From California to Cape Town: Travel grants send Wolfson students around the world

Berkeley conference

This year, travel, research and vacation grants helped over 70 Wolfson students to attend conferences, workshops and conduct fieldwork all over the world.

Berkeley conference

As a distinctly international college, it comes as no surprise that the academic activity of Wolfson students carries them all over the globe, from presenting at conferences to conducting site-specific fieldwork and research.

To help students manage the potential financial barriers to travel, and get the most of their studies, Wolfson offers grants for academic travel and research, as well as educational projects conducted during vacation periods.

In 2022-23, Wolfson grants helped students travel to Wales, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Hawaii, Brazil, Mexico and the USA, amongst many other places.

Academic globetrotters

Raquel Scarpa-Gebara (PhD Education) conducted her fieldwork in a community of fisherwomen on the coast of the Brazilian Amazon.

“The Wolfson Travel and Research Grant was essential to my research. Without it I would not have been able to come here and live with the fisherwomen, and my research would not have gained the depth it now has,” she says.

These grants also help students attend and present at research conferences, which is particularly helpful for postgraduate students looking for the next step in their academic careers.

During a Wolfson-sponsored trip to California, Physics PhD student Ian Roque delivered three presentations to the Berkeley Space Sciences Lab, Microscopy Group and Advanced Light Source group. Reflecting on the reception of his work, Ian said “I am very pleased to report that all three groups had offered me a postdoctoral position after listening to my presentations.”

Educational vacations

Other students used the vacation project grant to contribute to cultural uplift, with Sukanya Venkada Subramaniyan (MPhil Population Health Sciences) using the vacation project grant to enable her performance in the titular role in ‘Antigone: The Musical’ at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

"As a team of young and passionate creatives, from diverse backgrounds, we sought to tell the stories of marginalized groups by their representation on stage", says Sukanya.

In a different vein, Joy Hodkinson (CGCM) used her grant to attend a Wilderness & Expedition Medicine course in Brecon Beacons, Wales.

"I practised inserting cannulas in the wild, using tourniquets, splints - and I even managed to make a fire without any matches!" she said.

Making an application

All Wolfson students are eligible to apply for Travel & Research grants (for academic activities) and Vacation Project grants (for internships, cultural projects or charitable work). Applications are considered on a competitive basis across three deadlines throughout the year.

For more information, please visit the travel, research and vacation grant page on the College website.