By Press Office 08 December 2016

QMU students are being offered another chance to boost their CV in 2017, thanks to The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

The Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships scheme helps students undertake an independent research project in any academic field of study during the summer vacation. It is designed for third year students on a four year honours degree course or fourth year students on a five year honours degree course.

The scheme supports eligible students to develop valuable research skills, investigate a topic of particular interest and their academic writing. Scholarships can last between two and six weeks, supported by a grant of £225 per week from The Carnegie Trust.

The Carnegie Trust is a charitable organisation founded by Scots-American steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, in 1901. For over a century, the Trust has funded student fees, scholarships, bursaries and research grants. It operates across all academic disciplines to encourage wider access to higher education and further research in Scottish universities. With annual funding of around £2.5 million, the Trust is one of the largest educational grant giving charities in Scotland.

In 2016, two QMU students were supported by The Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships scheme, receiving £2,700 from The Trust between them - Yvonne Smith, BSc (Hons) Public Sociology and Mhairi Paul, BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology.

In previous years, BSc (Hons) Psychology, BSc (Hons) Psychology & Sociology, Bsc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy and BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy students from QMU have also won Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships.

Yvonne Smith, 44, from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders was one of the QMU students supported by the Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships scheme in 2016.

A £1,500 scholarship allowed Yvonne to carry out research as a volunteer with a local youth project, where she focussed on ‘Youth Rural Poverty and Homelessness in Galashiels’. The six-week project involved a series of interviews and a photographic project with young people aged 16-18 years. Yvonne recorded their personal experiences and attitudes towards poverty, unemployment, family life and homelessness in their hometown.

Commenting on how the scheme helped her, Yvonne, said: “I found out about the Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships scheme through the Student Hub and Programme Leader during my third year at QMU.

“I was keen to carry out an independent research project that had personal meaning to me and fitted in with my studies in public sociology. The Scheme helped me to achieve this ambition by providing me with the financial support I needed.

“The BSc (Hons) Public Sociology at QMU encourages students to engage with a diverse range of communities and social debates, as well as looking at creative ways to deal with some of society’s most pressing social issues, including poverty, social exclusion, equality and diversity. This academic background meant that I was able to focus my skills on researching these issues amongst young people living in my local area.

“I was able to gather a deeper insight into the different experiences and viewpoints of young people through open discussion and by allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings through photographs.

“The Scholarship application process and delivery of the research project really helped prepare me for my dissertation in the final year at QMU. I learnt a lot from planning, structuring and implementing my research to a set timeframe. The experience built my confidence and helped me overcome my stress levels when I got to the dissertation stage. I’d definitely recommend it to other eligible QMU students.”

Yvonne has since presented her research and exhibited the project photography at QMU and her local council. After graduating from QMU, Yvonne hopes to undertake a Masters in Research or work in the third sector.

QMU students should ask their Programme Leader for more information on making an application for The Carnegie Trust: Vacation Scholarships scheme. The application form is available on the QMU School Office website: www.qmu.ac.uk/school-office/forms.htm

Applicants must be Scottish by birth, descent or residence and should submit their applications to Sheena Watson (School Manager for Arts, Social Sciences & Management) E: swatson@qmu.ac.uk or Jenny Ansett (School Manager for Health Sciences) E: jansett@qmu.ac.uk by Wednesday 1st February 2017.

For more information visit www.carnegie-trust.org

ENDS

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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