This month, Cumberland Lodge has once again opened the application round for its next cohort of Cumberland Lodge Scholars, for 2019-2021.

Every year, the Cumberland Lodge Scholarship Scheme gives six, UK-based doctoral students the opportunity to be involved with the work of the Lodge over two years.

Participants have the chance to benefit from our interdisciplinary conferences and our extensive networks in academia and public life.

Personal development

The aim of the scholarship programme is to provide an opportunity for students working towards a doctorate to develop their skills in: working collaboratively; engaging in cross-disciplinary discussion; public engagement and facilitation at events; networking with people outside of their given academic disciplines; and writing for a range of different audiences.

Scholars also have the opportunithy to apply for a £300 personal development grant to use creatively for ‘the betterment of society’, in line with our charitable mission. One of our current scholars, Alexander Blower, has successfully applied to use one of these grants to produce a vlog series, filled with insights into PhD study, university applications, and the UK education system and ‘study’ more broadly. Find out more about Alex’s work here.

Flyer to recruit Cumberland Lodge Scholars for 2019-21

What's involved

The scholarship is designed to fit around the demands of doctoral research, with scholars attending two Cumberland Conferences each year, as well as our annual Cumberland Lodge Debate.

They have the chance to help lead workshops, take part in panel discussions, chair sessions, host speakers, network with delegates and high-profile speakers, and support Cumberland Lodge staff with facilitating the events. 

We also invite our Scholars to write newsletter articles and blog pieces, reflecting on the events they have been a part of.

Scholars are often also involved in our public engagement events, including Cumberland Conversations and public lectures.


Cathy Jamieson took part in the Cumberland Lodge Scholarship programme in the inaugural cohort (2014-16). Speaking about her experiences, earlier this year, she said: 'While I was doing my PhD, the scholarship broadened my horizons hugely. It allowed me to take a step back and think about how my academic research could fit into wider societal discourse on important topics. The training and experience I was given at Cumberland Lodge was really helpful in increasing my confidence, giving me the skills to interact with people from all walks of life, and increasing my own academic rigour with the questions I asked of my own work.

'After the PhD, the scholarship encouraged me to explore different career avenues. Through conversations with various people at the Lodge, I found a real interest in policy making. I now work for the Scottish Government and I use the skills and experiences I gained at the Lodge every day in interactions with Ministers, senior civil servants, and stakeholders. I don’t think I would have considered this career path if it hadn’t been for my time at Cumberland Lodge.'  

Another of our first cohort of Scholars was Chris Dixon. Reflecting on his experiences, he said: 'I suppose these things are difficult to quantify, but other than immensely enjoying any time spent at Cumberland Lodge, I think I've benefited from the experience in two ways. Firstly, being at the lodge means you're guaranteed to bump into someone interesting; I never thought I would ever find myself in the same room as a high court judge, or England's Chief Medical Officer.

'It was a real privilege to hear these people give their talks. Secondly, attending the ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference was really eye-opening for me, so much so that I decided to apply for something outside of academia as my first post-PhD job. It was great to hear from people who took different paths in their careers, and it renewed my sense of value in doctoral research.'


If you, or someone you know, are interested in applying for this opportunity, please visit our Cumberland Lodge Scholarships webpage here.