Scholarships & Awards


The BEST Scholarship

The BEST Scholarship is now closed

The BEST (BUNAC Educational Scholarship Trust) scholarships offer financial assistance to eligible applicants looking to undertake postgraduate study in the USA or Canada. They are funded by the BEST Scholarship Trust, an independent trust administered by BUNAC on behalf of the BEST trustees. Several scholarships are awarded each year from a fund of £60,000 allocated for the BEST Scholarships. Included in this, are the sums of £4,000 available as the Christopher J. Harbour Memorial Scholarship to a candidate looking to do sports-related studies and £2,000 as the John S. Ball Award to a candidate looking to pursue a teaching or geography-related career. The individual amounts awarded vary but a typical award is in the region of £5,000 - £15,000. At the judging stage, preference is given to those whose proposed course of study in North America is likely to do most to further transatlantic understanding and/or those required to go to the US or Canada to do a specific course. 

Candidates must: 

  • Be a UK passport holder
  • Be currently, engaged in or have completed a full-time tertiary-level course at a university in the United Kingdom
  • Have already applied for, but not yet started, a post-graduate course in the USA or Canada. The postgraduate qualification must be awarded by a US or Canadian institution
  • Not be permanent employees of BUNAC or USIT

Please note, the award is intended for courses of study between 3 months and 3 years (consecutively), but the award shall cover a maximum period of the first 12 months and is not available for subsequent years of study. The candidate may not be in employment, including work for a North American employer as part of a UK based course, during the period in which they are to be assisted. They may be (and should be) in receipt of other awards, including teaching assistantships, which are solely for the purpose of study. 

The BEST Scholarships are ‘top-up’ funds, not the prime source of funding. Candidates should be actively looking to secure funding from other sources while in the process of applying to BEST. Candidates cannot already be engaged in their course of study in North America at the time of application although they should have already applied for or been accepted to courses in their chosen field. 

The closing date for 2024 applications was the 17 March 2024. 

An online application must be received in addition to:

References should be emailed to BUNAC directly by the referees. The academic reference should come from a tutor or Head of Department, and the personal reference from someone who is well acquainted with you but who is not related to you in any way. Applications received after the deadline or without both references as of that date, will not be considered for selection. 

Each reference must clearly state whether it is a personal or academic reference otherwise it will not be accepted. 

The Academic Reference should be completed by someone who is well acquainted with the applicant but who is not related to them. This should not be a personal reference. 

Fulbright Scholarships

The Fulbright Commission offers scholarships for academic work in any subject, at any accredited US university. Each year, awards are given to approximately 25 UK citizens studying at postgraduate-level. The Fulbright awards offer scholars the opportunity to have a transformative cultural and academic experience and provide unparalleled support both during and after their Fulbright year. In addition to the all-disciplines category, Fulbright also offer subject-specific awards in partnership with UK and US institutions in fields such as public affairs, journalism, law, finance and information science.

For more information please head to the Fulbright website.