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Cambridge long vacation scholarship scheme 2018/19

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 8 July to Saturday 3 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 regarding 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 couple 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
busaries@qmul.ac.uk

 

I had a phenomenal time in Cambridge and will never forget it! There are many great things to say about my experience but, I will start with housing. My accommodation, Market Hostel, was lovely and very tidy due to the friendly on-site cleaners that clean the residence most days. It was a short walk from King’s College and very close to other local amenities. King’s College itself is an exceptionally beautiful and historical college and the facilities provided there are great. Students on the Long Vacation scheme are treated as if they are University of Cambridge undergraduate students, having access to the magnificent King’s college Library, the Student Union, canteen and of course, the world-renown chapel. Just walking around the College is a treat, especially for those enthusiastic about history or architecture (…or Harry Potter). The staff at King’s were great, and many events such as afternoon tea, a tour of the chapel roof and complimentary tickets to a theatrical performance in the Fellow’s garden were all provided for us. Furthermore, I managed to get a lot of work done towards my degree, as we had both borrowing rights at King’s but additional reading rights in the (enormous) University Library. Many evenings were spent either punting on the River Cam or going to one of the many excellent pubs that Cambridge has to offer, such as The Eagle whereby Crick and Watson announced their discovery of DNA. The Scheme also provided me with the indispensable opportunity to meet and network with many experienced professors and barristers.

On a final note, I met many good friends there and I am sure I will keep in touch with them. I urge anyone who thinks this sounds like a good way to spend their summer to apply for this experience, good luck!

 D.O –3rd Y  Law

 
 

The Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship scheme was a fantastic change of pace for me. Studying medicine is a very fast-paced affair: you hardly have to time to get settled with a module before you have to move onto the next one. However, on this scheme, I was given the opportunity to “go deep” in one particular area – for me, paediatric surgery – with all the library resources Cambridge had to offer. I chose to write a literature review on the topic of anaesthesia for children undergoing special investigations in hospital, which I coordinated with a supervisor based at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. My study hours and deadlines were flexible, so I was able to work at night, which I prefer.

Cambridge itself is a beautiful place to study, and King’s College put us up in some top-notch student accommodation. We were given free tickets to see an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Fellow’s Garden, which was an unforgettable experience. Also, the college let us use their boats for punting, which I recommend all future students on this scheme to have a go at!

G.Y 1st Y Medicine 

 
 

My time in Kings College provided a brilliant opportunity to explore my subject and my interests in a completely different learning space and environment, which after being so used to studying in London was a welcome change. The open-ended nature of the exchange was not only beneficial in order to develop my research skills in preparation for my dissertation, but also to learn from my companions how they structure their day. Having access to the resplendent campus in the summer months felt like quite a privilege amidst all the tourists! Between the extent of resources in the Kings and University libraries, I found myself in the Kings music library, which is a really wonderful collection and very whimsical space to study. Likewise, I know that a lot of the friends I made on the scheme made use of some of the original manuscripts for their literary studies in the libraries. Overall, I would definitely recommend the scheme if you are interested in engaging in research with your own guidance, or want to explore unconventional topics outside of your degree modules. 

H.H  2nd Y SLLF

 
 

I am very grateful to both universities for providing such an invaluable opportunity. In short, the Cambridge Long Vacation Scheme allowed me to explore the idea of a career in academia with the total and unrestrained autonomy to be able to research whatever area was of interest to me. The specially bought notepad arrived with me in Cambridge with some half-cooked scratchings of my research plan; and just a month later left with me full and loose-leaved.

Upon arrival, we were granted access to both the University Library and King’s College library, with borrowing rights at the latter. Although most of my time during this month was spent at these libraries – in particular the UL on account of its collections – with asking, I was also allowed reading rights to the Seeley Historical Library, Modern and Medieval Languages Library and Trinity College library. The Seeley Historical Library was of particular use to me as I was able to access a multitude of historical journals and achieves – of note was my being given the opportunity to read a first edition of Hegel’s Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte. On-top of access to a number of the university’s libraries, as a part of the scholarship we were also given unimpeded rights to online resources through Raven. Although it was very easy to feel overwhelmed by such a vast array of resources, after this initial shock I was able to commit myself to a reading list that otherwise would have been impossible: for example, the chance to access an English translation of Danilevskii. From this, and hours of reading and conversation with professors, I have been able to come away from this experience with a firm grasp on my dissertation topic and an enlivened ambition to work towards an MPhil when the time comes. To say something for the social aspect of the scheme, however a lot of time will be spent in solitude, the scholarship does work hard to ensure that this is not set. From shared living to the various activities we were encouraged to actively get to know one another. The placement of the accommodation means you are located both directly opposite the college, as well as being right in the centre of the city – with latent benefits.

I would encourage students to apply for this scheme, as, with serious academic interest, I can think of no more ideal way to spend a summer.

H.M 2nd Y History

 
 

The CLVS turns one into a Cambridge student for a month. As such, the nine participants are given access to most of the privileged facilities from King’s College, such as libraries, sports facilities and different common areas. The scheme enables participants to network with Cambridge graduate students and staff members and allows them to freely reach academics out to request help with research or propose them a new research topic. The intentional lack of structure of the academic part of the programme together with its invaluable social facet has made these four weeks a once in a lifetime experience.

During this period, I have conducted background literature for my final year project. The programme has allowed me to research while being surrounded by like-minded people and placed in such an enchanting city as Cambridge is. The environment found at King’s College library was unusually inspiring and settled one in the perfect mind-frame for studying. It is worth emphasising how the requirement of designing a four-week research programme prior to applying to the scheme has been of extreme help when it came to structuring my days and following different research paths. 

Along with the nine people from QMUL, a few other students from Heidelberg University (Germany) and the University of Siena (Italy) are placed in a similar programme. This helps create an exceptionally multicultural group of around twenty like-minded students. The social interactions of the programme have been particularly enriching as a result of the broad diversity of backgrounds of the participants. During every meal, I was surrounded by very bright people who were interested in a diverse set of fields, ranging from Medicine and Engineering to Law and English. The CLVS has helped in creating a very interesting and varied network.

I would suggest to all potential applicants to design a concise and meticulous study programme. This has a significant impact on the academic course of these weeks. Many other participants contacted academics from Cambridge and participated in their research projects or asked them for help with their own. Even though I did not make use of this opportunity, I would most certainly encourage all prospective participants to reach them out. After having completed the programme, the CLVS seems like an indispensable part of my whole study experience, and I would sincerely encourage anyone to take part in it.

J.G 3rd Y EECS

 
 

King’s College provided a perfect summer. Away from the distractions of life in London, Cambridge was a beautiful and peaceful place to slow down and focus. Each student is given the freedom to plan their own itinerary in the way it best suits them, and learns how to work productively outside the comparatively structured experience of studying at university during term time. 
  
I am grateful for the focus and perspective on the research for my dissertation that I gained through my independent study in Cambridge. King’s College provided a fantastic, productive environment, from the accommodation they provided on the doorstep of Cambridge’s market, to the seemingly endless stacked shelves of their libraries.   
  
For students who may, like me, be looking towards postgraduate study (at Cambridge University or otherwise), the scheme provides a chance to experience a more self-motivated style of learning, and to consider the benefits of further education. In pursuit of this, you can speak to current students at the Afternoon Tea provided by the college, or email college professors and set up a meeting. 
  
Not only does the scheme promote a good work ethic, it also encourages you to widen your horizons—I learned to punt for the first time, took advantage of Cambridge’s lido, watched more than one performance at the Shakespeare festival, and spent countless evenings reading books by the River Cam with the other scholarship students. It was wonderful to spend the summer with other students engaged in their studies, as it encouraged some great discussions. 
  
I recommend the Cambridge Long Vacation Scholarship Scheme wholeheartedly—from applying, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

L. C 2nd Y English and Drama

 
 

The Cambridge Long Vacation scheme was pleasantly unstructured. Or rather, it was structured in way that allowed us to organize ourselves. After the first week and a half, which was full of great group activities and events, the group was able to splinter off and begin our individual research. As somewhat of a reclusive worker, what was interesting about the Cambridge Long Vacation scheme was the ability to work independently, but in a group. We were all at similar stages of our third-year research projects, a stage that benefits greatly from discussing the subjects amongst ourselves, especially since the participants were selected from across a wide range of subjects thereby providing interdisciplinary perspectives on our chosen topics. We were able to flesh out our ideas in impromptu discussions and then pursue them in independent research. The trajectory of my work was greatly influenced by these independent/ group circumstances. The atmosphere was also a great mix between productivity and leisure, and since there is so much to do in Cambridge, there was rarely a dull moment.

As far as tips for future students, I would recommend two things. First, pre-emptively checking out the King’s Library catalogue online so that you could prepare a reading list prior to arrival. And second, exhaust the resources at your disposal, i.e. do not waste time doing work that can be done elsewhere!

M. O 2nd Y SLLF

 
 

The CLVS scheme is a fantastic opportunity for students to find new motivations to strive in their fields. Particularly inspirational is the sense of ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, created by the hardworking academics who have made the university into what it is today.

The scheme provides an enriching feeling of freedom. It is important to understand the value of both being allowed to explore Kings College and devise our own study plan. The former was embodied by a Tour of the Chapel Roof, a ticket to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and a Tea Party in the Kings College Wine Room. The Tea Party was a lovely experience as we got to interact with current students and gain an insider’s perspective of studying at Cambridge.

My favourite aspect was the opportunity to study both in the Kings College library and the main university library, which promoted a passion to study harder. While there I was able to learn about software used in industry and broaden my knowledge in Robotics. This will positively impact my performance in my final year modules and dissertation.

Despite being a temporary student at Kings College, I felt a strong sense of belonging due to the privileges we were granted. This included full around-the-clock access to the college, discounted punt prices, eating in the canteen, taking visitors etc.

A tip for future applicants: believe in your ability to be selected for the scheme. Above all Queen Mary is looking for students with a thirst for learning who will be positive ambassadors. Also, do ensure you balance the academic and social aspects of the scheme, as you’ll have a unique opportunity to meet students from a variety of fields.The CLVS scheme is a fantastic opportunity for students to find new motivations to strive in their fields. Particularly inspirational is the sense of ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, created by the hardworking academics who have made the university into what it is today.

The scheme provides an enriching feeling of freedom. It is important to understand the value of both being allowed to explore Kings College and devise our own study plan. The former was embodied by a Tour of the Chapel Roof, a ticket to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and a Tea Party in the Kings College Wine Room. The Tea Party was a lovely experience as we got to interact with current students and gain an insider’s perspective of studying at Cambridge.

My favourite aspect was the opportunity to study both in the Kings College library and the main university library, which promoted a passion to study harder. While there I was able to learn about software used in industry and broaden my knowledge in Robotics. This will positively impact my performance in my final year modules and dissertation.

Despite being a temporary student at Kings College, I felt a strong sense of belonging due to the privileges we were granted. This included full around-the-clock access to the college, discounted punt prices, eating in the canteen, taking visitors etc.

A tip for future applicants: believe in your ability to be selected for the scheme. Above all Queen Mary is looking for students with a thirst for learning who will be positive ambassadors. Also, do ensure you balance the academic and social aspects of the scheme, as you’ll have a unique opportunity to meet students from a variety of fields.

 C. PL 2nd Y EECS

 
 

My time at King’s College Cambridge was exceptional, and truly exceeded any previous connotations I had about Cambridge. It is a genuine pleasure to explore Cambridge and its rich history as every walk is scenic in its own way. The generous accommodation provided was excellent, especially in regards to the location as everything was within a 10 minutes’ walk. 
Upon arrival a few events were organised that took place over a course of two weeks that included; a tour of the King’s Chapel (personally I enjoyed this the most since we got to go the roof which is a spectacular opportunity that not many get to experience), tour of the library, a Shakespeare play in the beautiful fellows garden and afternoon tea at the wine room. The city university style of Cambridge is a stark contrast to the campus-based style here at Queen Mary. This is made evident as you explore Cambridge and see buildings belonging to Cambridge University and Cambridge colleges all over the city. However, this also means you may need to take a bus to visit say departmental buildings. 

As part of the programme other Queen Mary students from other departments will also be accompanying you, which I forged great relationships with as they shared the same thirst for knowledge and intellectual rigour. Unknown to me but during the same time period students from Italy and Germany also were undertaking a similar programme and this introduced another factor to the experience in which I got to understand the viewpoints of other students not from the UK. Mine and for many others, our favourite pastime was punting (much harder than it looks) this is an excellent opportunity to socialise with others (especially when you go out in large groups so 2 or 3 punts) and put your punting skills to the test. 
I was fortunate enough to get an extension for one week as I got into touch with a professor during the end of the 3rd week (I suggest contacting earlier so you have more time to contribute and sort things out) and this was an amazing opportunity to contribute to an actual experiment which was an interferometer in New Mexico, USA of which my professor was a system architect. This greatly enhanced the intensity and challenge of the work that I was doing which was learning about data processing and data visualisation techniques using python. 

 U.Z  1st Y SPA

 
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