Scholarships & Awards

Scholarships & Awards

The BEST Scholarships

The 2018 applications for BEST Scholarships is now closed.

The BEST (BUNAC Educational Scholarship Trust) scholarships offer financial assistance to eligible applicants who are looking to undertake postgraduate study in the USA or Canada. They are funded by the BEST Scholarship Trust which is an independent trust administered by BUNAC on behalf of the BEST trustees.

A number of scholarships are awarded each year from a fund of £50,000 allocated for the BEST Scholarships. Included in this, are the sums of £4,000 available as the Christopher J. Harbour Memorial Scholarship to a candidate looking to do sports-related studies and £2,000 as the John S. Ball Award to a candidate looking to pursue a teaching or geography-related career. The individual amounts awarded vary but a typical award is in the region of approximately £5,000 - £15,000.

At the judging stage, preference is given to those whose proposed study in North America is likely to do most to further transatlantic understanding and/or to those who are required to go to the US or Canada to do a specific course.

Candidates must:

  • Be UK passport holder
  • Be currently, or have been engaged in full-time tertiary education at a university or college of higher education in the United Kingdom
  • Have already applied for, but not yet started a post-graduate course in the US or Canada. The postgraduate qualification must be awarded by a US or Canadian institution
  • Not be permanent employees of BUNAC Travel Services Ltd.

Please note, the award is intended for courses of study of between 3 months and 3 years, but the award shall cover a maximum period of the first 12 months and is not available for subsequent years of study. The candidate may not be in employment, including work for a North American employer as part of a sandwich course, during the period in which he/she is to be assisted. He/she may be (and should be) in receipt of other awards, including teaching assistantships, which are solely for the purpose of study and do not cover all expenses.

The BEST Scholarships are top-up funds, not the prime source of funding and candidates should be actively looking to secure funding from other sources while in the process of applying to BEST. Candidates cannot already be engaged in their course of study in North America at the time of application although they should be looking to apply to courses in their chosen field.

Application process & key dates

The following documents must be received by the deadline of Friday 23rd March 2018.

  • A completed online application form

  • Academic reference – from e.g. your tutor or head of department.

  • Personal reference - from someone who is well acquainted with you outside of university but who is not related to you in any way.

References cannot be from the same person. Applications received after the deadline or without both references as of that date, will not be considered. 

All complete applications will be subject to a short listing process and interviews will be conducted for the final selection of scholars in May / June 2018 London. This date is not negotiable and all interviews must be conducted face-to-face. Awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of the BEST interview panel.


Meet our 2017 scholars 

We are pleased to announce our recipients of the 2017 BEST scholarships - meet them below!

Ammar Waraich

Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government)
Masters in Public Policy
Ammar is a physician by training, having acquired his undergraduate degree in Medicine with Management from Imperial College London in 2010. He has worked up to the grade of a medical registrar, achieving Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 2015, and has recently become a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy following 2 years as a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham.                                                                                                              
Before arriving in Britain, Ammar was brought up in Pakistan and Oman, and presently lives in the West Midlands. His studies and career choices have led him to travel extensively across the world to places such as New York, Kenya, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Pakistan. Ammar is passionate in understanding different societies and has set up and runs multiple organisations that deal with socio-political issues. Presently he is the founder and director of The Malik El-Shabazz Initiative (@MESIglobal), an organisation aiming to facilitate a candid exploration of Islamic theology and western Muslim life. A BEST Scholarship would allow Ammar to study Public Policy, deepening his knowledge of the political and economic sciences, whilst forming bonds and links with a new generation of public leaders who seek to unite communities, share their cultures and serve the public interest. Following his Masters, Ammar’s immediate career aims are to work in health policy, focussing on the areas of healthcare reform, health inequalities, and education.

Liliane Slater

New York University
Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought
Liliane graduated from the University of Oxford in 2016 with a First-class honours degree in English Language and Literature. She is passionate about humanitarian work for refugees, having volunteered in London, Calais and Amman, and will be undertaking Masters research into the difficulties of cultural adaptation for people who are forced to migrate. In particular, her research will explore the role played by the arts in supporting refugees’ transition and combating xenophobia, drawing on her literary background as well as extra-curricular interests in fine art and theatre.                                                                                                                                                                           The opportunity to study in North America on a flexible curriculum will increase her exposure to different forms of activism and cultural production in this field and develop her inter-continental understanding of refugees’ resettlement experience, with a view to pursuing a PhD and ultimately working in refugee advocacy. Liliane has been working with refugees and asylum seekers through the British Red Cross in London since December, and will participate in similar voluntary work alongside her post-graduate studies, in addition to organising events and discussion groups to support her research and give a voice to local communities.

Simon Jones

Harvard Kennedy School
Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration
Upon graduating from the University of Bath in 2009, Simon, from Surrey, has devoted his career to the public service. In the 2010 General Election, Simon was appointed as Campaign Manager for the Liberal Democrats in South-West Surrey and in 2011 he joined the Civil Service. In his spare time he is a mentor on the Ministry of Defence's Education Outreach Programme; he has set up an environmental charity; and established a scheme to honour veterans of the Korean War.                         
                                                                                                                        Excited at the prospect of living and studying in the USA, a BEST Scholarship will allow Simon to consider the trans-atlantic bond and what current political trends in US and Europe politics mean for international institutions. After graduating from Harvard, Simon will return to the Civil Service in the field of international security policy and with the insight he has gained from Harvard University he hopes to be able to channel this perspective to inform the British Government's next Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Phoebe Seston

Middle Tennessee State University
Recording Arts and Technologies
Phoebe, from London, attended the University of Westminster with a student exchange at the University of Missouri graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Radio Production. With a love of the arts she attended The BRIT School where she would often teach radio production to younger students. As well as working as a team assistant at The University of Westminster, voluntary work has been very important to Phoebe both in the UK and US.                                                            
With a trip to the America at aged 13, Phoebe acquired an interest of country music and even held a country breakfast radio show once a week at her university. The BEST Scholarship will allow Phoebe to explore the US while studying in a musical environment like no other. Phoebe is hoping to share her culture and add a global perspective to the university. Inspiring other young women to achieve their goals of working within the music industry is crucial for Phoebe due to the industry being predominantly male dominated.

Elle Wadsworth

University of Waterloo
PhD in Public Health and Health Systems
Research and travel lead Elle left her home town of Sheffield to study Chemistry at The University of Bristol where she graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 2011. She then went on to travel for a year before completing a Masters in Addiction Studies at King’s College London in 2015. Elle is a host and researcher on a bi-monthly podcast ‘What’s The Crack’ which aims to improve public awareness of the complexity and reality of addiction.                                                 
                                                                                                                        After developing a policy “A Greener UK: The Roadmap to Cannabis Regulation”, Elle won the title of ‘Policy Idol’ at King’s College London. Now, ready to take on a new adventure, Elle will be further exploring her interests by undertaking a PhD in Canada on the population effects of cannabis legalisation. Studying in Canada, the first high-income country to implement cannabis legalisation for non-medical use, will allow Elle to collect research to explore the changes to public health. This information will be internationally applicable and of interest to the many countries that are currently altering their cannabis laws. Elle hopes to represent the UK as a place that believes the world is better when we connect across countries and cultures.

Fulbright Scholarships

The Fulbright Commission offers scholarships for academic work in any subject, at any accredited US university. Each year, awards are given to approximately 25 UK citizens studying at postgraduate-level. The Fulbright awards offer scholars the opportunity to have a transformative cultural and academic experience and provide unparalleled support both during and after their Fulbright year. In addition to the all-disciplines category, Fulbright also offer subject-specific awards in partnership with UK and US institutions in fields such as public affairs, journalism, law, finance and information science.

For more information please head to the Fulbright website.

The Howard Crew Scholarship

Introduced in honour of Howard Crew, General Secretary of the British Universities North America Club for 25 years, the Howard Crew Scholarships are for those wishing to apply to a BUNAC work exchange programme to North America. Our 2014 'Win a place on Work America' and our 2015 'Win a BUNAC Travel Internship' were funded by the Howard Crew scholarships. 

For further information on the BEST Scholarships and the Howard Crew Awards and Scholarships please call the London BUNAC office on 0333 999 7516.

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BUNAC Travel Services
Priory House, 6 Wrights Lane
London, W8 6TA
Phone: 033 3999 7516


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