High-achieving students looking to begin a PhD could benefit from a £1 million scholarship fund set up to honour the University of Aberdeen's founder.
William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, founded King’s College in 1495 as Scotland’s third University and the fifth in the UK.
Last year, in recognition of the 500th anniversary of his death, the University of Aberdeen set up the the Elphinstone Scholarship Scheme which will see the fees for around 100 PhDs waived for each year of their study.
The scheme was a resounding success with hundreds of applicants bidding for one of the 100 awards.
Professor Phil Hannaford, Vice-Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange said: “The University has an outstanding history of pioneering discoveries which have changed thinking and practice in medicine, science, arts and humanities over five centuries.
“Aberdeen offers a unique and inspiring environment for postgraduate students seeking a career in research. Students work alongside academics who are world-leading in their field, in high-quality facilities on a campus with an ambitious investment plan They also benefit hugely from a comprehensive training and development programme, and the outstanding quality of life and leisure for which north-east Scotland is famed.”
Seventy six percent of the University’s research was recently ranked as 'world leading' or ‘internationally excellent in a UK-wide assessment (Research Excellence Framework - REF) - the first of its kind to examine the impact of UK university outputs on society, business and culture.
The University’s work in environmental and soil science was ranked first overall in the UK; second in the UK for ‘English Language and Literature’ and third in ‘Psychology and Psychiatry’.
Professor Hannaford added: “The University has a proud history of excellence in research which continues today, as demonstrated by the recent REF results. We look forward to receiving applications for Elphinstone PhD Scholarships across our three Colleges and in our four multi-disciplinary research themes of Energy, Environment & Food Security, Pathways to a Healthy Life, and The North.”
Xiao Wei, a Chinese student who won a scholarship last year is doing her PhD in Urban Planning and Modernity in Republican Shanghai.
She said: “It has been great to study in another country and meet new people, and I would recommend the University to anyone who is considering coming here. You can focus on your work and the learning environment is really supportive.
“The Elphinstone Scholarship has been really useful to me, because without it I may not have been able to come here.”
Another successful Elphinstone Scholarship winner, Mohammed Talib Altaher from Iraq said: “I was given a warm welcome to the University by my supervisor who has gone the extra mile to help me in my studies.
“The Elphinstone Scholarship acknowledged my previous academic achievements and has given me added motivation to complete my PhD. Without it I may have struggled with my personal expenses, and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of applying for the scholarship to do so.
“After I complete my PhD I hope to find a job that is related to my area of expertise, and I am glad to have chosen the University of Aberdeen to complete my studies.”