In 2021 the Ragdoll Foundation trustees began to explore how best to offer individual support to gifted young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop their talents and skills with a view to embarking on careers in the arts and creative media.
An open call for proposals to pilot and evaluate new work in this area received 51 applications. The trustees awarded six grants of between £8,000 and £30,000 for projects lasting between 7 and 24 months. Projects begin from September 2022 and continue through end-2024. Read more
Having reviewed delivery models – including opportunities devised and led by arts and cultural organisations, scholarships, bursaries, and paid work experience – and taking into consideration our own resources and capacities as a spend-down foundation, the trustees selected the scholarship model and began working with the University of Sheffield to develop this. The outcome is the Ragdoll Foundation Scholarship and Employability Programme at the University of Sheffield, which will create four new undergraduate and two new postgraduate scholarships each year for the next five years, beginning in autumn term 2023.
Ragdoll Foundation Scholars will also receive bespoke careers coaching, internship opportunities in local small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), and employability funding – giving them the best possible chance of building successful, fulfilling careers after graduating.
With a focus on widening participation amongst underrepresented groups, the initiative is particularly keen to support young women and students from the North East of England who want to take on a degree with a strong creative element. Eligible disciplines include English, Modern Languages, Music, Architecture, Landscape, Marketing, Education, Philosophy, Urban & Planning Studies, and Archaeology.
We wish the new Ragdoll Foundation Scholars all the best and look forward to sharing their stories.
The Ragdoll Foundation Scholarship Programme is fully administered by the University of Sheffield. For student enquiries about this programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography: copyright © The University of Sheffield