If you are passionate about delivering researcher events, building research communities and you want to boost your experience base and CV, then you might just have what it takes to be a Westmere Scholar. The Westmere scholarships are £5000 12-month scholarships that will empower you to make the new postgraduate researcher hub the bustling heart of our research community.
Who can be a Westmere Scholar?
Each year, the University Graduate School look for five current postgraduate researchers who can engage with postgraduate researcher communities, initiate and deliver researcher development activities and advocate and promote the postgraduate research hub, Westmere. This 12-month scholarship confers a generous £5,000 bursary for the academic year (start of August – end of July). In return for this bursary the Westmere Scholars are asked to support community building and researcher development activities within the Westmere PGR Hub. To take full advantage of the opportunity and make a valuable contribution to the scheme, the successful scholars will need to commit time to these activities throughout the year.
We are looking for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) who can think more broadly than their own discipline, show an understanding of postgraduate research issues and display the ability to think across research subject areas. Experience of organising and promoting events would be an advantage.
What is Westmere?
Westmere is the postgraduate researcher hub at the University of Birmingham. Westmere House (G15 on the campus map) has been developed as a social space for all postgraduate researchers. The Westmere PGR hub enables postgraduate researchers (PGRs) from across the University to integrate and cooperate, intellectually and socially. Westmere supports PGR-led interdisciplinary workshops and conferences, social events, training and networking. Westmere is open to all PGRs at the University of Birmingham, as well as providing essential work space for PGRs from the College of Arts & Law.
Key aims of Westmere Scholarship Scheme
The Westmere Scholars will work together to:
- Contribute to promoting and raising awareness of the Westmere PGR Hub by working closely with the University Graduate School and key contacts in the Colleges/Schools (e.g. promoting the Westmere PGR Hub as part of Welcome inductions/events and open days, and through social media)
- Initiate and organise relevant researcher development and community building activities within the Westmere PGR Hub
- Produce an annual evaluation of the Westmere PGR Hub and its usage
- Support existing formal and informal researcher activities held by the University Graduate School and wider UoB researcher development partners
- Promote the existence of both physical and virtual researcher communities within UoB
- Use social media to engage PGRs, promote discussions and facilitate peer support
- Refer researchers to other support available within the University as appropriate (e.g. Student Services, Careers Network, IT Services, the Guild of Students…)
How to apply
The scholarships are open to any Normally Registered University of Birmingham postgraduate researcher, including existing scholarship-funded PGRs, who will be Normally Registered until the end of July in the relevant year (i.e. not in writing up period).
Application for the 2019/20 scholarships will open in April 2019.
Applications should include:
- A 750-word support statement showing your potential to support the key aims of the Westmere Scholarship Scheme outlined in the supporting document (see below)
- A short CV (maximum 2 A4 sides) showing education and employment history.
- Two signed supporting references including one from your lead supervisor. These should be signed by your referee and supplied in PDF format.
Please read the shortlisting criteria before writing your supporting statement.
- Currently a normally registered postgraduate researcher at UoB and intending to remain normally registered until the end of July of the relevant academic year.
- Exemplary undergraduate and master’s grades (equivalent to first class).
- Broad understanding of the challenges and issues facing postgraduate researchers.
- Ability to work both effectively and flexibly within a team and independently.
- Ability to engage with postgraduate researchers at all stages and in a range of disciplines.
- Excellent presentation skills.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Experience of organising and promoting events would be an advantage.
- Time management skills.
- Familiarity with and knowledge of Westmere PGR Hub.
- Ability to engage with diverse groups such as international students and commuting students.
- Budget management experience is desirable.
- Demonstrable knowledge of University support services.
For an informal discussion about the scholarships, please contact Dr Andrea Patel, Head of the University Graduate School (A.C.Patel@bham.ac.uk).