For those of you do not know, the Nuffield Trust hands out twenty or so scholarships each year. Each of the awards provides funds for those chosen to study a topic of interest in the Agricultural industry, I doubt if you will be surprised to hear that my subject is Land Drainage.
It really is a fantastic opportunity; I now have the chance to travel the world, meet other drainage contractors, see the latest research and explore new technologies. The plan is to be out of the country visiting Europe and America for approximately eight weeks over the next year or so. After eighteen months I have to write a report and present my findings to the Nuffield Conference. I’m hoping that the Nuffield experience will open doors and further my knowledge.
The competition for the scholarship is understandably fierce, with a ridiculous number of applicants. I filled in the form with low expectations and even when I was called for an interview I was very sceptical of my chances. Perhaps this scepticism held me is good stead, as to be honest, I was not that nervous during the interview, despite it being a nerve inducing experience. I had to travel to London and be interviewed by a panel of at least nine people in a grand address near the British Museum. The questions came thick and fast on drainage and farming, but also on more general subjects.
I guess the real work starts now as I have to plan and organise my trips aboard, I’m sure some of the things I will see will be eye opening and I will, of course report back with blog post from far more exotic places than the rolling hills of South Warwickshire.