University College Dublin (UCD) and FDC Group have announced details of a new annual scholarship programme available to students enrolled on the MSc in Agricultural Extension and Innovation programme at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

The FDC (Farm Development Co-Op) was founded in 1973 in Dunmanway, west Cork by Jack Murphy, general manager. Today, the FDC Group is headquartered in Wellington Road, Cork city and is placed within the top 10 accountancy firms in Ireland.

The €50,000-per-annum scholarship was recently awarded to four students, following competition, with each receiving €12,500 as a stipend to support living costs.

The recipients, Thea Broderick from Limerick; Grainne Aherne from Limerick; Eimear Tobin from Meath; and Jack Kennedy from Kilkenny will also have an opportunity to complete the placement and research component of their programme with the FDC Group.

Commenting on the new scholarship programme and collaboration, UCD dean of agriculture and head of the School of Agriculture and Food Science, Professor Frank Monahan said:

“We are delighted to announce details of this exciting new collaboration with FDC Group. FDC Group’s ambitious growth strategy and commitment to delivering a full service nationally will require a continuous pipeline of talented UCD graduates.

“The FDC Group scholarship programme will make a significant contribution to students enrolled on our flagship MSc in Agricultural Extension and Innovation programme annually.”

Commenting on the scholarship launch, managing director, FDC Group, Jack Murphy, said: ” The scholarship programme will support the continued expansion of FDC Group and enable it to create new knowledge and opportunities for our clients across every county in Ireland.

“We look forward to welcoming Thea, Grainne, Eimear and Jack to complete their placement and research dissertation with FDC Group and to expanding our geographical network and client base to meet the service needs of our business and farming clients, throughout rural Ireland.”

The FDC/UCD scholarships were announced as part of the annual UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science Awards Ceremony which took place virtually on November 25.

The ceremony is one of the highlights of the school’s academic year and a total of 65 awards were presented to students and graduates at this year’s ceremony including medals, certificates and monetary awards.