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Scholarships & awards

Where excellence thrives

Girton offers a range of financial support to all students, from grants, hardship funds and bursaries, to scholarships and awards in sports, music (organ, instrumental and choral), and for academic achievements. These are available to undergraduate and/or postgraduate students, please check eligibility when applying.

Academic Scholarships and Prizes

These are awarded by the College each academic year, to undergraduate and postgraduate students, who have been nominated by their Director of Studies and have achieved First Class results in University examinations (or have met the conditions set out in the College Ordinances).

The Thérèse Montefiore prize and the Laurie Hart Prize are awarded each year to two Part II students. 

  • For the Laurie Hart Prize: intellectual and academic distinction are the sole criteria.
  • For the Thérèse Montefiore Prize: the student's contribution to College life will also be considered.

 The prizes are decided by the Mistress and Vice-Mistress, on the basis of nominations made by Directors of Studies and Tutors to the Easter Term meeting of the Education Board. They are awarded in addition to the named scholarship and prizes and have a value of £200.00 each.   

These are awarded to students in accordance with the College Ordinances, some named scholarships and prizes have special regulations and conditions.


  • Undergraduate examination candidates who achieve a First are eligible for awards in one of the following categories:
  • Students NOT in their final year: a Scholarship of £400.00 and a Prize of £100.00.
  • Students in their final year: a Final Year Scholarship of £150.00 and a Prize of  £100.00.
  • Students in their final year and continuing as Graduate Students at Girton: a Final Year Scholarship of £150.00, a Graduate Scholarship of £250.00 and a Prize of £100.00.
  • Special rules for MMLL students:
  • MMLL Undergraduate examination candidates who achieve a First are eligible in one of the following categories:


  • Students in Part IA: 
    • First Class in one language: £200.00
    • First Class in two languages: £400.00
  • Students in Part IB: £400.00
  • Student in Part II: £150.00


  • All years: £150.00


Postgraduate examination candidates who achieve a First, or obtain a distinction (or the equivalent), are eligible for the following: a Scholarship of £150.00 and a Prize of £100.00.

These are awarded in addition to the named scholarship and prize, as an incentive for excellence. Students are nominated by their Director of Studies and only up-to-eight undergraduate students are awarded this scholarship, in the following specific subjects:

Eligible subjects:

  • Economics
  • Geography (Human)
  • History
  • Human, Social and Political Sciences 
  • Social Anthropology

The scholarship has a value of £500.00.

Financial Support

Students who experience financial problems during their time at Girton can apply for financial help from both University hardship funds which take the form of non-repayable grants; and from the College Tutorial Hardship funds which can offer either small grants or larger low-interest loans.

The Academic Fund

Girton has a fund to make small contributions to academic related expenses. To be eligible to apply, you must be an Undergraduate, or a Clinical Medic/Vet student, at the time of the expenditure.

The Academic Fund will be open for applications three times each academic year (once a term). An email will be sent to the JCR/MRC mailing list letting students know when applications open.

Deadlines for submission 2022/23 Dates below are to be confirmed.  

  • Michaelmas: Friday 2 December 2022
  • Lent: Friday 17 March 2023
  • Easter: 9 June 2023 

Guidelines for applicants:

  • The official application form must be used.
  • Applications for future expenses will not be considered. This includes prospective costs associated with, for example, dissertation expenses or room rent in the summer. These will be considered once expenditure has taken place and must be accompanied by receipts.
  • Receipts or confirmed bookings must be appended.
  • The application form must be signed by the applicant’s Director of Studies, before submission to the Tutorial Office.
  • All other appropriate college funds should have been approached first. The Committee will refer applications to other appropriate funds where possible.
  • Students may be asked to write a short statement about how the award helped them, for use to publicise the fund.

Applications to cover the following will be considered:

  • A contribution to College rent when students stayed out of the residence period for academic reasons, at the discretion of the committee depending on demand and on available funds. This may only be at a percentage of the daily rate. The maximum number of days that can be claimed by MML students preparing for the oral examinations would normally be 7, unless their Director of Studies presents a case otherwise. The number of nights you are claiming for MUST be stated in your application.
  • A contribution towards non-compulsory field trip expenses, only if other College funds which were applicable had been approached first.
  • A contribution to support unpaid internships/work experience with academic relevance.
  • A contribution to exceptional dissertation or coursework expenses. This will not include printing unless there is an exceptional case made for high quality printing for particular figures.
  • A contribution to other academic related work, with a strong case from your Director of Studies. This can include compulsory farm-based practice during vacations for Veterinary Science students, or top up funding for course related travel for a year abroad, where a student is travelling further afield than is usual.
  • A contribution to academic related travel referred from the Travel Awards Committee. DO NOT APPLY to both the Academic Fund and Travel Awards for the same thing.
  • The maximum UK transport costs that can be claimed is the equivalent of a second class rail fare on a student railcard, where practicable.
  • Applications for a CULP Language course, over and above the first one where there is an automatic grant from college will be considered, subject to DOS confirmation it is related to the course.

The following will NOT be considered:

  • Expenses due to resits or College examinations set out of the residence period.
  • Compulsory field trips advertised as part of the course.
  • Applications for purchase of books/digital recordings.
  • Pens, pencils, glue, printing paper, delivery charges.
  • Course Fees for MPhil.
  • Purchase of software will not normally be considered unless the IT Office confirms that it is not available free to students via the University. Normally any software purchased would be expected to be made available via the College computers, subject to appropriate licensing.

If you are having difficulty meeting expenses such as those above not covered by the Academic Fund, please approach your Tutor to see if other funds are available.

Read how the Academic Fund has helped previous recipients.


Postgraduate Research Awards

Girton College Scholarships and Awards are open to prospective students who have graduated, or will have graduated before 1 October of the year they apply.

Find out more here

Music Awards

Girton offers a wide range of Music Awards. In addition to the Organ and Choral Scholarships awarded on entry to the College, Girton offers University Instrumental Awards, College Instrumental Awards and College Choral Exhibitions to students already in residence. There is also a prestigious College Music Scholarship.

Girton offers an exciting programme of services, recordings, concerts and international tours. These are delivered to a high standard on a moderate time commitment, while maintaining a sense of fun. There is little sense of the routine which afflicts some Cambridge choirs.

Girton College Chapel Choir has one of the most exciting touring schedules of all Cambridge choirs. Recent tour venues have included Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, the US and Canada, as well as most of the main European countries.

A Choral Scholarship at Girton will give you the opportunity to work alongside some of the leading professional musicians of the country. No other Cambridge college offers such a diverse range of experiences.

It is perfectly possible to fit choir membership in with other activities. As such, Girton is a choir particularly suited to talented musicians who have chosen the more onerous Tripos subjects, such as Natural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.

All Girton Choir members receive perks within college such as invitations to feasts and dinners. The College is also very supportive of choir activities, as noted above.

Come and judge for yourself! You are always welcome at a Girton service or a rehearsal, and the Director of Chapel Music will be happy to meet you in advance of the application process and hear you sing.

For details of how to apply for a Choral Scholarship, see here.

Instrumentalists at Girton are eligible for three types of award:

University Instrumental Awards

These awards are intended for advanced players who wish to devote much of their free time to chamber music. Candidates audition in the week before starting their course (i.e., after they have been awarded a place at Cambridge) and, if successful, they are placed in a chamber group which has access to coaching from some of the foremost musicians in the country. Full details of these awards can be found here

Girton College Music Scholarship

This award is given to the musician who performs best in the Annual Music Awards Competition. It consists of some spending money, plus a major grant towards the costs of music lessons.

Girton College Instrumental Awards

These offer a small sum in spending money plus a significant grant towards the costs of music lessons. These awards are held for one year, but are renewable; they are awarded on the basis of a competition held each November of the academic year (i.e. after applicants have started their course at Cambridge).

In addition to these awards, Music students are given further generous support towards the cost of lessons.

An Organ Scholarship is a university award for particularly talented organists. As well as accompanying the Chapel Choir for weekly term-time services, and for extra activities of the Choir such as concerts, recordings and tours, the Organ Scholar will be involved in rehearsing and conducting the Choir. They will also be a pivotal figure in the wider musical life of the College. An Organ Scholarship is held for the duration of an undergraduate degree, and includes a major grant towards music lessons.

Why would I want an Organ Scholarship at Girton?

  • Girton’s Chapel organ is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in Cambridge; it is a wonderful instrument to preside over for three years. Installed in 2002 by the Swiss firm, St-Martin, its four manuals and clever specification make it a particularly rewarding instrument to play. In a recent survey it was recognised as the most versatile of all the Cambridge chapel organs, and it is often used for University Organ Examinations.
  • Girton College Chapel Choir has a busy and exciting programme of services, concerts, tours and recordings. This provides opportunities to play a very wide repertoire – an excellent preparation for life as a professional organist or church musician. In fact, many of the recent Girton Organ Scholars have gone on to major musical careers; for example in 2017, our current Senior Organ Scholar gained her ARCO while only in the second year of her degree. She has since been appointed Organ Scholar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
  • Girton is a very attractive prospect for any musician. The Organ Scholar is a key member of the active College music society, which puts on weekly recitals and termly orchestral concerts. Within this framework there are ample opportunities for conducting and performing, both as soloist and accompanist. New ventures are always supported by the College.
  • An Organ Scholarship at Girton will give you the opportunity to work alongside some of the leading professional musicians of the country. These musicians typically work very closely with the Organ Scholars, coaching them and playing with them in high-profile concerts. No other Cambridge College offers such a diverse range of experiences.
  • As Organ Scholar at Girton, you would be provided with one of the most luxurious rooms in College for all three years, a piano (a Blüthner grand for the Senior Organ Scholar), and invitations to College dinners and feasts. The College is very supportive of the Choir’s activities, as noted above.
  • The moderate time commitment in comparison to colleges of comparable standard means that you have time to practise solo repertoire, learn recital programmes, get involved in university music-making, and even pursue other interests! The Girton Organ Scholarship is particularly suitable for those wishing to read some of the more onerous Tripos subjects, such as Engineering or Natural Sciences, in a way that is not possible at colleges with three or more weekly services. That said, many Music students have also held the Girton Organ Scholarship.
  • Although the main duty of the Organ Scholar is to accompany, a flexible approach to allocation of work allows you to gain as much conducting experience as you wish.

How many scholars do you have?

  • Girton has two Organ Scholars (a ‘Junior’ and a ‘Senior’) at any one time. This means that elections are normally made twice in every three-year period.

How do I get in touch?

  • You are always welcome at a Girton service or rehearsal, and the Director of Music or Director of Chapel Music will be happy to meet you and hear you play in advance of the application process. 
  • You can also get in touch with the current Organ Scholars to ask for their opinion and advice.

How do I apply?

  • The next appointments will be for 2020!
  • For details on how to apply for an Organ Scholarship, please see the University of Cambridge website here

Undergraduate Travel Awards

College travel grants are made via an annual competition which gives around 35 - 40 Travel Awards each year to its undergraduate students. These are for travel in the Long Vacation and range from £150 - £500. The proposed travel does not have to be directly related to academic study.

The current competition is now closed and will reopen in 2023.  

As a general rule the awards are only given to undergraduates in their second, third or fourth years. 

Students from other universities spending a year at Girton, and Clinical Vets/Medics, are NOT eligible to apply.

Each application must include a 500-word description of the proposed travel and include a completed risk assessment. 

The College’s Travel Awards Committee Judges the applications based on four criteria:

  1. The constructive nature of the proposal;
  2. The character of the applicant, including contribution to College life;
  3. The academic record of the applicant;
  4. Evidence of careful preparation of the project, including a completed risk assessment, and presentation of the application.

Students are encouraged to discuss their application with their Tutor and Director of Studies, since both of these are asked to provide input to the Committee. Those thinking of applying should first read the further information.

Applications are submitted online, and must be accompanied by a completed Risk Assessment Form.  

All the information about Travel Awards can be found on Moodle. 

Applications close at midnight on Friday 29 April 2022 - no late applications will be accepted. Please apply via CASC.

The Risk Assessment Presentation Evening will be on Wednesday 2 March 2022, please arrive at 7:55pm for a 8:00pm start, the evening should finish at 8:45pm and will take place in the Stanley Library. This is compulsory and you can sign up here. If you are unable to attend this event, please still sign up but decline your attendance, and select one of the relevant options. 

If you have any queries or difficulties please email the Secretary to the Travel Awards Committee, Paula Harper, on:

Travel Awards 2018

Name Title Report

George Cowperthwaite

Teaching Maths in China

View PDF

Olivia Dawson

‘Hopping’ around Peru and Bolivia

View PDF

Ismay Keane

Marine conservation in Bali

View PDF

Ivanna Lyepyeko

Geological fieldwork in Scotland

View PDF

Charlotte Milbank

Investigating potential fieldwork in Kenya

View PDF

Ffion Snelling

In the footsteps of St. Paul in Rome

View PDF


Travel Awards 2017

Jade Evans

Research Project on digitalisation in Japanese manufacturing industry.

Luke Harvey & Matilda Strachan

Icelandic adventures

Lauren Hillier

Volunteer work at an animal rescue centre in Costa Rica

Rosemary Hoggmascall

Sea kayaking around Croatia

Anna Montero Horas

Biomedical internship in Barcelona

Frances Schlicke

Geography fieldwork in the North West Highlands

Sports Awards

The College has a fund to make small contributions to sport related expenses. Grants may be awarded to students to assist in meeting costs incurred while participating in their chosen sport.

The awards will be open for applications twice per academic year. An email will be sent out letting students know when applications open.

If applying for more than one sport, please complete additional application forms; your Tutor will not need to complete their section again, but please ensure they are submitted together.

Students will need to complete their application form by the student deadline and then pass the form on to their Tutor. 

Tutors will then need to fill in their section of the form and send the form to the Tutorial and Admissions Office by the Tutor deadline. Students must remember to append all necessary receipts to their application form before it is sent to their Tutor.

If you have any questions about the Sports Awards please contact the Tutorial & Admissions Office (

Application forms must be completed by the student and then passed on to their Tutor (with appended receipts) by the student deadline. If applying for more than one sport, additional application forms must be completed and attached together.

Once the Tutor has completed their section of the application form, it must be sent directly to the Tutorial Office by the Tutor deadline. It must not be returned to the student. If a student is applying for more than one sport, the Tutor only needs to complete their section of the form for one of the applications.

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students are eligible to apply.
  • Awards will be made to those participating in sport at University level or above (not University Development Squads)
  • Grants may be awarded to students to assist in meeting costs incurred while participating in their chosen sport provided that, in the opinion of the Committee and the Tutor, the case is a deserving one both academically and financially.
  • Examples of costs which will be considered by the Committee: subscriptions, shoes, tournament entries, racquet restringing, mandatory kit, and transport.
  • The following costs will not be considered by the Committee: treatments (e.g. massage), elective kit, subsistence when travelling, nutrition (e.g. protein powder), summer camps/preseason tours and training camps.
  • The Committee will ensure that there is a fair distribution of the income recognising that the needs of individual sports vary.
  • Applications for grants may be made twice in a year. Deadlines will be set by the Committee and advertised to the student body.
  • Grants will not normally be more than £250 per student per annum.
  • The application form must be submitted by the student to their Tutor by the student deadline date.
  • Receipts must be appended to the application form. Screenshots of payment apps will be accepted.
  • The names and sports of award recipients are added to the Sports Awards page on the Girton website, the Awards/Prizes noticeboard in College, and will appear in the College's Annual publication 'The Year'. Please tick the box on the bottom of the application form if you would prefer your details not to be published in this way.
  • The Committee's decision is final.

Examples of costs which WILL be considered

Examples of costs which will NOT be considered 

  • Subscriptions
  • Shoes
  • Tournament entries
  • Racquet restringing
  • Mandatory kit
  • Transport
  • Training camps
  • Elective kit (including Blues blazer)
  • Subsistence when travelling
  • Nutrition (eg. protein powder)
  • Treatment (eg. sports massage)
  • Summer camps/Pre-season tours
  • American Football
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Cycling
  • Dancesport
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Korfball
  • Lacrosse
  • Lawn Tennis
  • Match Rifle
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Netball
  • Polo
  • Real Tennis
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Rugby Union
  • Squash
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Water Polo
  • X Country Marathon Running


  • Student deadline: Wednesday 19 January 2022
  • Tutor deadline: Wednesday 26 January 2022


  • Student deadline: Wednesday 27 April 2022
  • Tutor deadline: Wednesday 4 May 2022

Coming Soon!

Named Sports Awards

There are several named Sports Awards, open to undergraduate and postgraduate applicants. They do not carry additional remuneration in addition to that awarded by the Sports Awards Committee, but are awarded to those students showing outstanding standard, contribution and commitment to sport over a period of time, as a mark of very special sporting achievement over and above the high standards already required to be allocated a Sports Award by the Committee.

None of the Awards have restrictions on specific sports and are open to all student applicants eligible for consideration for a Sports Award. However the most appropriate Award will be allocated to each recipient once they have been chosen and the donors will be notified of the identities of the students to whom Awards and made, and for what purpose.

The number of Awards to be made is not specified: seven were awarded in the Easter 2016 round to students involved in pentathlon, cricket, match rifle, rowing and triathlon, tennis, lacrosse and distance running. The Awards are named as follows:

This Award is named for the late Joan McGrath who was a keen sportswoman as an undergraduate at Girton in the 1950s and  throughout her life. She won Half-Blues for cricket and lacrosse in 1952 and represented the College at table tennis and tennis.

This Award is named by Susan Hunt who was an undergraduate in the 1970s. She played many sports while at Girton and went on to be Director of Strategy and Programme Management of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This Award is named for the late Diana Lees-Jones who was an undergraduate at Girton in the 1950s. Diana Lees-Jones was a member of the University ski team as an undergraduate and having enjoyed her time at Girton enormously, was keen to continue to support sport at Girton.

Girton stories

Zion Kim


I come from a poor immigrant background, attended a local primary school, and lived in a single room with a family of four. Although my family’s situation has improved significantly … my parents can only dream of supporting me at University. Despite being awarded the maximum student maintenance loan, … I would have had to limit my spending on food and other necessities massively… Granted this bursary I need not worry about this and I am able to focus on academic work. I cannot express my appreciation in words for being allowed to study my subject in stress-free freedom

Studying at Girton

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