship would tremendously benefit the winners. By obtaining the reward, she could pay her tuition, purchase books, reading materials, and other student necessities.

VNUA students researching corn seeds

After four years, 20 students from the Faculty of Biotechnology have obtained the scholarship. The Monsanto-VNUA scholarship has had a positive impact on students’ academic performance throughout the academic years.

Specifically, the ratio of excellent students of all stages of formal education has drastically increased. Two of five winners of the first scholarship reward, namely Nguyen Thi Phuong Anh and Phan Thi Bich Phuong, both graduated with excellent results.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Anh is also one of the 100 graduate valedictorians of the entire country. These students’ achievements strongly prove that the Monsanto-VNUA scholarship is a great source of motivation for students to maximise their academic performance.

Nguyen Duc Bach, dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology, said the Monsanto-VNUA scholarship has certainly toughened up the competition among the students of the department. A great number of students have invested great effort in their academic performance in order to earn the prestigious scholarship.

Science research scholarships-Injecting reality and practicality into science

In addition to supporting students with educational facilities, the Monsanto-VNUA scholarship fund prioritises researches with high practical uses. Therefore, aside from the academic incentive scholarship, the Monsanto-VNUA fund also encourages students to obtain the science research scholarships worth more than VND100 million ($4,383) per year for 3-5 scientific researches.

Furthermore, the Faculty of Biotechnology and Dekalb Vietnam partnered up to host numerous programmes, offering corporate tours and apprenticeships to broaden the education experience for students. This initiative includes corporate tours for hundreds of students and teachers to visit a genetically modified maize in the northern provinces of Phu Tho and Moc Chau, providing favourable conditions for lots of students to earn internships at the firm in recent years.

After four years of operation, the Monsanto-VNUA scholarship fund has collected 18 winning scientific researches. In particular, this year there have been four outstanding researches, such as “How to identify pathological conditions on Lingzhi mushrooms” or “Research on plant reaction and culturing roots of Clitoria ternate.”

Aruna Rachakonda, director of strategy and business development at Monsanto Asia Pacific, asserted that Monsanto takes pride in the cooperation with VNUA the aim of which is to nurture agricultural biotechnology talent.

The firm takes great joy in witnessing the positive impact brought by the scholarship fund as well as hopes to advance the scientific research in the field of nutrition in Vietnam.

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By Sam Luong