Investing in the education and future of exceptional young people who want to live extraordinary lives and make a difference to the (unfair and unsustainable) world in which we live.
Applications are invited for the academic year 2021/22. There are 5 x £15,000 scholarships available.
About the Sekforde House Trust
The Sekforde House Trust (“the Trust”) was founded in memory of Professor Dame Kathleen Lonsdale FRS.
She received a scholarship at the age of 16 to study at University in London, without which she would have been unable to pursue her career as a scientist and her life as a campaigner for peace and (following her own prison sentence served at Holloway) prison reform.
The purpose of the Trust is to promote education.
The Trust is funded by the profits made by the Sekforde public house on Sekforde Street. In addition to providing scholarships to students studying at university in London, the Trust is building a school in Baluchestan the most deprived province in Iran.
The trustees are David Lonsdale (chairman) Hadi Sarmadi and Mihail Kostov all of 34 Sekforde Street London EC1 R4JH. One of the external assessors is a member of staff at the Sekforde public house and another is a former scholar.
About the scholarships
The purpose of the scholarships is to invest in the education and future of exceptional young people in the hope and expectation that there will be a return to society.
Scholars will be ambitious people who want to live extraordinary lives and make a difference to the (unfair and unsustainable) world in which we live. Scholars are not charitable objects. The trustees are proud of all the young people in whom we are investing the Trust’s money.
The scholarships are aimed at students who have a place at either City, University of London or University College London. City is close to the Sekforde and is our local university. UCL was Kathleen Lonsdale’s university, and she was the first woman to obtain a professorship in 1949.
Students applying will be assessed against the following criteria:
- Outstanding academic or other ability
- Financial need
- A desire and ability to make the world fairer and more sustainable.
Overseas students are most welcome to apply but will ordinarily be required to attend interview in London if selected for interview.
The Trust will consider paying the cost of attending for interview and can provide overnight accommodation.
It is not essential to meet all the criteria. But most scholars will do so.
The scholarships are available for existing students at all levels as well as students who have places to study.
Deadline for applications
Sunday 27th June 2021 at 11.59 pm.
How to apply
The application should be sent by ordinary post to 34 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0HA or hand delivered. It should contain the following documents:
- A personal statement of no more than 700 words. The statement should demonstrate how the Applicant meets one or more of the criteria and provide a real insight into the person making the application. These statements often contain very personal information, and the contents will be kept strictly confidential.
- A curriculum vitae on one A4 page. Ideally (although not essential) the cv should have attached a passport sized photograph so that the Applicant can be remembered and more easily identified.
- A closed personal reference. This means that the reference should not be seen by the Applicant. It should be sent in a sealed envelope. It should be provided by a person who knows the Applicant well and should focus on character potential and commitment. It should not be more than 500 words. It should avoid exaggerated praise or gush.
The reference can be sent separately but it is some help to the trustees if it is sent with the Application.
- A closed academic reference. This means the reference should not be seen by the Applicant. It should be sent in a sealed envelope. The referee should critically assess the Applicant both in terms of academic achievement and potential. The reference should be rigorous objective and fair. It should be no more than 500 words.
Academic referees of candidates who may be selected for interview should be prepared to be contacted by telephone or email for further information. The reference can be sent separately but it is some help to the trustees if it sent with the Application.
- Although not required, Applicants may send an example of their work or provide details of anything published on the internet which may be relevant to the Application.
The Trust cannot ordinarily engage in correspondence or discussion about the scholarships with Applicants. It does not have any employees and all the trustees and external assessors are volunteers.
Applicants are asked not to contact the trustees unless they really feel they must do so.
The chairman of the trustees may exceptionally be contacted at D.Lonsdale@33BedfordRow.co.uk and his telephone number is 07979454141. Academic references may be sent to this email address if it is not possible to send them by ordinary post.
After the deadline, all applications will be reviewed carefully by the trustees. Approximately 12 to 15 candidates will be selected for interview and contacted by telephone.
The interviews will take place on Sunday 11th July 2021 or Sunday 18th July 2021.
The interview panel consists of the trustees and three external assessors. There is no dress code for the interviews. The interviews are friendly but vigorous and will last about 20 minutes. If an applicant is unable to attend an interview on the date required, then ordinarily it will not be possible to consider the application further.
Successful candidates are informed of the decision within 24 hours of the final interview.
All unsuccessful applicants will not be informed of the decision. The trustees do not provide feedback.
This is because all the trustees are volunteers, and we have limited time and resources. Also, decisions are often difficult and involve disagreements. We want to be able to speak freely about relative merits without worrying about how we express ourselves.
Requirement of Scholars
The Trust is a registered charity and must demonstrate its expenditure is for the purpose of advancing education. The Trust cannot and does not monitor how the scholars spend their money. It relies upon them and trusts them to use the scholarships sensibly to further their education.
It does require the scholars to report back on their progress at least twice in the academic year.
It is hoped that the scholars will remain in touch with the Trust as they pursue their goals in life, but this is only a hope and not an expectation or requirement.