The “Power of One” Doctoral Research Assistantship

Deadline: February 1, 2023

The Quinney College of Natural Resources (QCNR) at Utah State University (USU) is offering a PhD program for a student from a developing nation. The assistantship covers tuition and fees, health insurance, books and materials, housing and food, and a significant research support component for up to 4 years. The goal is to combine scholarship with real-world impact.    

The assistantship is inspired by the international careers of the Donors, Drs. Catherine Schloeder and Michael Jacobs, who received doctoral degrees from USU in Wildlife Ecology and Range Ecology, respectively, in the 1990s. They have spent decades in rural Africa and Asia in an effort to solve complex problems connecting people and ecosystems.

Learn about the Donors

Before beginning the formal application process, student candidates must establish contact with a QCNR faculty member who is able and willing to serve as their graduate advisor for the program ( then look through the department directories). Once a mentoring agreement from a faculty member is secured, student candidates can proceed to submit the standard application packet to the USU School of Graduate Studies ( Student applicants for the Power of One award are also required to:

  1. Prove they are a citizen of a developing nation ( where they now live and have been formally educated in.
  2. Submit a Curriculum Vitae including demonstrated track record of success (e.g., manuscripts or publications, professional presentations, undergraduate research experience, etc.).
  3. Provide written demonstration of financial need.
  4. Write a preliminary plan for their assistantship program with the prospective faculty supervisor.
  5. In collaboration with their faculty mentor, demonstrate to the Power of One Selection Committee that they are the best choice for the assistantship by submitting a 500-word statement describing how and why they believe they are an excellent fit given the Donor’s intentions.

Eligible student applicants who demonstrate the following will be given higher preference: leadership and writing skills, no prior education in a developed country, and funding already in hand for field research. Successful applicants must apply for and maintain non-immigrant student status in the U.S. during their four-year tenure at QCNR.

The Faculty mentor is required to:

  1. Submit a letter outlining why the faculty member is an excellent choice for the award given his or her mentoring experiences, academic record, nature of the proposed research and outreach projects, and ancillary resources that can be committed to the pool of support. The creative and impactful nature of the proposed project, as framed by the faculty member, is also important to describe in this letter.   
  2. Assemble and submit all of the above listed application materials to the QCNR Associate Dean.

Eligible faculty applicants that can demonstrate additional financial support for the effort will be given higher preference.

Deadline of February 1, 2023.

If you have questions, please contact Associate Dean, Karen Beard (