Carnegie Trust Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship scheme


The Vacation Scholarship Scheme is intended for eligible students undertaking an undergraduate degree course at either a Scottish university, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland or The Glasgow School of Art; who have shown exceptional merit during their studies, and who would like to devote some portion of the long vacation to undertake a programme of independent research of direct benefit to their academic work. 

Student Eligibility

  1. Applicants must be citizens of either the United Kingdom or European Union, OR have been granted permanent leave to remain in the UK/EU

  2. At the time of applying, applicants must be undergraduates, enrolled for the entirety of their degree, at an eligible Scottish Higher Education Institution (see section 5 below) in either:

    1. year 3 of a 4 year degree (or an equivalent stage for part-time students) OR
    2. year 3 or 4 of a 5 year degree (or an equivalent stage for part-time students).
  3. Students on intercalated years of medicine are also eligible if they meet the above criteria.

  4. Students may be awarded only one Vacation Scholarship during their studies.

  5. The eligible Scottish Higher Education Institutions are: Aberdeen, Abertay, Dundee, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian, Glasgow School of Art, Heriot-Watt, Highlands & Islands, Queen Margaret, Robert Gordon, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, St Andrews, Stirling, Strathclyde, and West of Scotland.


Project Eligibility

  1. Applicants are required to carry out a specific research project, either at the institution they are attending or elsewhere. The project will vary according to the field of study, but it should engage the candidate in full-time personal research.

  2. Projects should provide the student with sufficient scope for the development of ideas, initiative and research skills. Projects that are part of the student’s normal degree course, a work placement (whether paid or unpaid) or a volunteering opportunity with a third party are not eligible for support. Likewise attendance at summer schools, language or any other training courses is not permissible under this scheme.

  3. A student participating in research activities undertaken as a group, e.g. Undergraduate Expeditions, may apply, provided that a) he, or she, meets the eligibility criteria of the scheme and b) the proposed research project focuses on a particular aspect or issue distinct from the group’s wider research activities.

  4. The project must be supervised by a member of staff at the institution attended by the student. The supervisor can be a lecturer, reader or professor but not a graduate teaching assistant and/or hourly paid tutor.

  5. The project description in the application form must be written by the student. Applicants will be disqualified if a project appears to have be written by the supervising academic.

  6. The supervisor should be familiar with the student’s academic record and with the topic of the proposed project. Supervisors are asked at the time of application to comment on the suitability of the project and on their own availability and willingness to supervise the student’s progress during the period of award. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that the project is completed within the timescale agreed at the time of applying.

  7. The supervisor must ensure the student receives adequate training, meets all statutory requirements (including ethics committee approval, animal licences and requirements of regulatory authorities where applicable) for the work he, or she, will undertake, and follows the relevant health and safety policies.

  8.  When the project is to be conducted at a different organisation than the student’s own institution the supervisor must ensure that suitable arrangements are in place to supervise the student and that health & safety and any other statutory requirements are met by the host organisation.

  9. Supervisors may only nominate one student each year.

Ineligible activities

  • Scholarships cannot be used for language study or for participating in summer schools.
  • It does not support work placements or volunteering activities.
  • It cannot be part of the student’s assessed course work: e.g. it can’t be the same topic as the final year dissertation, although it could address a sub-set of issues or questions that could be expanded into a dissertation.
  • It cannot be the continuation of an existing project.


Eligible countries/regions

  • Scotland

Eligible programmes


  1. The Vacation Scholarship awards are not intended to compete with industrial or labour employment. The value of the Scholarship is at the equivalent of the current Scottish Living Wage rate, per week, with a minimum length of two weeks and the maximum of 12 weeks. All applicants should provide a strong case for support explaining why the requested length of support is necessary to their project. The Selection Committee reserves the right to reduce the length of an award if it finds that the case for support is not satisfactory.

  2. Payment of the funds will be made directly to the institution attended by the student once project posters for all Vacation Scholarship recipients at the same institution have been received by the Trust.

  3. A scholarship may be cancelled if a student fails to demonstrate satisfactory progress during the project’s lifetime, or abandons it.

  4. Should a project be cancelled or abandoned after the start date, the amount invoiced  to the Trust will be adjusted based on the number of full weeks completed by the student.

  5. Awards are not transferable to a different student or project.

How to apply

Please see the Carnegie Website for information on eligibility and how to apply: 

Deadline: 31 January 2020.

For more information contact: