Opportunity Bristol provides financial support to UK students from Black backgrounds to undertake a research-related Masters degree.
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.
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 - Patrick.Ashby@bristol.ac.uk.
Liv Sidse Jansen Studentship
Human Geography PhD Studentship for BME Applicants, University of Bristol
Liv Sidse Jansen graduated from Bristol with a BSc in Biology & Geography in 1997. She was a bright and strongly independent young woman, fiercely passionate about nature and the environment and determined to make a difference to the world around her. Sadly she died just six months after graduation in a tragic accident. Her parents, Steen and Hanna, set up the Liv Sidse Jansen Memorial Foundation in memory of their only daughter and her very happy years at Bristol. Both generously bequeathed their estates to the Foundation to enable it to continue into the future, providing education for others.
Steen and Sidse Jansen
The University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences welcomes applicants of UK BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) background (including from mixed backgrounds featuring one or more of these groups) to apply for a fully funded three-year PhD studentship in human geography beginning September 2021.
Who should apply?
The successful candidate will evidence excellent research potential and may pursue any area of Human Geographical study supported by the School’s academic research strengths. Information on the School’s research excellence in human geography can be found here.
The full-time studentship is only open to students who are eligible for home fees* (ex. UK residents eligible for Home Fees). Please confer with this link (and below) to confirm your residence eligibility. Overseas students are not eligible to apply.
The studentship consists of a home fees waiver (£4,475), a bursary (£15,285), and a Research Training Support Grant (£1,000 pa), for a total of £20,760 (raising each year in line with UKRI increases for three years). Minimum full-time enrolment before submission is 36 months, maximum 48 months. Funding only accompanies the first three years of the studentship.
The researcher will have the opportunity to join extensive training opportunities and professional development networks, including the University's BME Networks.
Funding for the studentship is provided by the Liv Sidse Jansen Memorial Foundation.
*Fee status is largely determined by residency. For further details please see the information here: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/fee-status/
How do I apply?
For all information on entry requirements and how to apply for our research degrees, please see the following page.
Applicants must submit the following as part of their formal application:
- Formal application to University
- Research Proposal (1,500 words max, excluding references)
- Personal Statement (maximum 2 sides of A4, 11- or 12-point font)
- Two letters of academic reference
Applicants must develop their project ideas and proposals in consultation with potential supervisors within the School prior to formal application.
Applicants are required to contact potential supervisors within the School to confer on supervisory support and development of their project proposals. Only proposals and applications that have agreed written support from potential supervisors will be considered. Research projects supported by human and physical geographical supervision will be considered, but the lead supervisor must be a human geographer. The successful applicant will be an enrolled postgraduate research student within the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and the Bristol Doctoral College.
For queries about the application process, please contact the School’s Postgraduate Research Administrator, Vicki Sackwild (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For academic and program enquiries including about our School’s areas of research, please contact the School’s PGR Director, Dr Mark Jackson (email@example.com).
When is the deadline?
Applications for the 2022-23 cycle are not yet open.
Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries
Phyllis Mary Morris née Doidge graduated with a degree in Geography in 1930. She is shown in the photograph undertaking fieldwork on Lundy Island in 1927. She generously bequeathed funds to the School that support the bursary scheme in her name.
Who should apply?
You can apply for a Phyllis Mary Morris Bursary if you:
- are classed as an overseas student for fee purposes AND
- have applied to start a qualifying one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme at the University of Bristol.
What is it?
- Six bursaries worth £2,000 each.
- The awards can be used towards living costs.
How do I apply?
Further information can be found here.
- MSc in Climate Change Science and Policy
- MSc in Environmental Modelling and Data Analysis
- MSc in Environmental Policy and Management
- MSc in Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics
- MSc in Global Development and Environment
- MSc in Human Geography: Society and Space
Bristol Master’s Scholarship
The Bristol Master's Scholarship awards 50 talented home/UK students from widening participation backgrounds £2,000 each towards their taught postgraduate study (MA, MSc or MRes) at the University of Bristol for 2022/23 entry.
Applicants must have already applied for a postgraduate taught programme at Bristol to start an application.
Closing Date: Tuesday 31 May 2022