Dr. C. Jerry and Barbara Nelson MU-Korea Ag Alumni Fellowship

For MU and Korean Graduate Students

About the Fellowship

The MU-Korea Ag Alumni Fellowship focuses on improving relationships and opportunities for agricultural research and scholarship between the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and key universities in the Republic of Korea. Dr. C. Jerry Nelson, retired Curator’s Professor of Plant Sciences, has long been a friend and adviser to Korean students and visiting scholars at MU. Upon the death of his wife Barbara in December, 2003, the Korean graduate students, mainly in CAFNR, and the MU-Korea Ag Alumni Association in South Korea initiated a Fellowship fund to honor the service Barbara and Jerry had rendered to Korean students at MU and to continue building relationships with several Korean Universities.

The Fellowship also recognizes the more than 40 extended visits to South Korea where Dr. Nelson engaged with agriculture leaders, presented lectures to students and promoted research collaboration of MU faculty with Korean counterparts in Universities and Research Institutes. Dr. Nelson attracted scores of scientists and graduate students from Korea for research leaves or graduate degrees at MU. Based on encouragement from scientists and governmental officials in South Korea, he hosted several groups of agricultural scientists from North Korea at MU for training programs, and made four visits to North Korea to help improve its agriculture and food production. He provided leadership for the concept and establishment of the innovative Asian Affairs Center at MU, then provided counsel as it grew to a major programmatic resource for MU to build and interact with several countries in East and Southeast Asia.

About C. Jerry & Barbara Nelson

Dr. Nelson joined the University of Missouri in 1967 where he was active in research and teaching. He conducted research on photosynthesis and yield-limiting factors of tall fescue, mainly on regulation of leaf growth and tiller formation. His leaf-growth model is the recognized standard world model for most cool-season grasses. He mentored 27 M.S. and Ph.D. students and hosted 28 visiting scientists for extended work on research projects. Dr. Nelson was elected by the membership to serve as president of the Crop Science Society of America (1988) and the American Society of Agronomy (1996). He led formation of the International Crop Science Society and served as the first president (2000-2004). 

Barbara Nelson played a leadership role in Meals on Wheels, a non-profit organization that extends independence to local seniors, and was also a leader in Girl Scouts.

Fellowship Purpose

  • Provide financial support for short-term participation of graduate students from select Korean universities with research programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri (MU). Goals are to enhance the student’s program and encourage development of cooperative research efforts.
  • Similarly, it supports graduate students from MU-CAFNR for short-term participation in research programs at Korean universities. The CAFNR website describes the scope of programs and research faculty in each administrative unit.
  • Enhance graduate degree by learning research methods and experiencing differences in social and scientific cultures between the two countries. 

Number of Scholarship Awards

  • Two $4,000 awards can be made annually, preferably one in each direction.
  • Funds can be used for air travel, living expenses and health insurance.
  • Duration of stay for at least 3 months at any time during the year.
  • Additional support from professors or other sources is encouraged.


  • A student currently enrolled in a graduate program in Korea and a student currently enrolled in a graduate program in CAFNR are eligible.
  • Qualify for a valid visa for the duration of study abroad program in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR: cafnr.missouri.edu).
  • Signed agreement on program by major professor and host professor involved in the exchange. Submitted after award is made to assist in visa and other issues.

How to Apply

Please include the following in your application.

  1. Your name (applicant).
    • Mailing address
    • Email address
    • Phone number
  2. Current University in Korea or at MU.
    • Whether currently in M.S. or Ph.D. program
    • Department or program of study
    • Date of start in graduate program
    • Expected graduation date (month and year)
  3. Current faculty advisor email address.
  4. Research summary: provide a summary of your research goals, general thesis topic and progress made so far.
  5. The names of the potential advisor and program in Korea or CAFNR you want to join.
    The potential advisor should be contacted to ensure the interest in hosting you. Send the potential mentor at host university a copy of your professional resume, university transcripts, curriculum vitae that describes your academic experiences, and a list of achievements such as honors, publications or presentations.
  6. Potential dates of Fellowship support.
  7. Additional funding: Do you have added funds from the Department, Graduate School, research grant or other sources for your degree program? If so, describe source, amount and purpose.
  8. Scholarship justification: Provide a summary of goals for the Fellowship including a general plan and justification for your participation in the Fellowship Program. Indicate how it will benefit your overall professional development (maximum of 2 pages).
  9. Budget: Provide a budget and budget justification. You may request up to $4,000 to cover travel, visa, health insurance and living expenses.
  10. Letters of support: Request two letters of support to be sent directly to Dr. Jose (joses@missouri.edu) with a copy to Rhonda Turner (TurnerRH@missouri.edu) by the deadline, one from your advisor and a second one from another faculty member.
  11. Letter of acceptance from your potential Fellowship advisor in Korea or in CAFNR.

Submit all application materials by July 31, 2024, as a single PDF file (except the two letters of support) by email to:

Dr. Shibu Jose, Associate Dean for Research
Room 2-44 Agriculture Building
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri 65211 USA