Irrigation in UK

UK Irrigation Association - An independent organisation promoting the wise use of water for irrigation

Jack Wright Memorial Trust - Travel Scholarships

The Jack Wright Memorial Trust was set up in 1966 to honour the memory of Jack Wright, a pioneer of irrigation in the UK and the founder of Wright Rain Ltd, a well-known irrigation company.

The Trust annually offers Travel Scholarships and invites applications from people wishing to travel overseas to study water management in agriculture, including irrigation. Each award has a maximum value of £1,750 to cover international travel and reasonable living expenses for a minimum period of 2-3 weeks.

In addition to this, the UK Irrigation Association annually offers a Travel Scholarship worth up to £500 for those studying a topic which has particular relevance to the UK irrigation industry.

Candidates will automatically be considered for either or both these awards.

Examples of work undertaken by recent award recipients include:

  • Surveying ancient Inca irrigation systems in Peru
  • Relationship between pesticides and water quality in Sweden
  • Modelling for irrigation management in UK
  • Impact of irrigation on livelihoods in Morocco
  • Smallholder irrigation in Thailand
  • Water and environmental management in Egypt
  • Influence of bogs on hydrological processes in Canada
  • Feasibility of drip irrigation for vegetable crops in Uganda
  • Well drilling for small scale irrigation in Zimbabwe
  • Irrigation design and management in Swaziland
  • Evaluation of irrigation tanks in S. India
  • Water management by committee in NW Namibia

Who can apply?

In order to receive a Travel Scholarship you must demonstrate a clear commitment to water management through formal education, teaching, research, consultancy or business. You will probably be at an early stage in your career development, although the Trust will consider all applications. For example, you might be a student undertaking work experience as part of your course or completing a dissertation or thesis, or in employment seeking to increase your knowledge. Whatever your background you will be asked to satisfy the Trustees that you intend to make agricultural water management a subject of particular interest in your future career.

How to apply?

To apply for a Travel Scholarship you will need to prepare a well thought-out and costed proposal (maximum two-A4 pages), that highlights how you and the wider community will benefit from the award. You should also enclose your CV (maximum two-A4 pages). If you are shortlisted we will ask you to attend an interview so that you can present your proposal to the Trustees.

The closing date for applications each year is the last day of February. Interviews typically take place in late March or early April, usually in London.

Please send your proposal and CV by post or by email to:

John Gowing
Secretary, Jack Wright Memorial Trust
C/o School of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development
University of Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU

Some quotes from past scholars

The Jack Wright Memorial Trust award came at a very fortuitous time, coinciding with a pilot study to Swaziland to study irrigation schemes as a part of a research programme leading to a PhD. The field trip was important in developing ideas surrounding a theory of design management interactions on canal irrigation systems. This is an excellent scheme and I hope it continues indefinitely!

Bruce Lankford, School of Development Studies University of East Anglia, UK

The Trust gave me an opportunity to work in a new country as well as to secure for me a very enjoyable and rewarding job. I believe the experience of working overseas was alone very valuable, not only by expanding my knowledge of irrigation but also by showing me new ways in which people live. I shall always be grateful to the Trust for providing me with this opportunity and wish it every success in the future.

Chris Flowers, CDC East Africa Teas, Uganda

The Jack Wright Travel Scholarship has had a tremendous influence on my life. The scholarship gave me the credibility, opportunity and motivation to 'get my foot in the door' with my current employer.

Peter Batho, Power Prime Pumps, California, USA

I used the Scholarship to travel to North-East Nigeria, where I worked as a workshop manager for the Hedejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation project. I worked as a trainer and in the development of sustainable small-scale farming systems in a seasonal floodplain environment.

Stephen Briggs, Soil and Water Consultant, Bedford, UK