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Durham University

Van Mildert College

College Scholarships and Bursaries

Research and scholarship is at the very core of Van Mildert College. So too is support for our highly-motivated and talented students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. College, with assistance from the Van Mildert Association and Van Mildert College Trust, along with a number of incredibly generous alumni has developed a range of bursaries and scholarships to support a spectrum of student activities.

These various scholarships and bursaries provide our students with opportunities to flourish in a range of areas. Indeed, they help to expand a student's academic and wider student experience both in College and elsewhere. Moreover, these awards commonly lead to some excellent presentations within and outwith College, publication of results in our in-house scholarly journal Quaesitum, and the development of important skills in personal effectiveness and intellectual curiosity while also developing a strong sense of belonging and responsibility. Furthermore, the completion of The College Award, Durham Award, and participation in Van Mildert's Dimensions are also supported by the various funds. The diagram to the right highlights some of the key skills and values that this support seeks to enhance and develop.

We urge all students to consider applying for whichever fund suits their needs! Do take a look below and consider carefully how you might make use of this generous support to greatly add value to your time in Durham and at Van Mildert College. In particular, applications are welcomed from student's who seek support in order to support activities relevant to the completion of The College Award.

Engagement Bursaries

Four College Engagement Bursaries available to first year students registered for an undergraduate degree programme at Van Mildert College. The Bursaries aim to recognise the contribution of first year undergraduates to the College community and JCR while also supporting them in achieving their academic and extra-curricular potential and completion of The College Award. It is the intention of the Van Mildert Association that the Engagement Bursaries should facilitate and widen participation in College-based activities. Each bursary carries a value of £500. Information is sent to students during Michaelmas Term.

SCR Music Scholarships

The College's Senior Common Room offers two Music Scholarships of £250 each to students from any discipline, currently registered for undergraduate or postgraduate study at Van Mildert College. The purpose of these Scholarships is to encourage the development of the musical life of the College across all musical genres whilst also nurturing a student’s personal development. Scholarship holders will be expected to take leadership roles, develop key new and existing musical initiatives within the College and may be called upon to perform at College, SCR or wider University functions.

Student Opportunity and Challenge Fund

The Student Opportunity and Challenge Fund is a wide-ranging discretionary fund held by the College and is available throughout the year on a rolling basis. Most recently the fund has supported student participation in overseas language programmes, sports training camps, theatre and music performances (e.g. participation in the National Student Drama Festival), or other personal development activities, many of which are student-led. A limited amount of support is also available for student hardship support. Enquiries about the fund should be directed to vm.student-support@durham.ac.uk. The fund is made available through the generous support of the Van Mildert Association.

Conference Attendance Fund

The Conference Attendance Fund was established by the Van Mildert College Trust to assist students, typically but not exclusively postgraduates, to attend a conference which will enhance their academic career. Awards are available to cover conference registration costs, travel, accommodation or subsistence. Calls for applicants occur throughout the year, with awards of up to £250 available per applicant. Priority is given to those students who are presenting their own research and those without funding support for such activities.

Internship Support Bursaries

Internships offer students an important opportunity to gain valuable experience in the workplace and explore their chosen career path. As a result, the Van Mildert College Trust offers internship support bursaries to support students in their final year of study who have been awarded an internship but would otherwise be unable to take it up owing to lack of funds. Three awards of £250 are available each year, which can be used to support travel, accommodation or subsistence costs associated with the internship.

Van Mildert College Trust PhD Scholarships

Van Mildert College Trust offers postgraduate research scholarships, which cover tuition fees, accommodation, living costs and other expenses. Currently, two PhD studentships are available providing three years of funding support. The Van Mildert College Trust PhD Studentships can be held in any department of Durham University. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and potential to produce high quality research outputs. Applications are accepted as part of a three year cycle of funding, with a call for applicants being released through the University webpages. Enquiries should be made to the Principal, Prof. David Harper, via david.harper@durham.ac.uk.

The Principal's Award

The Principal’s Award is a prestigous award presented to students wishing to undertake research activity broadly in line with the Principal’s research interests, specifically field-based research in the natural sciences. It carries a value of up to £2,000. Awards are provided to students of outstanding academic merit (undergraduate or postgraduate) who wish to undertake fieldwork as part of a high calibre research project. The research should lead to a dissertation, thesis or publication. A call for applications is made during Epiphany Term.

Travel Bursaries

Each year, Van Mildert College offers Travel Bursaries to students (undergraduate or postgraduate) who wish to undertake travel for their own personal development. Students are able to apply for support of charitable project work, research support, skills development (such as learning a foreign language) etc. The fund specifically relates to travel and cannot be used to cover attendance fees or similar. This broad-spectrum fund includes a number of awards generously supported by Van Mildert College Alumni and carry a value of up to £750.

Postgraduate Awards

Van Mildert College currently offers up to six Postgraduate Bursaries of £2,000 each to members who are registered for higher degrees (Masters and PhD). Postgraduate Bursaries can be used to support expenses associated with the degree programme, as well as subsistence, accommodation and tuition. Applicants must demonstrate genuine financial need, evidence of excellent academic performance and potential and that they will contribute to college life.


Unless stated otherwise, enquiries about each of the above funds should be directed to the Development Officer at vm.development@durham.ac.uk.

Alternatively students wishing to enquire about the University Hardship Fund can find more information on the University Hardship Fund webpage or by contacting vm.student-support@durham.ac.uk.