Posted 13 January 2023
“The Silcock Fellowship fund has supported a number of very valuable research projects over the years since its inception and it is wonderful to see this work continue and for Silcock Fellows to now be in a position to supervise research by the next generation of PhD students."
An ongoing programme of animal and agricultural research at Harper Adams University is about to welcome its next Scholar to her PhD studies.
Since the 1980s the Silcock Fellowship for Livestock Research, funded by a generous donation from the Silcock family, has provided much needed financial support for early career researchers working in animal and agricultural science. The original donation is also recognised in the naming of the Silcock Hall of residence at Harper Adams.
The John Oldacre Foundation has previously awarded £1m to the University to provide funding for PhD scholarships, together with taught postgraduate and undergraduate awards, to be match funded by other charities or industry partners.
Supported by an additional donation from a Trust created by a Silcock family member, Harper Adams University has been fortunate in being able to offer a match-funded studentship supported by both the John Oldacre Foundation and the Silcock Fellowship providing the opportunity for further important livestock research to be taken forward.
Senior Lecturer, Dr Stephen Mansbridge, completed his PhD studies at Harper Adams University in 2016 as a Silcock Scholar and is now Director of Studies for the next generation of Silcock Scholars - as Clorinda Graham commences her PhD studies this month.
Clorinda – who is a Harper Adams BSc (Hons) Agriculture graduate, as is Stephen - will be working on a project entitled Optimisation of pig diets for slatted- and straw- based housing systems.
Dr Mansbridge said: “This was an idea we initially started to research ten years ago but have not been able to progress until now thanks to the support of the Silcock Fellowship and John Oldacre Foundation.
“The project focuses on cereal straw which is used as bedding material and environmental enrichment for approximately 68 % of UK pigs. Clorinda will be researching many aspects of using straw bedding for pigs including those relating to the environment, animal health, animal welfare and overall sustainability.”
Peter Duckworth, stepson of the late Richard (Dick) Silcock added: “Dick Silcock was very involved in all areas of farming and took a keen interest in the further advancement of student education and research into animal welfare. But of all the many aspects involved in agriculture it was the farmers and their families that mattered to him the most.
“Since the setting up of the Silcock Fellowship his donation has assisted many students with their PhDs which is what he wanted. We know he would be both proud and happy to see this continuing and we send his family’s best wishes and congratulations to Clorinda Graham.”
And Professor Ken Sloan, Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University said: “The Silcock Fellowship fund has supported a number of very valuable research projects over the years since its inception and it is wonderful to see this work continue and for Silcock Fellows to now be in a position to supervise research by the next generation of PhD students.
“Being able to match fund recent additional Silcock funding using the endowment awarded by the John Oldacre Foundation has further enhanced our ability to support further projects. We are extremely grateful for this support.”