NFU Mutual launches national award for postgraduate agricultural students

NFU Mutual’s 2023 Centenary Award is now open for applications. The annual award scheme provides bursaries to pay up to 75 per cent of course fees for selected students who are undertaking a postgraduate course in agriculture (Masters or PhD) within the UK.
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The Centenary Award was created by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust in 2010 to celebrate NFU Mutual’s 100th anniversary, with the objective of creating a legacy for the future.

To date, 49 agricultural students have received bursaries to help further their studies.

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

Frances Thomas, one of the Centenary Award recipients from 2022Frances Thomas, one of the Centenary Award recipients from 2022
Frances Thomas, one of the Centenary Award recipients from 2022

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has also identified four areas of interest for eligible students. At least one of these areas must form part of the applicant’s postgraduate course:

- 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

To select the award recipients, the judging panel will be looking for applicants who are not only excellent academic performers, but also have a real passion for UK agriculture and demonstrate potential to become a future industry leader.

Jim McLaren MBE, NFU Mutual Chairman, commented: “At NFU Mutual we are passionate about protecting rural lives and livelihoods. Our Centenary Award aims to champion research and innovation for UK agriculture, whilst also supporting outstanding individuals who have a drive to make a difference to the industry in their future careers.”

Frances Thomas, from Powys, was one of three postgraduate agricultural students to receive the Centenary Award bursary in 2022, helping fund her MSc Agrifood Innovation at Aberystwyth University.

Frances explained how the award has helped her achieve her ambitions.

“I relish the opportunity to enhance my knowledge and advance my career position with the support of this prestigious award,” she said.

“My master’s course will provide me with knowledge and expertise of measuring environmental impacts and effective waste management strategies within food supply chains. If you’re interested in undertaking postgraduate studies in agriculture, I would encourage you to consider this scheme. The bursary I have received will make a huge difference.”

The closing date for the 2023 award is 30 April. Information about the scheme can be found here, along with an application form. You can also find out more by contacting the award’s email address: [email protected]

NFU Mutual is proud to deliver more than simply insurance. Making farming safer, supporting rural initiatives across the UK and helping to look after the environment are just some of the ways they do that. To find out more about everything they do to support communities, visit

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