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.
Applications for the 2023/2024 round will open later this year.
- Meet the 2023 awardees
- About Jocelyn Bell Burnell
- Who can apply
- How to apply
- 2022/2023 grants calendar
- 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.
Meet the 2023 awardees
We're delighted to reveal the 10 awardees of the 2023 Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund. They are:
- Alix Freckelton – read our interview with Alix
- Astra Sword – interview coming soon
- Clara Cafolla-Ward – read our interview with Clara
- Karolina Szewczyk – read our interview with Karolina
- Lauren Muir – read our interview with Lauren
- Raymond Isichei – read our interview with Raymond
- Rojita Buddhacharya – read our interview with Rojita
- Sinéad Mannion – read our interview with Sinéad
- Xinran Yang – read our interview with Xinran
Video: the impact of the fund
Jocelyn and some of the awardees talk about the impact the fund is making.
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, 2MB) to find out more about eligibility criteria.
- Terms and conditions (PDF, 210KB)
How to apply
Applications for the 2022/2023 round have now closed. You can still view a sample application form (PDF, 290KB) to give you an idea of what to expect during the next round of applications.
2022/2023 grants calendar
- 3 October 2022 - Fund is open for applications
- 1 December 2022 - Virtual Q&A session with BBGSF panel
- 20 January 2023 - Application submission deadline
- 23 January - 17 February 2023 - Grants manager reviews applications for eligibility (Stage 1)
- 20-28 February 2023 - Stage 1 unsuccessful applicants notified
- 20 February - 10 March 2023 - Panel's assessment of eligible applications and shortlisting (Stage 2)
- 13-17 March - Stage 2 unsuccessful applicants notified
- 31 March 2023 - Panel interviews shortlisted applicants (Stage 3)
- End of April - Successful interview applicants notified
Frequently asked questions
Please note: In line with the UKRI’s announcement at the beginning of September that the basic student stipend is being increased by 10% from 1 October (i.e. it will rise from £16,062 to £17,668), the Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund will be matching that increase for the Bell Burnell Scholars who are co-funded to ensure that their stipends remain in line with the RCUK basic rate. The increase in stipend is in addition to a one-off cost-of-living award that the BBGSF provided earlier this summer.
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].