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IOP’s Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund open for 2023/2024 applications

3 October 2023

The fund, set up to encourage greater diversity in physics, boosted by £600,000 legacy gift.

The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund, created to encourage greater diversity in physics, has opened for a new round of applications.

This year, the fund has been boosted by a generous legacy gift from former Institute of Physics (IOP) member George Lucy. Mr Lucy donated £1.1m to the IOP – and £600,000 of this will now support future beneficiaries of the Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund.

The fund was launched by Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the IOP in 2019 to encourage greater diversity in physics by assisting PhD students from underrepresented groups.

Dame Jocelyn donated her entire £2.3m Breakthrough Prize to create the fund and from its inception has called on others to help more students to benefit from it by making their own financial contributions.

The fund is open to full- or part-time graduates wishing to study towards a doctorate in physics and from groups that are currently underrepresented in physics. It also provides top-up funding for eligible students already underway with their doctorate.

Rachel Youngman, IOP Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We are very grateful to receive George Lucy’s legacy gift, donated with the aim of encouraging more students to participate in physics. His remarkable generosity will enable us to help even more physics graduates reach their potential by ensuring that people, no matter their background or where they live, have access to world-class physics education and training.

“The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund awardees are working at the forefront of physics and supporting people from more diverse backgrounds is not only a matter of fairness – it will help us address our most pressing global challenges.”

Applications close on Friday 19 January 2024 and awardees will be announced in June 2024.

To find out more and apply visit the fund pages