Diversity and inclusion
Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund
An innovative fund instigated by leading physicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Institute of Physics to encourage greater diversity in physics by assisting PhD physics students from under-represented groups.
- Call for Panel members
- Meet the 2021 awardees
- About Jocelyn Bell Burnell
- Who can apply
- How to apply
- How the fund is administered
- Other sources of funding
- Contact us
The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund is for full- or part-time graduates wishing to study towards a doctorate in physics and from groups that are currently under-represented in physics.
Watch the video below to hear from Jocelyn on why the fund was set up, why people should apply and other ways to be involved.
Call for new members for the Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund Panel
The fund was set up with a generous donation from Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell three years ago and has now been able to make awards that support the graduate studies of 21 students from minority groups in the UK and Ireland, both through top-up awards and by co-funding of PhD scholarships.
We would like to recruit two or three new members to the Panel that oversees the awards. Potential candidates should have knowledge or experience of the recruitment of PhD students and a strong interest in inclusion and diversity.
As one of our retiring members represents the early career physics community, we would particularly welcome applications from early career physicists (including those who have not yet got their PhD). The time commitment totals approximately five days per year.
The Panel is Chaired by Professor Helen Gleeson, University of Leeds ([email protected]), who can be contacted with any informal enquiries about being a Panel member.
Applications comprising a short (two-page) CV and a paragraph explaining why you are interested in joining the Panel should be submitted to [email protected] by Thursday 30 June 2022.
Meet the 2021 awardees
We're delighted to reveal the eight awardees of the 2021 Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund. They are:
- Ayngaran Thavanesan - read our interview with Ayngaran
- Helen Maguire - read our interview with Helen
- Mary Richardson-Slipper - read our interview with Mary
- Mei Ting Mak - read our interview with Mei Ting
- Robert C Smith - read our interview with Robert
- Scarlett Royle - read our interview with Scarlett
- Si Chen - read our interview with Si
- Vanessa Emeka-Okafor - read our interview with Vanessa
About Jocelyn Bell Burnell
The fund is made possible thanks to Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell's generous donation of her £2.3m Breakthrough Prize.
Read the Physics World interview:
Jocelyn Bell Burnell reveals the motivations behind her new $3m graduate-student fund
Who can apply
The fund is for full- or part-time graduates wishing to study towards a doctorate in physics, from groups that are currently under-represented in physics.
- Download the guide (PDF, 2.3MB) to find out more about eligibility criteria.
- Terms and conditions (PDF, 210KB)
How to apply
Applications for 2021/2022 are now closed.
You can still view a sample application form (PDF, 293KB) to give you an idea of what to expect during the application process.
Frequently asked questions
Visit our FAQ page for further details about the fund.
You can also find further information for students and prospective host universities/institutions below.
How the fund is administered
The fund is administered and managed by the IOP and supported by a panel that reviews qualifying applicants and selects those to be funded. Find out more about how the fund is administered.
Other sources of funding
For other sources of funding, studentships and scholarships that you may be eligible for, please see the links below:
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) funding: If you are a UK citizen or a citizen of the European Union and have been resident in the UK for more than three years, you may qualify for a STFC studentship, which pays both fees and a maintenance allowance.
- Wellcome Trust: Four-year PhD studentships in science
- Amelia Earhart Fellowship: For women pursuing PhD/doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences.
- Online aggregators like Postgraduate Studentships, Scholarship Search and Postgraduate Funding also list PhD funding schemes.
- If you have any queries about the fund, please email [email protected] you can register your interest in the fund to receive updates as they become available.
- If you have any feedback about the fund, please complete the feedback form.
- If you are interested in contributing to the fund, please email [email protected].