The John Dillon Scholarship 2021 has the participation of many young leaders in the field of agriculture.

Established in 2002 in recognition of Professor John L Dillon's life-long commitment to agricultural research, the JDF aims to develop mid-career professionals' leadership and management skills, particularly targeting scientists, researchers and economists working in agriculture research for development from ACIAR partner countries.

In response to COVID-19, ACIAR has changed the program focus to country-specific instead of global. Therefore, the JDF Vietnam 2021 presents the largest and most diverse selection of Vietnamese fellows compared to all previous years. These fellows are nominated by 13 participating organisations and thoughtfully selected by ACIAR and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

“Capacity building for Vietnamese agriculture researchers has always been an essential part of the 28-year collaboration between ACIAR and MARD. It is recognised as one of the most critical and sustainable results of our partnership. Many Vietnamese researchers have developed their professional capacity and networks after joining the JDF and become leaders and change drivers at work,” said Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Le Quoc Doanh.

The JDF Vietnam 2021 is expected to help address research and scientific management challenges, and help take agriculture and rural development to the next level.

“Another new feature of the 2021 JDF program is the design and implementation of collaborative projects by groups of fellows. The project is a vehicle for the fellows to apply what they learn from the program to solve a pressing challenge within research, agricultural extension, policy or management. In doing projects, they will also interact with relevant industry professionals to expand their network,” said H.E Ms Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam.

The new cohort will start with online training in late October 2021, design and implement their collaborative projects throughout 2022 and go to Australia for a study tour in late 2022 when international travel is allowed.

ACIAR has been active in Vietnam since 1993. It has supported more than 100 Vietnamese researchers to gain postgraduate qualifications and leadership training in Australia. The researchers have joined ACIAR's three fellowship programs (John Allwright, John Dillon, and Meryl Williams Fellowships). The Vietnamese alumni group is an active and powerful community. Many alumni are now leaders, senior experts, and researchers in ACIAR’s partner agencies in Vietnam./.

Minh Van