UCL Scholarships and funding


Research Opportunities Scholarship Testimonials

UCL's Research Opportunity Scholarship (UCL-ROS) supports BAME postgraduate research degree students. Here are the testimonials from our ROS scholars.

20 October 2022

Lakkaya Palmer - UCL-ROS Scholar

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I am a first-year PhD student and was awarded the Research Opportunity Scholarship in 2021. I am truly grateful for winning a Research Opportunity Scholarship from University College London. Without the scholarship, I would not have the same access to education and opportunities for personal development and extending my knowledge. The Research Opportunity Scholarship is genuinely phenomenal. It is one of the few scholarships specifically aimed at Black and minority students who want to continue in higher education. This is one of the many positive things about the scholarship; by being aimed at individuals often underrepresented in higher education, the scholarship is helping to make minority groups visible within higher education and academia.

Since getting the Research Opportunity Scholarship, I have achieved more than I would have ever expected. ROS offers personal and professional development packages for recipients of the awardees, including The Brilliant Club and access to mentoring and coaching to help enhance skills. Thanks to the ROS scholarship, I have taught in a primary school through “The Brilliant Club” and improved my Leadership skills with “Leadership in Action”. I would not have had the opportunity to do either of these courses (for free!) if not for the ROS scholarship.

I think that overall, my favourite feature of the ROS Scholarship has been meeting and conversing with all the other ROS scholars, who often share their wisdom and insights. I highly recommend applying for the ROS Scholarship, as it will help you network with the academic and broader community through placements such as the brilliant club. Being part of the ROS-scholarship community is enlightening, engaging, and, most importantly, highly rewarding

Antonia Aluko UCL-ROS Scholar

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ROS has been an amazing way for me to connect with fellow BAME researchers in other departments and develop long-lasting friendships with like-minded people throughout the first year of my PhD. Since getting the ROS I have been able to conduct my research without financial worries and have been able to access technology crucial to making progress on my project.

To someone who was considering applying, I would recommend really letting your personality and interests show in your application. ROS is very interested and invested in who you are as an individual and wants to help you succeed in that. Don't be afraid to pop in an email if you have questions, they are incredibly kind and always willing to help,


Shodona Kettle UCL-ROS Scholar

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The ROS fund is necessary for racialised people to have an opportunity to take their education, passion and interests to the next level. There are too few funding avenues for what is known as the BAME community in the U.K., thus the ROS is a welcome funding source. The mentoring, monitoring and evaluating our PhD experience, and access to further professional development programmes are only a few examples of the support package.

Thus far I have participated in a number of the professional development programmes as part of that package. One such programme is the Leadership in Action course that strengthened my confidence and creative capacities in high-pressure situations.

I have thoroughly appreciated the mentorship from the programme. This has been a great source of encouragement and a way to practice being present and enjoy the PhD journey with its challenges. It also helps me develop my problem-solving and organisation skills.

The ROS fund is an excellent way for groups that have historically been marginalised to gain access to a renowned institution and to develop their interests and skills. You will also get to know other recipients who are carrying out research in interesting areas, which often intersect. You will never know what will happen if you do not apply for an ROS. There are a range of departments involved in managing the scholarship who can assist with queries that you have. During the termly meetings we raise issues and/or suggest areas for consideration to expand the programme.

Finally, the ROS is also a way for all those involved - staff and students - to visualise new pathways into how educational institutions can ensure they are doing their utmost to foster trust, demonstrate acceptance and commitment to sowing the seeds of change for future generations.