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Edinburgh Neuroscience: Our Minds Scholarship Programme

Edinburgh Mental Health

11 Mar 2024

Our Minds Scholarship Programme for 2024: Open to Applications!

Programme Overview

Our minds perceive and interpret the world around us. They create knowledge and devise ways of putting that knowledge to use. They have created the arts, the sciences, the structures of our societies and our beliefs. How do they do it, why do they do it, what have they done and what will they do? Edinburgh Neuroscience is offering funding to reflect, explore and engage with others, in particular the public, on questions such as these.


What is the Our Minds Scholarship Programme looking for?

The Our Minds programme is looking to fund up to eight 2-month-long projects exploring some aspect of our thinking, past, present or future. Applicants are invited to propose projects that they would work on. The project should be relevant to questions concerning our minds, such as how it works, why we think the way we do, what we think about, and the outcomes this thinking leads to. For example, you might be interested in creating artwork that explores and questions ideas about the mind, or in exploring the phrenologist’s collection in the Anatomical Museum, you could work in a laboratory studying how the brain works or how it can go wrong, or you might want to tell stories about historical or contemporary issues/challenges related to the mind. These are just a few ideas; the possibilities are endless. As long as your proposal is relevant to the broad theme of Our Minds, we will consider it. 

Applicants are required to approach potential supervisors/mentors at the University of Edinburgh to get their support and discuss their ideas. The mentors need to be willing and able to give you any help you might need with the project, for example with logistics or getting ethical approval (if your project needs it). It is also possible that you know of someone at the University working on a topic of your interest, in which case you could approach them and develop a good proposal together. You are allowed to join a team of people already working on the topic, but the research question you are proposing should be distinct. 

The proposal might be something you have worked on before and want to develop further, or you might come up with a vague idea that needs to be developed in discussion. It will be important for you to establish the practicalities of what you propose, for example if access to university facilities such as archives or collections or workshops is required, or if you need specialized training. You will need to do this before you apply.    

As well as proposing a project related in some way to the theme of Our Minds, you will need to propose how you will engage the public with the outcome of your project. You should be willing and able to meet at intervals with other awardees to help decide on, develop and participate in possible joint activities for the public during or at the end of your project (e.g. public lectures, exhibition, performance etc).    

Application process 

Please complete the application form and ask your proposed supervisor/mentor to write to expressing: (i) their support for you and the project and (ii) their willingness to help you with logistics including obtaining any ethical approvals required before 5 pm on Friday 22nd March. It is essential that they address both (i) and (ii) in their e-mail. You can send informal queries to A cross-disciplinary group will review applications during April and selection will be made after interview based on the likely success of the project in the timescale and our perception of its comprehensibility and likely interest for the general public. 


For more information and a detailed background to this scholarship programme, please see the Edinburgh Neuroscience website.

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