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Studentship awards established in honour of York Biology Professor

Posted on 13 April 2023

The University of York aims to establish a fund to support the next generation of scientists to honour the memory of Professor Simon McQueen-Mason.

Professor Simon McQueen-Mason

Professor McQueen-Mason was the Chair of Materials Biology at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) in the Department of Biology. He died tragically in a cycling accident in 2022.

Widen access

The Department of Biology has now created new awards dedicated to Simon’s memory under the GenerationResearch programme, which will fund three summer studentships annually. 

The GenerationResearch programme aims to widen access to research opportunities and provides paid studentship positions across disciplines in a range of technical and research projects.

Future generations

Professor Neil Bruce, from the Department of Biology, said: “Simon had an unusual path into academia; he left formal education at 17 without any A-levels to begin work as a professional fisherman. 

“It was his travels around the world that sparked his curiosity in the natural world and at age 26 he re-entered formal education, making significant breakthroughs in the nature of plant cell walls, leading to new knowledge of how plants could help us live more sustainably.

“He is greatly missed by all who knew him, and so this fund is one way that we would like to celebrate and remember him, in a way that we know he would approve of.  The McQueen-Mason Awards are aimed at future generations of scientists who, like Simon, may take different paths into education.”

Appeal for donations

The Department is also seeking donations to support the awards further, which may include contributions towards additional studentships, research travel grants to build international partnerships, laboratory equipment, a student Living Wage, and accommodation.

The appeal for donations will close on the 5th May 2023 and more information on how to donate can be found here:

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