I M Paton fund application page


The Ian M Paton fund was created in 2019 by a legacy from the estate of the late Mr. Ian M Paton who died in 2016.

Mr. Paton was a keen supporter of manx agriculture and the Isle of Man; he was especially interested in supporting young farmers and all types of agricultural engineering.


Ian M Paton

Download the Ian M Paton full application pack

1.     Introduction:

This guide and initial application is for those who are applying for funding from the IM Paton Fund.  Applicants who are successful in the initial application process will be expected to make a presentation to the members of the Manx NFU Marketing, Education and Business Committee in the form of either a;

  • Business case setting out your proposal
  • Practical demonstration
  • Technical demonstration
  • Farm walk & talk
  • Oral and visual presentation

Whichever form of presentation you choose should properly exhibit your intentions for the use of funding.

2.     What we fund:

This guide describes our funding priorities and sets out our expectations for successful proposals.  The Manx NFU is an engaged and proactive funder, and once we have screened outline ideas, we are willing and able to support promising applicants in refining and delivering projects, to help maximise their rigour and impact.

The scope of our interest covers all life stages and phases from higher education to vocational learning. We are interested in all influences and opportunity, including educational provision, agricultural betterment, informal learning, and socio-economic and place-related factors.

In general, we award grants to a wide range of people, not confined to people attending universities based in the UK and for projects focused on the agricultural context.

  • There are lessons to be learned from international
  • Policy or practice overseas may well be adapted for the Isle of Man.

We have some thematic funding priorities:

  • Agricultural engineering
  • Understanding greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture
  • Skills and capabilities
  • Improving production efficiency
  • Teaching and or enhancement
  • Young farmers pathways
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Educational disadvantage learning
  • Increased sustainability practices
  • Genetic improvement in livestock
  • Agricultural benchmarking
  • Initial development or feasibility studies for practical project interventions, with relevance to wider agricultural sector, i.e. beyond those directly involved in the
  • Small-scale inquiries, working parties or similar mechanisms to engage and deliberate with a range of stakeholders to reach common ground on a priority, policy or practical issue.
  • Exploratory analysis of new data to inform the feasibility and potential for further analysis.
  • Small-scale deep-dive/observational studies to understand the operation of a policy or practice area to inform a larger scale initiative relevant to the Isle of Man.

In each type of project, it is essential that the approach chosen is methodologically rigorous, draws on the right range of disciplines to address the proposed questions, and is proportionate to the likely impact of the project.


We have a small number of specific categories that are not eligible for funding.

  • Individuals without a formal employment or future of formal employment within agriculture.
  • Projects led by individuals unaffiliated to the Manx NFU.
  • Projects led by schools or further education
  • Projects led by master’s
  • PhD fees or projects where the main purpose is to support a
  • Ongoing costs or the costs of ‘rolling out’ existing work or
  • ‘Dissemination-only’ projects, including campaigning work, which are not connected.
  • Local charities, or local services.
  • Requests for financial help for basic educational fees from or on behalf of individuals.
  • Subsistence.

3.     Overview: the application process and what we look for:

The Manx NFU sees itself as a flexible and engaged funder that offers more than money. We intend to have three funding rounds each year and outline proposals should demonstrate;

  • Relevance -. there should be a clear articulation of what you intend to do, why it matters, and what difference it will
  • Rigour – evidence of the quality of being extremely thorough and careful.
  • Engagement – with policy and/or practice, as well as public dissemination through the media and other channels. Engagement needs to be end-to-end, not just at dissemination
  • Impact – explanation of the potential for impact: clarity of outputs and outcomes and the relationship between the
  • Resources – your resources and how you intend to use them post project.

This outline process provides a fair way to offer all potential applicants the opportunity to test out their ideas with the Manx NFU. We do not operate a quota and applications are judged on quality.

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