Having gained so much ourselves from subsidised University of Oxford educations, we strongly feel we should help students from Cornwall, who now have to be self-funding. The bursary scheme we run offers bursaries from £250 – £500 for students for projects to be performed before September 2022. Normally only one award will be given to each student during their student career. These are available to all Cornish undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Bursary to promote the understanding of Cornwall and Cornish Culture and Heritage 

Cornwall has a rich culture, heritage and environment, both past and present. This bursary is to promote the academic understanding of Cornish culture in its widest sense and to foster future academic interest and awareness of Cornwall. It is hoped in the long term that inspiring future academics and graduates with an interest in Cornwall will result in them contributing to Cornwall.

This bursary (value £500) is to finance an Oxford student to undertake a project in Cornwall that will contribute to their fieldwork or dissertation. Subjects might include archaeology, anthropology, history, language, literature, music, art, geology, science, the environment and economics but this list is not exclusive and we are open to other topics.  This bursary is open to all undergraduate and post graduate students.

Closing date 1st May

Bursaries to fund a broader understanding of the student’s subject

Bursaries  (value £250 – £500) to fund students with strong connections to Cornwall (in most cases 5 years residence in Cornwall) to travel or visit somewhere that will contribute to a broader understanding or different viewpoint of their subject.  Normally only one award will be given to each student during their student career.

Closing date 1st May

The Endellion Sharpe Bursary to fund an activity beneficial to themselves and others

Bursaries (£250 – £500) to fund students with strong connections to Cornwall (in most cases 5 years residence in Cornwall) to travel to perform a project, which will be a life-enhancing activity that will benefit both the individual and the local community and broaden the mind of the applicant. 

Normally only one award will be given to each student during their student career.

Closing date 1st May

Bursaries to fund an Internship

A maximum of two bursaries (£250) to contribute towards internships for undergraduate students with strong connections to Cornwall (in most cases 5 years residence in Cornwall).  Normally only one award will be given to each student during their student career.

Closing date 1st May

Bursary to fund a medical elective abroad

Bursary (value £250 – £500) to fund a medical student with strong connections to Cornwall (in most cases 5 years residence in Cornwall) to work in a hospital or visit somewhere that will contribute to a broader understanding or viewpoint of clinical medicine. Normally only awarded in the final year of clinical training.

Closing date 1st January

Format for Applications for Bursaries

The committee considering applications will give awards according to how closely they meet the conditions of the bursaries. Applicants should aim to present their case clearly and grammatically, paying attention to syntax and spelling. Please read through your application carefully before submission. That is a good habit to form, which will be valued in your professional careers.

Please send :- CV with personal statement and Cornwall connections – 1 page and an Outline of Internship or Bursary project – 1 page

to:- Professor Fenella Wojnarowska
01566 781319

Report on successful bursary applications to OUCS Cornwall Branch, 2021

Three bursaries have been awarded this year

Bartol Sikora has been awarded an Internship bursary.

Bartol is a second student reading Engineering Science at St John’s College. He will be undertaking an internship studying bioengineering and the application of origami nanostructures for delivering anti-cancer drugs to cancer cells at Imperial College London. He is from Bude in Cornwall.


December 2021 update

Over the summer of 2021, I was involved in research at Imperial College London in the fields of bio-engineering and computer science. It started with me reading various research papers and getting to grips with the uses of DNA nanostructures in medicine. I then focused on looking at ways to optimise drug delivery to tumour sites in cancer patients. I spent time learning software called CaDNAno and developing DNA origami nanostructures structures to optimise payload delivery. The remaining time was spent focusing on writing a review paper (to be published later this year) on the uses of DNA nanostructures in medicine and computer science in order to create a single source that can be referred to which concisely illustrate past developments in the field and also projects a general direction that the field is heading towards. A huge thank you to the Oxford University Society Cornwall for making this possible.

Helen Carasso has been awarded a bursary to promote the understanding of Cornwall and Cornish Culture and Heritage

Helen is in the final year of her MSt in History of Design at the Department of Continuing Education. She is a student at Kellogg College. With the support of her bursary, Helen will be studying Modernist architecture of the 1930s at the English seaside, with the Jubilee Pool in Penzance as a case study. She will be considering the extent to which this style, that is associated with many widely-admired spaces of luxury and pleasure including cruise liners, lidos and cinemas, was also effective and popular when used for residential developments, such as the Frinton Park Estate in Essex.

November 2021 update

Thanks to the financial support of OUS(Cornwall), I visited the county in May, to explore Modernist architecture on the English coast for my MSt History of Design dissertation. As well as getting the user’s perspective on Penzance’s Jubilee Pool, records in the Morrab Library and county archive in Redruth helped me to understand the thinking and debates around its construction. It became clear that Borough Engineer, Frank Latham, who championed and designed the Pool, understood that it must be a resource for the community, as well as an attraction for tourists (and the money they would spend nearby). From its opening on 31 May 1935, it was a popular and financial success.
Before and during my research trip, people in Cornwall were pleased to be able to help me to find out more about their local lido, whether sharing personal experiences, opening their archives, hosting my visit or, in the case of OUS(Cornwall) awarding me a bursary. Today, the Jubilee Pool is a highly popular community-owned space and remains at the heart of this generous and welcoming community, as Latham intended.


Louis Emanuel has been awarded a bursary to fund an internship.

 Louis Emanuel is studying Engineering Science at Mansfield College. He will be undertaking an internship at Invesco asset managers. He has lived in Newquay since 2003.

Report on successful bursary applications to OUCS Cornwall Branch, 2020

Three bursaries were awarded to broaden the understanding of the student’s subject. We have given them a deadline of September 2021 to complete their projects.

Alex Midlen

Alex is a reading for a DPhil in Geography and Environment at Green Templeton College. He will be undertaking a project studying the governance of marine resources in Kenya. He is from Callington in Cornwall.

Blue Economy PhD update

This last year has been a very frustrating one – a fact which needs no further explanation! However, it’s given me time to develop my case study research plans and refine general aspirations into more concrete proposals whilst glued to my computer in east Cornwall.

Now that vaccines are being rolled out I can see the likelihood of fieldwork becoming a possibility in the autumn and can make detailed plans. My research site in Kenya is the Lamu archipelago in the north. It’s a rich ecosystem comprising islands, tidal estuaries and creeks, mangrove, coral reefs, and seagrass beds – all of which provide a rich habitat for commercially important fisheries, and sources of timber for fuel and construction, and attract wildlife tourism. Lamu town itself, on Lamu Island (pictured), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being the oldest Arab trading port on the East coast of Africa. My research concerns the potential impact of plans for a new city, airport, port, railway and power station to be developed on the adjacent mainland, on the lives and livelihoods of the inhabitants of the archipelago. For them, surviving on artisanal fisheries, and cultural and wildlife tourism, the environmental impacts of these long term, nationally important plans are profound and threaten their very identity. The prevailing fear is that consequent environmental degradation will destroy traditional livelihoods and ways of life. The construction of the port and dredging of a deep water access channel are already causing visible impacts.

Lamu waterfront (https://www.awaygowe.com/lamu-town-kenya/ )
Lamu archipelago (Google maps)

Daisy Lynch

Daisy is a second year student reading Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Exeter College.

She will be undertaking a project in Naples, Italy, visiting Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Naples Museum of Archaeology in which she will be looking for inspiration for her museum/site report, which is a compulsory part of her degree. She lives in Lelant (St Ives) in Cornwall.

I cannot thank you enough- this means so much to me as it’s been an absolute dream, which I am so excited to finally fulfil!

Issy Paul

Issy was a third year student reading Theology and Religion at Worcester College.

She will be taking a play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before beginning an MA in Theatre Directing at Mountview Academy of the Arts. She is from Launceston, Cornwall.

July 2021 update

I have spent the past year training on the MA Theatre Directing course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts which has been an incredible experience. I have had the opportunity to be taught by leading practitioners and develop my practice as a director. I have just completed my final show, a production of Glyn Maxwell’s ‘The Forever Waltz’, which is a reimagining of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and I am currently completing my dissertation which explores contemporary adaptations of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Having studied Theology at Oxford, I am particularly interested in the intersection between Religion and Theatre, and this is an area I hope to explore further upon leaving Mountview. I am hoping to work as an assistant director as well as developing my production of the Forever Waltz and hopefully staging it at a London venue in the near future.

Thank you so much for this!!

The Medical Elective Bursary was awarded to James Brebner

James Brebner was a final year Medical Student at Green Templeton College.  He was to undertake a medical elective on A&E and anaesthetics at Mater Dei Hospital in Malta. Instead, he will be work in the NHS to help deal with the Coronavirus epidemic. He will be reporting back on his experiences as a junior doctor (see below).

Background . James was born in Treliske Hospital and grew up in Nanstallon, between Wadebridge and Bodmin. After taking A levels at Wadebridge School and Truro College, he was awarded a place at LMH to study medicine. He gained a BA in Medical Sciences in 2017 and then moved to Green Templeton College to study for a BMBCh Medicine (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree. That degree requires a ten-week elective to be undertaken which he planned to carry out in the early months of this year. Five weeks would be spent at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, followed by a further five weeks at the Mater Dei Hospital in Malta. At both hospitals, he would split his time between A&E and anaesthetics, the latter being the career path he is considering. Not being from a wealthy family, he sought various sources of funding and decided to apply to the OUS Cornwall Bursary Fund for support.

5 January We received James’ application for a Medical Elective Bursary of £500.

14 January The Committee unanimously agreed to make the award, provided all other grants were confirmed and the elective was set to proceed. The New Cross place had already been confirmed on 27 December and the Mater Dei confirmation followed on 12 February. We consequently made the payment.

14 March James decided to cancel the Malta elective, which was due to start on 3 May, when he heard that quarantine was being enforced for all arrivals due to Covid-19, meaning carrying out the elective would be impossible. He then found out that the Wolverhampton elective, which was due to start on 29 March, had been put on hold. Having previously arranged accommodation in Wolverhampton, he moved there from Oxford and waited for news about where he would be posted for an interim foundation year job that would be created for him. He would work in a hospital as a foundation doctor for a few months before starting his official foundation year job in August, when he would qualify as an F1 doctor.

20 March James informed the Committee about the change of plan, since our Medical Elective is normally to help with the expense of spending time abroad. Rather than ask him to return our £500, we quickly agreed that he would be welcome to use it to help reduce the stress associated with suddenly having extra costs imposed on him for an uncertain period. In return, he agreed to send us regular reports of his experiences in the coming months.

7 April Having expected to graduate in the summer following completion of the necessary elective, James and his colleagues heard that they would be graduating early and he duly graduated, without any of the pomp and ceremony of the Sheldonian, on 7 April.

20 April Having spent several frustrating weeks kicking his heels in Wolverhampton, while hearing about the exhaustion of NHS doctors and nurses due to Covid-19, he finally heard that he had been given an interim post in Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire starting for induction on 4 May and for work on 11 May. He has not yet heard in which department he will be based, though he believes that new doctors will be based in non-Covid departments as much as possible.

4 May First day of induction at Stoke Mandeville. Focus on health and safety in the morning, with several talks about working hours and how life will be made safe and friendly. The new junior doctors will be as far removed as possible from Covid patients. The afternoon focussed on life support in emergencies – the practice of CPR and the use of defibrillators. Very relieved to be finally starting to make a contribution after six weeks of nothingness.

5 May Settled in to the new accommodation and enjoying three meals a day provided by the NHS and being paid as a junior doctor. More training today, including end of life care and how to discharge patients. Looking forward to getting stuck in on the wards next week.

7 May On the wards today, an experience we don’t get at university. A free weekend ahead, normally something I would be excited about, but lockdown continues so what can I do? Sharing the accommodation with most of the other new doctors helps in the evenings.

16th May A quick update on my first two days of working.  It’s all been surprisingly relaxed, the people I work with are really helpful and friendly, and I’m enjoying what I do.  It’s a strange transition to actually working as a junior doctor, as what they prepare you for during medical school isn’t really what the majority of my work involves – preparing patient notes for the ward round, and ordering blood tests & scans.  It also feels a little scary writing prescriptions and putting my signature on the charts, as it feels like a lot of responsibility even though I know that I know what I’m doing.
There are definitely times when I feel I don’t know what I’m doing and have to ask for help, but luckily everyone’s super helpful and understanding when that happens, and it’s always better to ask.  I think I just have to accept that I’ll feel that way for at least the first few weeks, but will gradually become more sure of myself and will get better and putting everything I’ve learned over the last six years into practice, and I’ll learn a lot along the way.  It’s also quite difficult getting to grips with all the different pieces of software we have to use, as the computers here use a lot of different programmes to achieve various tasks, so working out what to do with each one is quite a task, especially when I’m used to a very different system in Oxford.

w/c 17 May The first full week went well, with the pace gradually picking up. From being responsible for 1-2 patients each day, by the end of the week I had a full bay of 4-5. The ward I am on deals with patients recovering from emergencies, so no drop off in admissions due to Covid. This was a steep learning curve, but great experience for the future. The contract at Stoke Mandeville runs to 17 July, when I move to full time employment in Leeds.

25 May Since James is now well into his transition from new graduate to junior doctor and will no doubt be getting much busier, we have decided not to intrude on his time any further. Our bursary helped him financially during the weeks he spent waiting for his placement in Stoke Mandeville, instead of being fully funded during his planned elective in Wolverhampton and Malta.



Chairman’s Observations   

It is once again my pleasure to comment on our latest Report on the bursaries that thanks to the generosity of members we have been able to award during 2019. On behalf of the Committee and all the members I wish to congratulate Fenella Wojnarowska on producing such an interesting and readable Report and to thank her for the considerable amount of time and expertise she has expended in handling this programme. It remains the cornerstone of the Branch’s effort to give something back by enabling as many students from Cornwall as possible to apply to Oxford and by helping those who are there to make the most of their Oxford experience.  

It never ceases to amaze me just how versatile, learned in their specific fields and ready to further their studies are our bursary applicants. The account of their different projects in this Report fully bears this out. Clearly life at Oxford these days is rather more intense than it was in mine, back in the fifties!  

As our Secretary/Treasurer, Richard Cockram, who also deserves our thanks, points out below, the number of future awards depends on us being able to sustain the present level of giving for Bursaries. I also hope that our cooperation with Exeter college will lead to further initiatives to persuade pupils at state schools and sixth form colleges in the county to take the plunge and apply for Oxford. The recent practice by universities of offering many more unconditional places does not help and should be officially discouraged. Enjoy this Report and I hope to see many of you at future events, perhaps at the Rick Stein lunch on 29 February. I promise that our Speaker will be both amusing and challenging.  

Jeremy Varcoe CMG                                                                         Chairman  


This year we funded nine bursaries at a total cost of £3,850. In a typical year we raise around £1,000 at our annual fundraising lunch in Antony, thanks to the generosity of Andrew Willoughby, and the membership fee raises a further £500.  Individual donations vary from year to year and can reach as much as £1,000.  We have been able to spend above our income thanks to a positive balance that accumulated over the years prior to establishment of the Bursary Fund, but we will soon need to tighten our belts to bring income and expenditure closer together. Any ideas for a fund raising event would be gratefully received, as would any donations.   

Richard Cockram     Treasurer

Please contact us if you would like to be involved. There are several ways to do this:   

  • Organising fundraising events with OUCS   
  • Donating    
  • Providing help to students at your local school   
  • Mentoring in Science, Languages and Humanities   
  • Interview practice   
  • Career discussion and advice   
  • Offering work experience   
  • Sharing your experience of mentoring with us   

Fenella’s experience of mentoring   

A quote from one of the girls I mentored   

‘Just to let you know that I confirmed my place at Oxford and achieved all A*s! I still can’t quite believe it. I’m so happy and so grateful for all your help in getting me there, I couldn’t have gotten through the interviews without it. I hope to see you again at some point, maybe at Café Sci again.’   

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