CCREF Young Investigator Scholarship

The CCREF Young Investigator Scholarship focuses on supporting undergraduate through PhD students, from a college or university in the United States, conducting research and education in the fields of composting and compost use. More specifically, the ideal candidate will have interest in improving the compost process and the application and the utilization of finished compost to increase drought tolerance, soil nutrient content, reducing erosion and water pollution, and increasing carbon storage in soils to combat climate change.

The goal of the Young Investigator Scholarship is to bring assistance and attention to emerging young professionals in the field of compost research and to spark interest in the future of the composting industry.

Application Requirements:

  • Completion of the application cover sheet.
  • Submission of research project description - Scholarships Application Requirements
  • One Recommendation letter from a professor or supervisor involved in the students research activities
  • Research must be conducted by a student at a college or university in the US

Application will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality of research project concept.
  • Soundness of research project design.
  • Quality/clarity of research as detailed in the application.
  • Perceived value of the research project to composting industry.
  • Overall quality and completeness of application.

Submission Opens: Immediately

Application Deadline: June 30, 2017
Recipient of the scholarship will be awarded funds to support their research and education. Recipient may also be invited to attend the USCC 2018 Annual Conference in Atlanta to display a research poster.

All materials must be submitted, by the deadline, to

Funded Projects

Meet Clara Tang, the Winner of this Year’s Young Investigator Scholarship

There were many worthwhile applicants, but Clara, a master’s student at North Carolina State, was chosen based on her proposed project - looking at exploring alternative ways to manage soils more sustainably and seeking to understand the impacts of the use of compost on soil health. Her project will evaluate the interactive effect of mycorrhiza and compost on soil and plant health by looking at the change in physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil and how that relates to plant growth. The main focus of the study will be to determine the changes in the microbial communities by contrasting sterilized treatments to non-sterilized and determining if the beneficial effects of compost and mycorrhiza are due solely to nutrient addition or also enhanced by the microorganism present in these amendments.

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Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF)
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