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Sports, Travel and Music Awards

For Current Undergraduates

Sports Awards

The College’s Sports Awards grants are available for small contributions to sport related expenses, incurred while students participate in their chosen sport at university level or above. There are special named Awards, including the Joan McGrath Sports Award, the Robin Sports Award and the Diana Lees-Jones Sports Award.

The awards will be open twice per academic year, with applications closing on  25 February in Lent Term and 24 May in Easter Term. Apply here. 

Students must append all relevant receipts to their application form.

If you have any questions about the Sports Awards please contact the Financial Welfare Office (

Students should complete the applications online by the stated deadline. If applying for more than one sport, additional application forms must be completed.

  • 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)
  • University level is defined here as representing a 1st team, and in sports with Full Blue status, a 2nd team, consistently throughout the season.
  • Grants may be awarded to students to assist in meeting costs provided that, in the opinion of the Committee and the Tutor, the case is a deserving one both academically and financially.
  • The Committee will ensure that there is a fair distribution of the income recognising that the needs of individual sports vary.
  • Grants will not normally be more than £300.00 per student per annum.
  • 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' unless you opt out on the application form.  
  • The Committee's decision is final.
Examples of costs which WILL be consideredExamples of costs which will NOT be considered 
  • Subscriptions
  • Shoes
  • Tournament entries
  • Racquet restringing
  • Mandatory kit
  • Transport
  • Playing equipment
  • Elective kit (including Blues blazer)
  • Subsistence when travelling
  • Nutrition (eg. protein powder)
  • Treatment (eg. sports massage)
  • Summer camps/ tours

These Awards 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.

The Joan McGrath Sports Award

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.

The Robin Sports Award

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.

The Diana Lees-Jones Award

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.

Undergraduate Travel Awards

University Travel Awards

These are available to Undergraduate and Postgraduate students and are expected to open in December for applications. You can see whether you are eligible for one of these here  when the 2024 details are published.

Girton College Travel Awards

College Travel grants are allocated following an annual competition which provides around 35 - 40 Travel Awards each year to undergraduate students. These are for travel in the Long Vacation and range from £200 - £600. The proposed travel does not have to be directly related to academic study.

The 2024 competition will open in mid February and close on 26 April. 

Applicants should attend the Risk Assessment presentation , now in Old Kitchens at 6.15pm on 28th February. Click here to register.


The 2024 competition will be advertised during the Lent term. Applications open in the middle of February and close on 26 April. You can apply here.

Students should attend the  Risk Assessment presentation on 28 February, now  in Old Kitchens. A link to register will be posted here. *

Applications should be completed online by the closing date 26 April 2024, and must be accompanied by a completed Risk Assessment Form together with a description of the proposed travel.  Here are the UK Risk Assessment and Overseas Risk Assessment forms. The slides from the Risk Assessment evening are available in the Teams folder.

Further information about Travel Awards can be found on Moodle.  

*If you have any questions about the Travel Awards or were unable to attend the Risk Assessment evening, please contact the Financial Welfare Office (

These Awards are generally 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 via Moodle.

Applicants should attend the Risk Assessment presentation on 28 February at 6pm in the Chapel Box Room. 

Here are some useful links:

Safeguarding information

Risk assessment advice

Guidance for students with disabilities

Here are some photographs provided by previous Travel Award winners of

Kikuchi Gorge Kumamoto, and Tokyo Japan, Swiss Alps, Vietnam, Pena Palace, Sintra Portugal, shellfish farms and a flamingo at Etang de Thau France




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 2024
  • For details on how to apply for an Organ Scholarship, please see the University of Cambridge website here

Financial Support for Undergraduates

Girton College offers a range of financial support to students

Find out more