University of Florida, DPM Fellowship Opportunity in Plant Biosecurity

The University of Florida, Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) Program is recruiting three USDA-NIFA National Needs Fellows (NNF) in the area of plant biosecurity. The interdisciplinary DPM degree provides professional plant health training across all of the relevant agricultural science disciplines. Students enrolled in the DPM degree complete 84 to 85 classroom credit hours of courses and 15 to 16 credit hours of internships, including two substantial internships. The DPM program has approximately 80 graduates, and alumni have pursued a variety of career opportunities in state and federal government, universities, and the private sector. Florida is also central to many initial U.S. regulatory detections, and the state of Florida has comprehensive regulatory diagnostic services adjacent to campus. Students enrolled in the University of Florida, DPM program have completed federal internships throughout the U.S. through collaborations with the USDA, Animal and Plant Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine. Opportunities for internships also occur through our state regulatory agency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

University of Florida, DPM NNF Scholars will be required to complete the Certificate in Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Management. Specific student learning outcomes for the certificate program include the following:

  1. Identify invasive pests and describe their biology and the problem (or disease) the pest causes.
  2. Develop management options for invasive pests and diseases and methods used to reduce invasiveness.
  3. Describe risk assessment methodology.
  4. Assimilate technical information related to invasive pests and diseases.
  5. Conduct risk assessment using standard methodologies, and
  6. Communicate pest-related hazards and impact on agricultural and natural areas.

The certificate requires that students complete at least 24 graduate level credit hours related to Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Management, including 9-12 credits in technical courses, 9-12 credits in policy courses, at least 6 internship credits in the area of plant health risk assessment and management, and participate in a 1 credit Colloquium in Regulatory Agriculture. Credits from the certificate program can be applied to the DPM degree.

A total of three University of Florida DPM NNF Scholarship recipients will be competitively selected. The fellowship stipend will occur for a duration of three years, and will be $24,500 per year. A tuition waiver of 12 credits (fall semester), 12 credits (spring semester), and 8 credits (summer semester) will accompany the fellowship.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship or nationals of the U.S. as determined in accordance with federal law.
  • A clear statement of purpose that demonstrates the interest of the applicant in Plant Biosecurity, the DPM Program, and any challenges that have been  overcome by the applicant in his/her career development.
  • Three letters of recommendation in support of the applicant and his/her interest in Plant Biosecurity.
  • A complete University of Florida application to the Plant Medicine Program through the University of Florida Graduate School . Minimum requirements for DPM admission include a combined GRE (quantitative and verbal) score of 300 or higher, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Consult Academic Advisor Elena Alyanaya ( ) or Program Director Amanda Hodges ( ) for questions regarding the status of your DPM application.
  • Currently enrolled students are only eligible if he/she has not completed more than one semester of full-time study as a DPM student.
  • Previously enrolled students in the DPM program are not eligible.
  • Women, minorities, first generation students, and underrepresented persons are encouraged to apply.


All interested applicants are encouraged to communicate with the DPM Program Director by e-mail ( ) or phone (352) 273-3957 early in the application process in order to express interest. All NNF Scholars awards will begin no later than fall semester 2018, but may begin as early as fall semester 2017. Deadlines are as follows:

August 1, 2017: Fall Semester 2017

September 1, 2017: Spring Semester 2018 and Summer Semester 2018

October 2, 2017: Fall Semester 2018

Applicants interested in consideration for the Plant Biosecurity NNF Scholars program during 2018 are encouraged to apply by August 1, 2017 for full consideration. Awards will be filled by the first quality applicant pool and early applications for Spring, Summer, or Fall Semester 2018 will be considered with the Fall 2017 applicant pool deadline of August 1, 2017 if applications are complete.


Other questions regarding the NNF Scholars Program should be directed to DPM Program Director, Dr. Amanda Hodges ( ) or (352) 273-3957.