Grants & prizes

The Tower of the Five Orders, Bodleian Library

Grants and prizes allow us to support students to explore the outer reaches of their subject and encourage them to reach the highest levels of academic achievement.

Travel awards

Donations have allowed us to offer generous awards to students wishing to travel in support of their studies. The Vaughan Williams Fund offers clinical students in Medicine a travel award of up to £1,200. The Academic Purposes Fund offers grants for students wishing to travel for an academic purpose, while the Ben Ogden Fund supports lawyers wishing to undertake pro bono work abroad. Geographers also benefit from awards in support of fieldwork and research. We would welcome more awards along these lines, which allow our students to explore new aspects of their subject with a hands-on experience.

With this funding, I was able to carry out research on ecology in a tropical forest. I worked with fruit flies, studying whether the incidence of parasitoids changed with the gradient of rainfall. The fieldwork involved spending many, many hours picking pupae (around 1,500 of them) out of two-week old fermented banana and placing them into individual tubes to wait for them to hatch. The identification of hatchlings was a steep learning curve and my microscopy skills increased exponentially as a result. I now know what carrying out research on ecology in a tropical forest actually entails, and I absolutely loved it.

I carried out a research trip in Tokyo and the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido for my undergraduate dissertation, investigating the topic of language contact between Japanese and the endangered Ainu language. This was made possible thanks to funding I received, and the trip was a firm success. I was able to make invaluable contacts, gain first-hand experience of my chosen research topic, and collect crucial materials for the production of my dissertation in the next academic year.


The college awards £100 to all students who receive a First in their Finals. Donations have allowed us to increase these prizes in particular subjects, so a First in Physics Finals will be awarded £150, while a Finalist in Geography or Law could receive £500 for a First. We would like to increase these prizes to a minimum of £250 for each subject and where possible endow them for the future.

  • A gift of £3,500 would endow a student prize of £100 in perpetuity. This could be awarded for excellent performance in exams or for consistent improvement throughout the academic year

Books and equipment grants

Some of the wealthier colleges offer generous book grants and, with the support of donations, Hertford would love to do the same. Some colleges offer up to £250 per student which can be used towards books, course materials, or equipment (which can include a laptop). Other colleges refund 50% of the student’s expenditure up to £150.

Law books funded by Mayer Brown

Hertford has two schemes that support students in medicine and law. The Vaughan Williams Fund supports medical students with a £300 award per student towards stethoscopes and ‘on the ward’ textbooks. And for the past two years, the law firm Mayer Brown has sponsored law books for undergraduates. The law students have an individual allowance to request core titles for their course, and once the student has finished using them they are integrated into library stock.

  • A donation of £3,000 could fund a £100 book grant to undergraduates of a larger subject, like History, PPE or Modern Languages
  • A donation of £1,500 could fund a £100 book grant to undergraduates of a smaller subject, like Music, Oriental Studies, or Archaeology & Anthropology
  • A donation of £30,000 could support a £50 book grant to every student at the college



Further reading: teaching & research


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