• Partial Scholarship

Call for the Harvard University Ashton Award for Student Research 2024 is open now!!!

The Ashton Award for Student Research supports investigations by graduate and advanced undergraduate students working on Asian tropical forest biology.

For over 7,000 years, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum now sits has been inhabited and used by diverse societies and cultures of Indigenous Peoples, including most recently, the Massachusett Tribe. Read about the deep history of the Arboretum landscape.

The Arnold Arboretum acknowledges that benefactor Benjamin Bussey, who bequeathed the land on which the institution now is sited, bought the property with funds amassed from trade in goods produced by enslaved persons. 

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a living museum. A 281-acre preserve in the heart of Boston, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University stewards one of the world’s most comprehensive and best documented collections of temperate woody plants, with particular focus on the floras of eastern North America and eastern Asia. The living collections, herbarium, and library and archives support research both in our own laboratories at Weld Hill and by scholars around the world. Free and open every day, this jewel in the Emerald Necklace park system was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and engages the public through educational opportunities and programs for all ages.

The Ashton Award for Student Research is made possible by the generosity of Professor Peter Ashton and his wife Mary Ashton through the Peter and Mary Ashton Training Fund.

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University discovers and disseminates knowledge of the plant kingdom to foster greater understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of Earth’s botanical diversity and its essential value to humankind.

The Arboretum was established in 1872 when the trustees of the will of James Arnold (1781-1868), a whaling merchant of New Bedford, Massachusetts, transferred a portion of Arnold’s estate to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. In the deed of trust between the Arnold trustees and the College, income from the legacy was to be used “for the establishment and support of an arboretum, to be known as the Arnold Arboretum, which shall contain, as far as practicable, all the trees [and] shrubs . . . either indigenous or exotic, which can be raised in the open air.”


United States


  • The Ashton Award for Student Research supports investigations by graduate and advanced undergraduate students working on Asian tropical forest biology.
  • Awards of up to $4,000 are granted to support student research expenses.


  • Awards are available to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. 
  • The award is not limited to universities in the United States or to US citizens.
Eligible Regions: Open for all.

Application Process

  • Awards are granted through a competitive review process.
  • Selection of recipient(s) will be based on the educational background of the student and their readiness to conduct the proposed research; the quality of the proposed research; and the relevance of the proposed research to the mission of the Arnold Arboretum.
  • To be considered for an award, online applications should include the following:
    • Cover letter.
    • Research statement. The statement should be 1 to 2-pages and describes your research project and how additional funding via the Ashton Award would further your research aims. Include the names of other collaborators (in addition to your advisor). References should be included but do not count as part of the page limit.
    • Research budget. Applicants should submit a simple, 1-page budget that itemizes the research and travel costs associated with the proposed project.
    • Project time-line. Applicants should submit a time-line of the project and anticipated start and end dates.
    • Curriculum vitae.
    • Two letters of recommendation. As part of the online submission, you must send a request to the two referees to submit a letter of recommendation (via the request section). The referee will be automatically sent an email with a link to an online submission form where they will upload a letter of recommendation. It is highly recommended that you contact your referee prior to sending the request. Please inform the referee to expect an email from [email protected] with instructions for submitting a recommendation letter. Each referee must upload his/her letter of recommendation via the link by February 1.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2024

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further queries, contact them through email at [email protected] .
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