In Memory of Professor Simon McQueen-Mason

A project by: The University of York


WE RAISED £7,507

from 32 donors

Fundraising in memory of our colleague and friend, Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, lost too soon.

In light of the sudden and untimely death of Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, who died instantly following a cycling accident on the Isle of Wight on Sunday 5th June 2022. The Department of Biology and Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) where Simon worked since 1994 have created awards dedicated to Simon’s memory within the Generation Research programme, which will fund 3 summer studentships. Generation Research aims to widen access to research opportunities and provides authentic paid studentship positions across disciplines in a range of technical and research projects.

The award in his name endeavours to continue just a fraction of Simon’s work and impact.

Simon had an unusual path into academia, he left formal education at 17 without any A-levels to begin work as a professional fisherman. He used his earnings to travel and became curious about living systems in the natural world, particularly in the marine environment. This inspired him, at age 26, to write to Portsmouth Polytechnic and he convinced them to offer him a place to study Biological Science. He came to York in 1994 and was hugely influential to CNAP, as Chair of Materials Biology.

He was keen to see CNAP’s research translated for the benefit of society, and his continued love of travel made him passionate about addressing environmental issues and global challenges, particularly climate change. He led international projects in Brazil, India, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, which were indispensable in helping smallholder farmers. [Full in-memory tribute in the departmental newsletter.]

The Department has set up these McQueen-Mason Awards for the future generation of scientists who, like Simon, may take different paths to University and further study. Many who knew and loved Simon have expressed a wish to contribute funds in his memory and any additional gifts to the fund will provide further opportunities for students, or help fund more studentships in Simon’s name. Any donations will uplift and enrich the current studentships CNAP have already funded. 

Below is a breakdown of how your gift could enrich a student’s experience on a McQueen-Mason studentship:

  • £50 will contribute towards travel for a student during the studentship
  • £100 will buy laboratory reagents for the research project
  • £200 will buy time on equipment for the research project
  • £450 pays a student at Living Wage for one week
  • £1,000 provides a student bursary for accommodation during the studentship
  • £2,500 will pay for half a studentship for one student

Thank you for considering a gift to recognise Simon’s contribution to the Department of Biology and the greater world. This appeal will close on the 5th May 2023 and is just one of the ways that we plan to honour Simon’s significant and valued contribution to CNAP, Biology and the wider academic community.

With many thanks,

Professor Neil Bruce

If you are considering a larger in-memoriam gift, and would like to have a conversation first, please get in touch with Mary Taylor Lewis, Legacy & In-Memory Giving Manager, on