Boost your career with the NFU dissertation sponsorship award

28 September 2022

An image of student Maisie Bruce holding a rooster

Every year the NFU food business unit sponsors one university student's dissertation project relating to the UK's supply chain. With the application window now open for the 2022 dissertation sponsorship award, we talk to last year's winner, Maisie Bruce, about the benefits of working with the NFU.

Maisie is the first generation of her family to work in the farming industry, working in arable and field trials for the past few years.

While studying Agricultural Business Management at the University of Reading, Maisie decided to write her dissertation on: ‘A consumer perception study of the environmental impacts of poultry production.’

Promoting poultry

Maisie’s dissertation looked into the relationship between what actually happens in the poultry industry against what consumers perceive the environmental impacts of poultry production might be. 

When asked why she choose to focus on poultry Maisie said: “Poultry is a sector of the agricultural world which is a huge industry but doesn’t get too much attention in the public eye, and the attention which it does get can be generally conflicting or negative."

Key contacts

The NFU dissertation sponsorship proved instrumental in providing Maisie with contacts of farmers and industry professionals.

“Without the NFU I was struggling to be heard by members of the industry," Maisie explained. By gaining these valuable contacts she was able to develop a true picture of the poultry industry, allowing her to gather an accurate sample size of interviews.

Maisie also added that this helped her develop her presentation and time management skills. Would you recommend the opportunity to others?

Forging future careers

When asked if she would recommend others to take advantage of the opportunity, Maisie didn't hesitate in her response: “Yes! The sponsorship gave my dissertation a stamp of approval, where more farmers and professionals were willing to be interviewed."

The scholarship boosted Maisie’s reputation in the poultry industry, as her dissertation was also published in the NFU Poultry magazine, which in turn helped secure her graduate job at Moy Park, a leading poultry producer in Europe.

How can you apply to the NFU’s dissertation sponsorship award?

The NFU would like to sponsor you if your dissertation is linked to any of the following topics:

  • British food retailers
  • Hospitality and public sector supply chain
  • UK food brands, manufacturers, or processors
  • The sustainable supply chain
  • Supply chain collaboration or engagement

If successful like Maisie you will receive £150, and gain access to a range of industry contacts.

Applications are now open on 3 October.

Read more on the application process and who can apply.

You can also email [email protected] for more information.

Read more on the dissertation sponsorship award:

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