Barnson Bequest Award

Dear Students,

The Barnson Bequest was set up to encourage Scottish students to broaden their education by attending vacation study or fieldwork, preferably of a cultural rather than a technological nature.

Due to ongoing restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the funding will be used to support students to undertake individual project work which must be remote and desk-based (for example, project activity which is possible to complete under lockdown conditions where the student cannot leave their place of residence).


The closing date for applications is Friday 16 April 2021.


Applicant eligibility

  • Under the conditions of the bequest, the awards are open to Scottish students only. Scottish students are classified as UK Nationals whose University of Edinburgh fee status is ‘Scotland fee rate’.
  • Undergraduate students in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences are eligible to apply.
  • Students must be current University of Edinburgh students at the time of the funded study. Students in the final year of undergraduate study are therefore not eligible for funding for vacation study after the end of their programme in 2021.
  • The project must be complete by 31 August 2021.
  • Individual applications may relate to a larger group activity but should have clearly defined individual objectives. Due to ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19, for scholarships in summer 2021, it must be possible for group work to take place digitally (for example, without face-to-face interaction)
  • Where several people are contributing to the same project, it is unlikely that support would be given to more than three individuals.
  • ​Applicants who have been awarded this scholarship in previous years are still eligible to apply, although first time applications may be given priority.​​
  • This proposal must not be a part of any assessed work, course work or curriculum development.



  • Applications and associated documents are to be sent to by the closing date.
  • Only complete application forms, including referee statements, will be considered
  • Applications are unlikely to be considered after the closing date.


Each applicant has to complete the application form and submit a detailed proposal of the project, including a risk assessment:​​​​​​​

  • Application Form
  • Proposal Guidance
  • Risk Assessment Form


As scholarships in 2021 will be awarded to projects that are remote and desk-based, this type of activity is considered to be low risk, however there are still health considerations with such work (e.g. relating to sitting in one position for extended periods of time). The risk assessment should indicate how the applicant will set up a proper workstation area in order to undertake this work.

It is recommended that recipients of the scholarship familiarise themselves with the following resources:


Reference requirements

In addition to the application form, applicants must ask a member of academic staff who will act as their Project Supervisor to write a letter of support. A Project Supervisor Reference Template is available below for this purpose.

  • Project Supervisor Reference Template

This needs to be sent separately by the Project Supervisor directly​ to  by Friday 16 April.


​Selection criteria

The Dean of Undergraduate Studies selects applicants to receive an award, based on the quality of the application statements, in particular the expected benefits that the project will have for the applicant’s future study and/or career plans.


Report following completion of funded project

It is a condition of the award that candidates must provide a brief report on their work (around 1000 words), to be submitted to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences via email to  by 31 August 2021. ​

  • Report Template
  • Report Guidance


Notification of award

Successful applicants will be notified by email no later than Friday 7 May 2021. ​


Award of credit and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)

The Barnson Bequest Award and information about the project completed can be listed in the student’s Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).