College launches new endowed MPhil scholarship in Social Sciences thanks to "extraordinary gift"

A new endowed MPhil scholarship in Social Sciences will be available at Wolfson College, beginning 2023/24.

A female student from Chile reads in the library

The Boyce Family Scholarship will cover the fees of one full-time, one-year MPhil student, as well as a contribution towards the successful student’s maintenance costs.

The scholarship is intended to improve access to postgraduate education for outstanding  students who face financial challenges in taking up a place at Cambridge. 

It is open exclusively to students who are normally resident in North America (including the Caribbean) and South America, and preference will be given to students from backgrounds underrepresented at postgraduate level in their field of study, in the first instance, to women and minority students. 

Preference will also be given to those who are pursuing an MPhil in Land Economy, or another course with a focus on the built environment, sustainability, and/or conservation. 

“An extraordinary gift”

The scholarship is made possible by the biggest single donation to Wolfson from an individual donor for over thirty years.

The Boyce Family Scholarship Fund is the gift of Wolfson alumnus, Mark Boyce, who completed his MPhil in Land Economy as a student at Wolfson in 1993-94.

Mark is passionate about creating and sustaining organisations and places that enhance the health of human and natural communities. He is a Founding Partner of True Homes, one of the largest private homebuilders in the United States, and the Co-Founder of the Byron Fellowship, a week-long transformational experience for young social change agents and a community of generative leaders.  

Mark Boyce said: “It is a joy and honour to be able to establish the Boyce Family Scholarship Fund. It is our hope that this scholarship will provide future generations of students with access to similar extraordinary experiences to the ones I had as a student at Wolfson.

“I was at Wolfson during the first year of my marriage, and Wolfson accommodated us and a few other newly married couples. We are deeply grateful for the hospitality and opportunities provided by the College during our time there 30 years ago.  

“Gratitude is the animating impulse for this gift. We have a conviction that generosity is an act of love that naturally flows from gratitude. It is certainly an act that you will never regret.”

Simon Crookall, Wolfson’s Director of Development, said: “Mark’s extraordinary gift to the College will have a transformational impact on the lives of future students in Social Sciences at Wolfson. The Boyce Family Scholarship Fund is a thrilling example of a Wolfson member sharing their success and inspiring the next generation of academics and leaders. We are looking forward to welcoming the first student on the scholarship from September.”

Wolfson has a strong history of students in the Social Sciences, with a flourishing body of students in Land Economy and related subjects in sustainability and the built environment.

Dr Susan Larsen, Wolfson College Senior Tutor, said: “The Boyce Family Scholarship enables Wolfson to advance its commitment to widening participation at postgraduate level.  Financial barriers prevent too many talented undergraduates from less advantaged backgrounds from pursuing postgraduate study. This scholarship is one way we can help address the leak in the pipeline that leads from undergraduate study to higher degrees. The successful scholars will join a thriving community of students and Fellows from across the globe who are committed to changing the world for the better.”

“Once in a lifetime opportunities”

Mark’s year of study at Wolfson had a significant impact on his career and his outlook.

“My studies in Land Economy remain a strong influence on my vocation as a real estate developer and home builder,” he said. “At Cambridge, the emphasis on public responsibility in land use and the built environment was a great counterbalance to the prevailing ethos of private rights in the US. And being mentored by [city planner, educator, and author] J. Barry Cullingworth and studying with [former Professor of Law] Sir Malcolm Grant was a great honour that is a unique signature of the Cambridge experience.” 

And for Mark, Wolfson was the perfect base for this experience:

“The Wolfson community was a richly diverse collection of students and Fellows. In particular, we share great memories of the service and care provided by the hospitality and Porter staff. I remain grateful for the camaraderie and life-long friendships established in the Wolfson II Boat, culminating in an oar-winning achievement in the May Bumps.

“As timpanist in the University Orchestra led by [organist and music director] Sir Stephen Cleobury, I had the privilege to perform at King’s College Chapel, Ely Cathedral and Royal Albert Hall. These were all once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”

More on postgraduate funding at Wolfson

You can find details of the Boyce Family Scholarship, as well as other postgraduate funding available at Wolfson, on the Fees and Funding page of the College website.

Funding news