‘It’s important to find what’s right for you’: Bristol Mentors share their insights

One hundred alumni and students joined us on 16 March for the Big Bristol Mentors Mingle, which was our first ever Bristol Mentors virtual networking event. This was a chance for alumni, students and mentors to meet each other and share invaluable career-focused insights. (more…)

Join our telephone fundraising team!

We are recruiting for student callers to work on our Summer 2021 Telephone Fundraising campaign. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a friendly team in which you can build your skills, make a difference and gain fundraising experience.  

Are you: 

  • enthusiastic? 
  • reliable? 
  • curious? 
  • adaptable? 
  • a team player? 
  • keen to make a difference? 
  • comfortable speaking over the phone? 

If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, we’d love to hear from you! 

As a telephone fundraiser you will call Bristol graduates to discuss what’s new at the University, answer any questions they may have, and ask for a charitable donation. It’s an important and rewarding job. In 2018/19 our team of student callers raised an incredible £151,872.32, which helped to support projects such as our Futures Scholarships and cardiovascular research. Click here to read more about the amazing things you’ll be helping to support through telephone fundraising. 

We are proud to be a Living Wage accredited employer, and you will be paid £9.50 per hour plus 12.07% holiday pay. All students are paid in arrears for the previous month’s work on the 26th of each month, or on the previous working day if this falls on a weekend or bank holiday. 

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Eileen Atieno (MEng 2018): “All of the doors were closing – but I just needed that one door to open.”

Eileen Atieno (MEng 2018) has achieved an incredible amount during her time at the University. But before she could embark on her Bristol journey, there were significant barriers that she had to overcome.

At the age of 11 Eileen moved from her home in Kenya and began studying at a secondary school in London. She achieved top grades but when she tried to apply for university, Eileen found that her visa status meant she didn’t qualify for student finance. Not one to be put off by a challenge, Eileen applied to almost a hundred bursary and funding opportunities, eventually securing one which meant she could join the University of Bristol as an Aerospace Engineering student.

After graduating in 2017, Eileen began a PhD in Advanced Composites and is now at the University exploring the mechanical properties of polymer composites. Alongside her academic work, Eileen has advocated for greater representation for Black students across her faculty and has set up outreach programmes to inspire young Black children in the Bristol area to study STEM subjects. We caught up with her to learn more about what motivates her to keep pushing for change.

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You’re expanding postgraduate opportunities

Olivia sits on a beach smiling at the camera. She is wearing an orange top and dark trousers

Olivia Kinsman was able to take up a place at the University of Bristol this year having been awarded the Keil Scholarship, which supports PhD students in the Department of History.

I can remember taking my A-levels and knowing how much I wanted to go to university. Even then I knew that eventually I wanted to do a PhD. I’m from a single parent household with a low income and there are lots of us in the family, so growing up was really challenging at times. I’ve always been determined that I wasn’t going to let my background or finances get in the way of what I wanted to do – even if that meant saving up until I was 50 to do my PhD. For me, applying for scholarships and being proactive about reaching out for financial assistance has been really important.

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You’re creating space for research

Robert Chapman sits outside a University of Bristol building. He is wearing a blue shirt and looking away from the camera

Robert Chapman, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, explains how this fellowship is advancing important research.

The first year of my fellowship researching Health and Wellbeing for a Neurodiverse Age has been amazing. My PhD explored the philosophy and ethics of autism, challenging the notion that living with autism is inherently at odds with living a good human life. With the fellowship, I’ve been expanding on my previous work to explore neurodiversity more broadly, using my background in Philosophy and Disability Studies to explore the models we’ve developed to understand whether or not someone is psychologically healthy or unhealthy and how they might be ‘disordered’.

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You’re offering sanctuary

Stephanie is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a dark top and denim jacket. The background shows stone columns inside at University of Bristol building.

Chemistry student and former President of the University’s Student Action for Refugees group, Stephanie Hall, has witnessed how Sanctuary Scholarships can transform lives.

During my first year at Bristol, I went to a poetry reading in a café on Gloucester Road. That was where I first heard Home, an incredibly moving poem about how it feels to be a refugee. The piece was written by Warsan Shire, a Somali-British poet who was born in Kenya. In this poem, Shire talks about how you’d never want to leave your home, unless it had become ‘the mouth of a shark’ – in other words, when it becomes so unsafe that it stops being your home.

It was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard and it inspired me to join the University of Bristol’s Student Action for Refugees group (STAR).

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You’re opening doors through scholarships

Laura Frude is photographed smiling at the camera. She is wearing a striped top and a green jacket. She is standing outside and trees can be seen in the background.

Laura Frude (BA 2009, MPhil 2010, MPhil 2019) describes her role as Futures Scholarship Coordinator at the University of Bristol and the incredible impact it has on students.

The Futures Scholarship programme provides funding for students from a widening participation background and includes £2,000 in the students’ first year to use at their discretion and £2,500 they can access over the course of their degree to support employability. It supports those who may not start university on a level playing field with their peers or have the contacts to support them to build a career, and many of the students are the first in their family to go to university.

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‘This scholarship, right now, means everything to me.’

After fleeing his country of origin at the age of twenty, Davide* arrived in the UK with no friends or family to turn to and experienced homelessness, multiple evictions and extreme loneliness. His situation began to change after he met with Student Action for Refugees (STAR) who advised him to apply for a Sanctuary Scholarship at the University of Bristol.

He’s since completed a foundation year at the University and has recently begun his Undergraduate degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Here he tells his story and explains how the Sanctuary Scholarship programme has impacted his life.

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University launches £1 million Black Bristol Scholarship programme

The University of Bristol is launching a new £1 million programme of scholarships, which will support around 130 Black and mixed Black heritage students to take up places at the University over the next four years.

The Black Bristol Scholarship Programme seeks to address the underrepresentation of Black students at every level of study in higher education across the UK, from undergraduate students to those completing PhDs. It will annually fund Black and mixed Black heritage students across five areas:

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