Bristol Centre for Agricultural Innovation (BCAI) Scholarship

Find out more about the BCAI Opportunity Bristol scholarship to undertake a research-related Master’s in plant and agricultural sciences.  Deadline 25 April

Opportunity Bristol

Opportunity Bristol provides financial support to UK students from Black backgrounds to undertake a research-related Masters degree.

Sign up for our Application Support Workshops

Join us for our online Opportunity Bristol Application Support Workshop on Thursday 14 April, 2 pm. 

If you are unable to attend a workshop, you can find answers to questions and further information on both the Masters and Opportunity Bristol applications here.

Applications are now open for applicants who want to start their studies in the 2022/23 academic year. 


Opportunity Bristol offers up to six scholarships to Black students. The scheme is part of the University of Bristol's Black Bristol Scholarship Programme, which is supported by philanthropic donations and seeks to address the lack of representation of the Black community at every level of study in higher education, from undergraduate students to those completing PhDs.  

Data shows that students from Black backgrounds are much less likely to pursue a PhD or consider a career in academia. The University of Bristol is committed to taking positive action to address this under-representation and this scheme aims to support and encourage students from Black backgrounds to pursue research as a possible career path.  

Opportunity Bristol provides funding for research-focused Masters programmes and will help successful awardees to gain the research skills and experience needed to apply for funded doctoral research opportunities in the future.  

To date, our Opportunity Bristol scheme has provided funding to 14 Black students to study on research-related Master’s degrees.  

Eligibility and funding available 

The scheme is open to UK Nationals with home fee status from Black backgrounds who hold an offer for one of the eligible programmes (see below) starting in the 2022-23 academic year. By Black background, we mean that applicants identify as having one of the following categories of ethnicity:  

  • Black African 
  • Black Caribbean 
  • Black Other 
  • Mixed – White and Black Caribbean 
  • Mixed – White and Black African 
  • Other mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other) 

Up to six scholarships are available. Each scholarship will cover your course fees in full and will provide you with a grant for living costs at the UKRI rate (at least £15,609 per year) 

What Masters programmes are eligible? 

Almost all Masters Programmes that result in an MRes, MPhil or MScR qualification are eligible as these contain a significant research component. In addition, a small number of specific MSc Programmes are also eligible where it is was considered that there was no suitable MRes, MPhil or MScR programme available.  

Please check the full list of courses in the guidance document below. 

How do I apply?  

To apply for the Opportunity Bristol scheme you need to  

  • Apply to the University via the online form to apply for entry to an eligible Masters programme (please note, as outlined above not all Masters Programmes are eligible. Read the guidance document to check whether the course you are applying for is eligible) and 
  • Complete the Opportunity Bristol Application Form 

Both applications must be submitted in full by Monday 25th April in order for you to be considered for funding.   

Application Support Workshops

Opportunity Bristol Application Support Workshops will be held online on Tuesday 15 February, 2pm and Tuesday 15 March, 2pm. You can sign up to these sessions here.

Further information 

Please read the OB guidance note 2022 (PDF, 183kB) for the scheme and application process before submitting your application. (No applicant will be able to take up an award unless they are also offered a place on an eligible Masters programme.) 

If you have any questions about the scheme, please contact Dr Patrick Ashby - or Hattie John – 

I was lost for words when I received the scholarship. This is one of the best things that has happened to me and I'm incredibly grateful. Ultimately, this funding helps my dream to complete a PhD in economics

David Afikuyomi, current Opportunity Bristol funded scholar

Why study a masters by research at Bristol?

Read Oona Lessware's blog on studying an MScR at Bristol.

Opportunity Bristol is one important step for us to help reduce inequalities of access to postgraduate research. This scheme is a fantastic opportunity for UK Black students to undertake funded research-focused master’s study, and we hope can be a stepping stone towards applying for funded PhDs and doctoral-level research in the future.

Prof. Robert Bickers, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (PGR)
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