Finnebrogue Artisan, producer of meat and plant-based Naked brands has teamed up with Queen’s University Belfast to introduce a new food science post-graduate bursary.
The Denis Lynn Scholarship for Sustainable Food Innovation has been launched in memory of the founder of the Northern Irish food company who passed away in 2021.
The £20,000 award can be used to pay for the tuition fees, living and placement expenses of a student on the one-year Advanced Food Safety Masters degree within the School of Biological sciences and Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s.
The bursary will also give a student the chance to undertake a placement during their degree. This could be an internship at the Finnebrogue Artisan headquarters in County Down, at Foundation Earth, a non-profit organisation which Lynn co-founded and which has been trying to put front-of-pack environmental impact scores on food products, or at an internationally recognised food producer.
There will be one Denis Lynn scholar annually at Queen’s for three years. The recipients will also be able to secure a job at Finnebrogue Artisan in Northern Ireland following the successful completion of their degree.
Commenting on the fund, Denis’s wife and a Finnebrogue Director Christine Lynn, said: “Denis was a visionary who worked tirelessly in his personal life and work life to deliver positive change for the planet and people. It is our hope that this scholarship will support others with the same ambition.
“Denis wanted to build a more sustainable food industry and what better way to honour his memory than through continued research and development in this field.”
Founded in 1985, Finnebrogue Artisan is best-known now for its nitrate-free Naked Bacon products, which have been sold in the UK since 2017. Its range now also includes nitrate-free sausages and ham. The innovations emerged following research which connected nitrites in processed meats to a higher risk of developing cancer.
Last year, the company also made headlines for its launch of the plant-based Naked Evolution Burger, which intended to rival the popular Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat.
Professor Chris Elliott OBE, IGFS Founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee at Foundation Earth also commented on the scholarship:
“Denis was one of the most innovative food producers that I have ever known. He didn’t just care about food – he cared deeply about the environment and was always trying to change how food is farmed and processed to improve planetary, as well as human, health.
“We still have a long way to go, but through initiatives like this scholarship, we move closer to a food system that works in harmony with nature and fully respects our planet.”
Prospective applicants must be UK or ROI residents and must hold an offer for a place on the Master’s in Advanced Food Safety.
More information on how to apply for the scholarship is available on the Queen’s University website.
Find out more about the work going on at Lynn’s company Foundation Earth in this Food Matters Live podcast episode: