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Cambridge long vacation scholarship scheme 2016/17

To commemorate the period during World War Two when Queen Mary College was evacuated to King’s College, Cambridge, eight students are invited to spend four weeks at King’s College during the Long Vacation Term.  In addition, one student is also invited to spend four weeks at St John’s College, Cambridge.

This year the dates will be from Monday 17 July to Saturday 12 August.

Each Faculty has been allocated one or more of these nine places depending on the size of the Faculty and your Faculty Administrators will advertise the scheme only to those students who may be eligible to apply. Each Faculty will have their own application process and deadline, so please refer to them if you have any queries about that.

Each student will receive a scholarship of £455 from QMUL to cover travelling expenses to and from Cambridge, together with maintenance during the 4 week period.  King’s College and St John’s College provide free accommodation and usually put on a number of organised activities.

There is no formal academic element of the scheme and the students will need to devise their own study programme. It is expected that students will spend their time at Cambridge in using the academic facilities in the furtherance of their undergraduate studies.

The students will have reading rights access to the Cambridge University Library and the appropriate Faculty Libraries and they will have borrowing rights at King's College and St John’s Library.

Unfortunately, Cambridge University laboratory facilities cannot be used during the Long Vacation unless the student is able to make prior arrangement directly with the department of interest. Likewise, if students wish to meet with specific academic staff at Cambridge in the summer they would be advised to contact them in advance to arrange a meeting, if appropriate.

Successful applicants will be asked to provide a short report of their time at King's and St John’s. Below is a selection of extracts from reports from previous recipients of the scholarship.

If you have any queries about your Faculty's application process please direct them to your Faculty Administrator, otherwise please direct any queries to:

Bursaries, Grants and Scholarships Office


More than anything else, the Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship Scheme gave me unbelievable opportunities to immerse myself in a world-class intellectual environment. Having originally planned to spend my time at King’s College devising a research plan for my undergraduate dissertation, I found myself leaving Cambridge with valuable connections to the Cambridge Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), and to a variety of policy research institutes in the area. These connections and my experiences at Cambridge have paved the way not only for a successful final year of undergraduate study, but also for postgraduate study at a world-class institution.

The organisation of the CLVS Scheme was fantastic. We were well-informed of the logistics of arriving at King’s College, and were given tours in our first week to get acquainted with the College and other important facilities, such as the University Library. Students were also able to request access to department-specific libraries, which possess a comprehensive range of literature to be used for in-depth study. Staying at King’s College for the month really made me feel like a full-time student at the University, which motivated me to work hard throughout the month. In addition to my academic endeavours, the CLVS Scheme allowed for extensive socialising at a variety of events and festivals at King’s and elsewhere in Cambridge, which made the stay so much more enjoyable.   My advice for prospective CLVS Scholars is to stress their future plans in their applications, and demonstrate how the CLVS Scheme might positively contribute towards the fulfillment of those goals. Upon admission to the Scheme, I highly recommend researching academics, research institutes etc. in the area relevant to your area of study or research, and getting in contact as soon as possible. I was absolutely blown away by the willingness of the world-leading academics at Cambridge to meet up and discuss my dissertation research, not to mention allowing me to get involved with some of the projects they are working on at POLIS. While it is ultimately up to the students themselves to seize such opportunities by being proactive and hard-working, the CLVS Scheme opens doors I would not have dreamed of before my stay at Cambridge.

S. S 2nd Year Politics and International Relations


Before going to Cambridge, I was advised by my colleagues to avoid Googling King’s college and to leave it as a surprise instead. I was indeed amazed by the beauty of the college grounds. I was fortunate to spend 4 hot summer weeks at Cambridge, working on an article with a clinical neuroscientist which I had self- organized. As a temporary scholar, I had access to the massive main library and 24/7 access to the quieter King’s library. It was great to have such a vast variety of books and online resources available to me.

We were warmly welcomed by the coordinator at Cambridge who toured us around the college grounds and organized some group outings. I particularly enjoyed the tour of the beautiful fellow’s garden led by the Senior Gardener and the climb up King’s chapel roof where we enjoyed spectacular views overlooking Cambridge. The accommodation at Market Hostel was also great. All the students stayed in the same hostel meaning we had ample time to socialize. It was stimulating to be surrounded by hard-working students from other courses as well as meeting those from other Universities around Europe. Everyone was eager to socialize and to really enjoy the time there. We especially made the most out of the student- priced punts. We had access to the water at non-touristy times as well which meant that we all had a chance at clumsily steering the boat around in circles and crashing into trees.

For those that are hesitant to apply for the Cambridge Scholarship Scheme, I’d advise you all to apply, I truly recommend the experience. It is a great opportunity to self- organize a project with a professor of your chosen field at Cambridge too. I have made some amazing friends and overall, the month really exceeded my expectations.
H. K  Year 2 Medicine


Going to a college of Cambridge University has certainly been one of the highlights of my undergraduate life. Being an enthusiastic mathematics student, I welcomed the opportunity under this scheme to study at an institution claiming so many ‘mathematical greats,’ including Alan Turing, who had also attended King's College. The structure of the scheme was such that you had to create your own study-schedule. This fitted me perfectly. And after four weeks of study there, I now know what area of mathematics to move into after I graduate, so I am very grateful for the experience for that alone.

Other than studying, our group – we had eight from Queen Mary and a few from other European universities – was given access to all the university and college grounds and buildings, and this allowed me to learn a lot about the history of the university, as well as the town itself. Personal highlights include punting on many a summer evening, meeting and getting to know the King's College Organ Scholar, being given a tour of the iconic King's College Chapel, especially of its roof, which gives rise to a mesmerising view, and seeing an open-roof production of ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ on the university grounds.

I would advise any self-motivated student to consider applying for the scheme. The experience allows you to further develop your studies, under your own supervision, and more importantly, to do so in an intellectually stimulating environment. Cambridge is simply a beautiful and charming city, and one whose ambience is almost built for nothing but intellectual endeavour. I would also just add that future students should think carefully about what academic goals they would like to achieve through the scheme, because it is a very personal experience and you will get out of it what you organise yourself.

M. K  2nd Year  Mathematical Sciences


With a library and a computer lab on offer 24/7 inside King’s college, I had no trouble locating resources to help with my learning. To my delight, the Turing computer lab was equipped with the Linux operating system with multiple Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) to cater for my programming needs. CLVS is also a great social opportunity. I have had the pleasure of making friends with great people from other QM faculties, as well as students from Italy and Germany, who I otherwise probably would not have ever met. We socialised over kitchen parties with music and authentic Italian pasta – cooked by Italians! Keeping fit was also not an issue as I took advantage of the university’s gym, only a stone’s throw away from the computer science department.

The programme also offered many wonderful opportunities for me to explore Cambridge from the perspective of being one of their students. From using private punts to accessing any college – we had it all covered. King’s College also showed great hospitality to us by giving us a tour of their historical Chapel – including the roof from where one can see almost the entirety of Cambridge. We were also given access to the Fellow’s Garden, where we spent a delightful evening experiencing the Shakespearian play: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Not to mention, a very informative and pleasant afternoon tea session was held in the King’s wine room with the Vice-Provost, admission staff and post-doctoral research students, who were all very friendly and spoke to us about the college, entry applications and student life.

This experience, thanks to Queen Mary, has shaped me into a better person than I was. To this end, I would suggest anybody considering the Long Vacation programme to wholeheartedly, “go for it”.

S.I   3rd Year Computer Science


Looking back on my experiences at King’s College brings only wonderful memories. The people were all extremely friendly and the scheme was organised very well, with great accommodation only three minutes from the college and right in the middle of Cambridge city centre. There were great events that were available to us, including a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the college’s own grounds, and live music in the local botanical gardens.

Cambridge is a delightful city, which boasts a lively market square with plenty of cafes, or a silent yet atmospheric library, to ensure work is possible regardless of mood. If anyone is unsure of whether to apply for the scheme, just go for it! You don’t need to be Einstein, but you do need a true passion for your work to understand the magic of Cambridge.

C. A  2nd Year Psychology


The CLVS was a fulfilling experience where I enjoyed the perfect mix of self-directed research and externally organised (and optional!) events. Having ready access to the Cambridge University libraries meant hours spent browsing bookshelves and being immersed in any topic that caught my interest. In addition to my free reading, I spent time doing preliminary research for my dissertation which is now super coming in handy.  

During the CLVS, I also met a delightful mix of like-minded people, both from QMUL/Barts and abroad - the bonds we forged punting will withstand the rough tides of life. I applied to CLVSS thinking it would mostly be something nice to put on my CV, but I emerged wishing it had gone on for another 4 weeks. I urge anyone offered the chance to go on the CLVSS to take it.

K.K  Year 2  English Language and Linguistic


When I received the email informing me that I had been chosen for the Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship Scheme, I was over the moon. I felt extremely lucky to have the opportunity to live in Cambridge for a month, study at the University and meet other students from Queen Mary, Heidelberg and Siena. I was really looking forward to the experience, and fortunately I was not disappointed at all: the scheme actually exceeded my expectations.

Academically, the month spent in Cambridge was incredibly enriching. The lack of a formal programme of study meant that I could undertake my own independent research, without worrying about fixed schedules. Indeed, I have taken advantage of the opportunity of using the King's Library late at night, as it was open 24/7 and it was just two minutes walk from our hostel. When not studying at King's, I went to the Central Library, which has an impressive range of books and in which I happily got lost a couple of times. On sunny days, I would also go to the Fellows’ Garden to which we also had access as temporary students. Finally, I could not finish this paragraph without mentioning the afternoon tea organised by King's, during which we had the opportunity to meet PHD students and staff from the University. It was only after speaking to them that I found the resolution to apply for a Masters in International Relations at Cambridge, and specifically at King's.

Equally rewarding was the time not spent studying. Through this scheme, I had the chance to experience the city in a way that most tourists never get the chance to. For example, it was much easier (and cheaper!) for us to visit the other colleges, have access to King's punts and get tickets for a Shakespeare play. I also felt privileged for being able to visit King's Chapel, with its unique vaulted ceiling and its roof from which we could enjoy a breath-taking view of the city. Finally, what made this experience even more enriching was the bond developed with the other students, all of them brilliant, and with whom I am still in contact. In conclusion, the freedom to undertake independent research for my dissertation, the access to amazing facilities, the possibility to go to cultural events and the opportunity to meet like-minded students made this programme uniquely rewarding. The only piece of advice I can give to students is to apply without hesitation, as I truly recommend this to everyone.

A.R Year 2 Politics and International Relation


I had a lovely time in Cambridge. Concretely what the Long Vacation Scheme gave me was money, accommodation and access to books, meaning I could afford to spend a month doing academic work. And I did learn a lot – not to walk on the grass, how to make carbonara, how to punt (badly), that Cambridge smells of lime trees and is beautiful. Of course I also read and read and learnt a lot. Having time to think and resources to support that is something valuable and under appreciated and I will remember the time spent in Cambridge as a privileged, golden moment which allowed me these things. However, as well as being a nice and productive way to spend a summer, the thinking I was able to do, experiences I had and friends I made will have continue to be important beyond and outside of this time.

N.W Year 2 Film Studies and German


The Cambridge Long Vacation was a fantastic opportunity for me to expand my academic horizons. Before visiting Cambridge, I contacted several members of the zoology department, and managed to spend the time shadowing one of the senior researchers. Whilst visiting his lab I learnt invaluable skills in taxonomy and entomology in modern zoology. Working in a lab meters from the office where Watson and Crick did their finest work was inspiring. The academics every morning would have a department coffee, where I managed to make many contacts and learn about the research in different parts of the department. I was also interested in the museum of zoology and the role of such collections in modern research. Through introductions over coffee I met the curator and many other senior members of the museum, who showed me around the collections and chatted with me about the nature of work and maintenance of the museum. During the scheme I became close friends with the other students from QM and the students from the University of Heidelberg and Sienna. Coming from a range of academic backgrounds, there was never a quiet or dull moment. Conversation was stimulated by the spires around us with the stories of Dirac and Hawking that hung in the air. Conversations would begin on romance and finish on super genetic computers. In Cambridge we were met by nothing but hospitality, and spent many long summer evening drifting down the cam on punts enjoying each other’s company.

H.A. Year 2 Biological Science

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