Group of ACIAR Pacific Agriculture Scholarship winners


Applications are now open!

The Pacific Agriculture Scholarships and Support (PASS) Program provides scholarships and support to postgraduate students in agriculture, forestry and fisheries at The University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University. Since 2008, these ACIAR-supported research scholarships have achieved significant results, strengthening agricultural innovation systems in the Pacific.

ACIAR’s Pacific post-graduate scholarships are offered in the Pacific to Pacific Islanders.  This enables scholars to research agricultural problems within the context that the solutions need to work, to build professional networks which will be relevant post-study and remain close to family and culture.

The PASS Program aims to strengthen the Pacific agricultural innovation system through building on the strengths of Pacific universities and their regional partners.  It sits within ACIAR’s Pacific Capacity Building Strategy and is part of ACIAR’s Pacific Step-up.  

Scholarship program outline

ACIAR Pacific Scholar research is aligned to an ACIAR project and addresses a priority research area.  ACIAR also provides an International co-supervisor who is part of the ACIAR project team. Funds to present research results at an international conference included in the scholarship.

Scholarships include PhD and MSc by research at USP and MSc with research component at FNU.  Student research grants cost shared between ACIAR and USP/FNU.

The Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research (ACPIR) at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), provides additional support to PASS scholars and academic staff including professional development, peer-to-peer learning, research collaboration, and higher degree research supervision training. Student work placements and career development are included under the Program to build ongoing industry connections.

Scholarships are advertised annually in September through The University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University for commencement the following year.  

Pacific priority research areas

ACIAR’s 2019 Pacific Island Country consultations identified key priority research areas. 

  • Gender equity and women’s engagement in Pacific agriculture, forestry, fisheries
  • Forestry and agroforestry that supports sustainable livelihoods and land management
  • Climate Change resilient production and food systems
  • Soil fertility, and integrated management of water resources and wastewater
  • Aquaculture and horticulture products and systems for improved nutrition
  • Agribusiness, including post-harvest management and food processing and innovative products
  • Coconut-based systems for economic, social, and environmental resilience
  • ‘One Health’ approaches (integrating human, animal, and environment health) and biosecurity (for crop, livestock and environmental health). Includes crop and plant protection and animal health.
Scholarship criteria
  • Applicants must be a citizen of and currently reside in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu or Vanuatu
  • Applicants must meet the minimum GPA levels as for postgraduate study at USP and FNU. These details are in the USP and FNU links below.
  • Applications must be aligned to active or upcoming ACIAR research project and must address a nominated thesis research question from the supplied list.
  • Applicants must be able to meet government and university mandated requirements for travel to Fiji for study at USP, Laucala or FNU, or Samoa for study at USP, Alafua.
Next steps

Applicants need to identify a research topic from the list and contact the relevant listed Pacific supervisor and ACIAR co-supervisor to discuss and develop their research proposal, before completing their application and providing supporting documentation.

For more information, including application forms and research proposal templates, please contact:

The University of South Pacific

ACIAR scholarships at USP

Mr Josevata Cava, ACIAR-USP Graduate Officer
Email: [email protected]

Fiji National University

Scholarships at FNU

Ms Jyotika Prasad, Acting Deputy Manager International Relations
Email: [email protected]


Applications close: midnight (AEST) Sunday 7 November


For further information about ACIAR’s Pacific work:

Ms Mai Alagcan, Regional Manager Pacific and PNG, Suva, FIJI
Email: [email protected]