Diversity and inclusion

Applications open for Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund

The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund, which aims to encourage greater diversity in physics, is now open for applications.


The Fund aims to support students from groups currently under-represented in physics who wish to study for a PhD. It was made possible thanks to the generosity of Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who won the prestigious Breakthrough Prize for physics in 2018 for her role in the discovery of pulsars. Dame Jocelyn chose to donate her £2.3m prize award to the Institute of Physics (IOP) to set up the Fund as a way of encouraging under-represented groups to study physics. 

Commenting on her decision, Professor Dame Jocelyn said: “I’ve been concerned about the shortage of women in physics for a very long time. I’m one of the founders of the Athena SWAN scheme, which started with women in science and has now expanded a lot. But I never thought I’d have this kind of money, so it was all a bit hypothetical. It would be nice to enable those who want to – refugees and people from minority and other under-represented groups – to stay on [in education] and do PhDs.”

The closing date for applications is midday Friday 10 January 2020.

The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund Panel will review applications which meet the eligibility criteria and shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview in the spring.

To be eligible, the host university/institution must have either Project Juno and/or Athena Swan status current at the date of enrolment of the student onto the postgraduate doctoral course.

Find out more, including the grants calendar for 2019/20, eligibility criteria, application form and a full set of terms and conditions.

Alternatively, anyone interested in hearing more about the fund can email bellburnellfund@IOP.org