The John Smith Public Service Award

The Robertson Scholars at the Scottish ParliamentJohn Smith Public Service Awardees at the Scottish Parliament

The John Smith Public Service Award is a two-year professional development programme offered in partnership with The Robertson Trust.

Designed for Robertson Scholars, the programme promotes the value of a public service vocation through a two-year programme of activities. This includes a 10-week Parliamentary Internship with an MSP in Scotland and a full-time, 3-week placement with an MP, part of which will be spent at the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. The Awardees are paid above the Living Wage for their internships. 

The Scholars will also attend personal and professional development and networking opportunities, including an intimate dinner hosted by Baroness Smith at John Smith’s former home; leader inspiration talks and a reception at 11 Downing Street; and an end of Award showcase event.

The inaugural John Smith Public Service Awardees will complete the programme in Summer 2020.

Meet the Awardees

Megan SutherlandMegan Sutherland headshot

Megan is currently studying Social and Public Policy and Statistics at the University of Glasgow.

Megan used advocacy from Who Cares? Scotland whilst living in the Care system as a child and became a Trustee of the charity in 2015. Since then she has campaigned to make radical change to ensure a lifetime of equality, respect and love for all care experienced people. She hopes to join the civil service in the future.

Megan says "I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to be able to learn from experts about elevating citizen’s voices to create meaningful change. I am proudly part of a movement working to ensure all care experienced people, a group suffering some of the worst outcomes in our society, experience equality, respect and love. I feel incredibly excited to be starting the internship and determined to use everything I learn from the experience to make the biggest impact I can towards this mission for future generations."

Megan also enjoys exploring new cities and crime dramas.

                                                                 Host MSP: Maurice Golden MSP - Conservatives



Zainab MagzoubZainab Magzoub

Zainab is a student at the University of St Andrews. She is originally from Sudan, and moved to Scotland in 2005 when she was 10 years old. Zainab has long been interested in community work and has recently worked to raise awareness of, and tackle, FGM in Scotland. She hopes to work in development or human rights after university.

Zainab says: "I'm very excited to be accepted on to this award as it will open up new opportunities for me to gain first hand experience and insight into the world of politics, something which has previously felt somewhat inaccessible."

In her spare time, Zainab enjoys reading, writing, cooking and yoga. 

Host MSP: Joe FitzPatrick MSP - SNP



‌‌Jordan Cavell Jordan Cavell Headshot

Jordan is a second year student at the University of St Andrews, where he is studying International Relations. He is originally from Livingston and has a keen interest in Politics.

Jordan says, "Receiving the John Smith Award opens doors that would have been hard to open. I'll be able to gain a unique experience working in both Holyrood and Westminster. The networks and opportunities this will provide will be life-changing."

In his spare time, Jordan enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction and listens to a wide variety of music. He is also an active member of his university’s debating society. 

Host MSP: Willie Rennie MSP - Liberal Democrats