Scholarships & Student Benefits

Scholarships, Awards, and Internships

The American Conifer Society now offers one or more annual awards of up to $10,000 to worthy candidates pursuing careers in horticulture, plant sciences, ecology, forestry, environmental sciences or related fields who have demonstrated an interest in conifers. All scholarships and awards must be used for educational purposes consistent with the mission of the ACS. Examples are the study, development, preservation, promotion, and appreciation of conifers (including ginkgo) in landscapes and gardens open to the public.

Several categories of awards are offered with the distribution and amounts of awards to be at the discretion of the ACS Scholarship Committee as approved by the Board of Directors. These will vary from year to year, depending upon the applications received, but will not exceed $10,000 in total from ACS general funds. Additional funds may be available from donations earmarked for scholarships. Previous applicants and recipients may re-apply. Applications are accepted between February 1st and April 1st and receipt will be acknowledged by e-mail. Winners will be notified by the Committee Chair and the award will be disbursed by the national office manager no later than August of that year.

Types of Awards

Research Awards: These awards support research activities such as, but not limited to, the conservation of species, evaluation of performances of both species and cultivars, breeding for disease- or pest-resistance or stress tolerance, and uses of conifers in the landscape. Awards will typically be given to students pursuing graduate degrees and may be used for travel and supply expenses or as part of a research stipend.

Scholarships: These will be given to undergraduates who are pursuing studies in a relevant major at either two-year or four-year institutions. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have demonstrated an interest in conifers by completion of coursework, internships, workshops, or other pursuits. Scholarship amount is $1,000.

Public Garden Internships: These are awarded to students to assist a public garden in the development, maintenance, documentation, promotion, expansion, and/or evaluation of its conifer collection. The public garden must be an institutional member of ACS or an ACS Conifer Reference Garden. The garden must agree to sponsor the applicant.

Conference Travel Awards: These are awarded to students at any level of study who have demonstrated an interest in conifers to facilitate attendance at a Regional or National ACS event. The award will cover the cost of registration and up to $300 in travel and/or accommodation expenses.

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must be sponsored by a current ACS member, including an Institutional or Corporate member. Parents or guardians may not act as sponsors and only one applicant per ACS member/sponsor is allowed per year. The sponsoring member’s signature is required on the application. A letter of support from the student’s research mentor for research awards or from an appropriate representative of the public garden for internships is also required. These people may also sign as sponsors if they are ACS members. For undergraduate scholarships, documentation of completed coursework and GPA (an unofficial transcript) is required. An official transcript must be received before funds are disbursed. An individual may apply for a travel grant in addition to an internship, research award, or undergraduate scholarship but not for other combinations of awards. The same sponsor may be used for the two separate applications.

No member of ACS currently holding a National office, Regional office, or paid staff, including a contracted agent, or a “Reporting Person” on a committee sanctioned by the Board of Directors of the ACS, is eligible for these awards.

Award recipients must grant ACS the right to use their name, a short biography, and the educational purpose of the award in its publication CONIFERQUARTERLY and on its website as part of the scholarship announcement. This material will also be used for publicity purposes for future ACS awards. The recipients’ contact information will not be released to the public without written permission from the recipient.


Within one year of the award, recipients of research awards will be required to prepare an article for CONIFERQUARTERLY and the ACS website. The award recipient will work with the CQ and website editors to ready the article for publication. Specific deadlines for the article will be negotiated among the award recipient, the scholarship committee, and the CQ editor.

All recipients must submit a short report with the following:

  • how the funds were utilized
  • how the scholarship/award furthered the recipient’s involvement with conifers
  • how the ACS benefitted from awarding the scholarship/award to the recipient.

Written agreements to all conditions of the duties and responsibilities must be signed by the recipient and the member sponsor. Winners of undergraduate scholarships, internships, and travel awards will also be encouraged to submit a short article.

ACS Scholarship Application (PDF format)

ACS Scholarship Application (MS Word fomat)

Inquiries about these awards are welcome at any time. Please email:

Dr. Lois Girton

ACS Scholarship Committee Chair