The insurance branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU Mutual) said that its 2023 Centenary Award is now open for applications for those undertaking a postgraduate course in agriculture within the UK.

The Centenary Award, which was created by NFU Mutual’s Charitable Trust, provides bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected postgraduate agriculture students.

The award was launched in 2010, on NFU Mutual’s 100th anniversary. Since then, 49 agricultural students have received bursaries from the rural insurer with the aim of helping them to further their studies.

Applications for the award are open to individuals who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a related degree and have accepted or been provisionally accepted on a Master’s or PhD course in agriculture in the UK during the 2023/2024 academic year.

Application forms can be found on the NFU Mutual website and the closing date for submissions is April 30, 2023.

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has identified four topics of interest for students eligible for the award and at least one of these, must form part of the applicant’s postgraduate course for them to be considered for the award:

  • The application of science and innovative technologies to enhance productivity, efficiency, and profitability for UK farming businesses;
  • Building resilience and safeguarding the physical and mental wellbeing of those living and working in the UK agricultural industry;
  • Tackling the risks of climate change, whilst maintaining food security, to improve the sustainability of UK agriculture;
  • Identifying opportunities for supporting nature and biodiversity in the development of farming and land management practices in the UK.
Frances Thomas

One of the recipients of the Centenary Award bursary in 2022, Frances Thomas, said the award gave her the opportunity to enhance her knowledge in her course – a Master’s degree in agri-food innovation – and advance her career position.

“This Master’s course will provide me with knowledge and expertise of measuring environmental impacts and effective waste management strategies within food supply chains,” she said.

“I am particularly interested in developing my knowledge and expertise in sustainability, and how agriculture and livestock farming can improve its position working towards reaching our net zero targets.”