Applications are open for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM
More women policymakers can drive progress on climate policies. Source: Alain Jocard/Pool/AFP

Climate change has been described as the “defining issue of our time” by the United Nations (UN). Last year’s devastating wildfire in Australia killed or displaced some three billion animals — and scientists say the region’s warming climate boosted wildfire risk in the region by at least 30%. Our melting sea ice, which polar bears use to hunt seals, could contribute to their extinction by 2100These represent just some of our 21st-century challenges and how climate change can threaten life on Earth, driving the world to what UN Secretary-General António Guterres described as a “point of no return.”

Women will play a key role in helping countries adapt to the growing risks posed by the climate crisis. According to research published in Nature Communications, this can be done via improved healthcare, education, and representation in government. Having more women in the labour force provides women with “access to financial resources, to information and to different networks of decision making,” explains Marina Andrijevic, a research analyst at Climate Analytics and the lead author of the study.

More women policymakers can drive progress on climate policies too. “Female representation in national parliaments leads countries to adopt more stringent climate change policies; and through this effect on the stringency of climate change policies, female representation leads to lower CO2 emissions,” shares Dr Astghik Mavisakalyan, a principal research fellow at Curtin University, to Carbon Brief.

It’s a virtuous cycle and one you can be part of, starting with one of the environment-related postgraduate programmes below.

Climate change scholarships for women

climate change

A hiker walks past a part of the Rhone Glacier, which is covered with insulating foam to prevent it from melting, near Gletsch on Aug. 3, 2018, as a heatwave sweeps across northern Europe. Source: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The British Council and Newcastle University have announced the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM, seven fully funded scholarships for female students from South Asia who are interested to pursue their master’s studies in the field of climate change

The scholarships are on offer for female students from the following countries: 

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

What’s the value of the scholarship?

These scholarships cover full of tuition fees and up to 15 months monthly stipend at £1,116 per month. Seven awards are available.

They also cover monthly stipends, a return economy class ticket and other study-related costs such as IELTS exam fee, visa application, NHS surcharge and study materials.

What programmes are eligible for these scholarships?

Students in the following programmes can apply for the climate change scholarship: 

  • MSc Environmental Engineering
  • MSc Environmental Consultancy
  • MSc Hydrology and Water Management
  • MRes Environmental Geoscience
  • MSc Renewable Energy, Enterprise and Management

Who is eligible?

This is an opportunity for women in South Asia to get a tuition-free master’s degree in the field of climate change. Source: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Among the eligibility criteria for the scholarship includes:

  • be a woman (cis-gendered or trans) or identify as non-binary
  • be a passport holder and permanent resident of one of the eligible countries
  • have submitted an application to study on one of the eligible Newcastle University postgraduate programmes, as listed above
  • have not previously studied at degree level or higher in the UK or recently lived in the UK
  • must not be in receipt of financial support or funding towards your study programme in the UK from any other source
  • return to your country of citizenship for a minimum of two years after your scholarship award has ended

You are not eligible for the scholarship if you:

  • hold dual British citizenship
  • have previously studied in the UK with funding from a UK Government-funded scholarship or a UK institutional scholarship/financial bursary
  • are an employee, a former employee, or relative of an employee of Her Majesty’s Government (including British Embassies/High Commissions; the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Department for International Trade; the Ministry of Defence; and the Home Office)
  • are an employee, a former employee, or relative of an employee of the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM – eligible countries

When’s the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications for the 2021/22 academic year is April 15, 2021.