The John Innes Foundation Undergraduate Bursary Award Scheme


The John Innes Foundation (JIF) Undergraduate Bursary Award Scheme finances one student per year who is taking a three-year degree course in Agriculture, or a related discipline.

The John Innes Foundation Undergraduate Bursary Award Scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for young people.

TThe John Innes Foundation (JIF) Undergraduate Bursary Award Scheme finances one student per year who is taking a three-year or four-year degree course in Agriculture, or a related discipline. This fantastic opportunity provides the successful student not only with a bursary to cover course fees, but also mentoring from Keith Norman, farming consultant and former director at Velcourt UK. The scheme also provides work experience opportunities during university breaks with placements offered at many organisations including NIAB, Hutchinsons and the National Trust Farms.

JIF’s mission is to advance the acquisition and application of knowledge about plants and microbes for societal, environmental and commercial benefit. JIF delivers its mission by:

  • Supporting scientific research, education, training and public engagement
  • Maintaining and exploiting a unique historical collection of books and other documents
  • Emphasising the importance of innovation in agriculture and horticulture
  • Working in close association with a range of partners, including John Innes Centre, University of East Anglia and Anglia Innovation Partners LLP.

The Foundation has a long and generous history of supporting education, and the undergraduate bursary scheme was established in 2017.

Hear from former students:

Barrie Fletcher, JIF Bursar 2023, Writtle University: ‘‘I’m thrilled to be awarded the bursary as it opens doors for me to forge valuable industry connections and deepen my knowledge. This opportunity is a stepping stone to both professional growth and expanding my network.’’

Kate Pritchard, JIF Bursar 2023, Newcastle University: ‘‘I am delighted and very grateful that the John Innes Foundation has supported me in my education and in my goal of having a successful career in British agriculture.’’

Charlie Rogers, JIF Bursar 2022, Royal Agricultural University: ‘This prestigious bursary has allowed me to further develop my connections with agricultural businesses and focus more of my finances on improving my practical skills in the land-based sector.’

Maddie Phillips, JIF Bursar 2021, Newcastle University: ‘The JIF bursary has given me the opportunity and confidence that I need to follow my dream of pursuing a career in agriculture. Coming from a non-farming background; I have worked hard to ensure that I gain as much farm experience as I can, in a range of sectors, outside of term time. This experience, coupled with the ongoing support from Keith Norman and the Foundation, has provided me with the freedom to enter this sector and play an active part in meeting the challenges that face modern farming today. I cannot thank them enough for the help they have given me.’

Conditions of the Bursary

The successful student will be shortlisted and selected through a combination of written application and interview. To be eligible you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • You must be a UK National.
  • From a non-farming background
  • Have the need for financial assistance to complete the university course*.
  • Enrolled on a full time, three-year, BSc (Hons) degree course in either Agriculture, Crop Production or Environmental Science.
  • The student will pursue a career in the UK post-graduation.
  • The bursary may also be extended to second or third year students, where situations may have changed within the family, making them eligible in terms of financial need.

*Please note that if shortlisted you will be required to provide evidence of financial need to justify the award of the bursary.

The bursary will be paid at the beginning of each term and is discretionary on the student’s progress, tutor’s reports and attendance record. The bursary will cover the annual cost of the tuition fees, currently £9,250 per annum.

The application window opens on Wednesday 1 May 2024 and the closing date is Saturday 31st August 2024.

Further information is available from Keith Norman, JIF Trustee.

To apply download and complete the application form and send email to

The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) is appointed by the John Innes Foundation trustees to help promote and administrate the JIF Undergraduate Bursary Award Scheme. By submitting your application you are agreeing to the RNAA contacting you for marketing purposes.

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