How to apply for a scholarship

(updated 18th December 2020)


Information for Potential Applicants

Rotary District 1090 in the Thames Valley is planning to award one scholarship of USD 30,000 for post-graduate study at Reading University in the academic year 2021/22. Applicants’ studies, careers and community work must fit within one or more of Rotary’s six areas of focus. Applicants must be from outside the UK, from a low or middle-income country.
We will accept applications from candidates who fit the criteria described below, and who have been offered places to study on one of the following one-year full-time masters courses within the Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics (GIIDAE) of Reading University, starting September/October 2021:

• MSc Food Security and Development
• MSc Applied International Development


The Scholarship must fit within at least one Rotary Foundation area of focus. Applicants are therefore asked to explain which area(s) of focus their study, careers and community work fit best.

If you think you are eligible for a Rotary Scholarship, but not eligible for this specific Rotary District 1090 Scholarship, then please scroll to the foot of this page.



The Rotary Scholarship programme is one of the largest privately funded scholarship programmes in the world. In 2017 Rotary International celebrated 70 years of the scholarship programme.  In the last 15 years this District has supported over 200 Scholars on either the former “Ambassadorial” scheme or the current Global Grant scheme. The majority of these have studied within our District and been funded by their home Rotary Clubs and Districts, but District 1090 has also funded one scholar each year (and very occasionally two scholars) to study overseas or in our District.

Rotary Graduate Scholarships are funded by Rotary Foundation Global Grants and all applications for Global Grants must fit one or more of the Areas of Focus. To read more about the Areas of Focus, visit the Rotary Foundation webpages on the Rotary International website.

Although Rotary Scholarships can in general be for up to four years of academic graduate full time study, this District 1090 Scholarship is for a single year of study. The scholarship may not be used for unsupervised research, medical internship or residency, or for full-time employment.

Students in receipt of a Rotary Scholarship are not prohibited from applying to or receiving funds from other scholarship schemes.

Visit the Rotary International ‘My Rotary’ webpages to read more about the activities funded by Global Grants, including graduate scholarships.


The Scholarship on Offer and Eligibility

This scholarship is for students from outside the UK, who are planning to take up a place on a graduate course within District 1090. To be eligible:

  1. Applicants must be from (i.e. a citizen of or long-term resident of) a low to middle income country, as defined by the UK Government’s Department of International Development, the World Bank or other similar organisation.
  2. Applicants must have been offered a place to study at the GIIDAE, Reading University on one of the following full-time one-year graduate course in the academic year 2021/22.
    1. MSc Food Security and Development,
    2. MSc Applied International Development
  3. The planned university course must fit under one or more of Rotary’s Areas of Focus.

Rotarians are not eligible to apply. Applicants may not be related to a Rotarian (i.e. partner, child or grandchild of a current Rotarian or someone who has been a Rotarian in the last three years). Scholarships count as Rotary Global Grants which rules that Rotarians and their families may not be beneficiaries of a Global Grant.


Application Process

This is a two-stage application process.  This Scholarship is awarded by Rotary Foundation central offices in the USA, but must first be endorsed by Rotary District 1090.

Applicants should complete the online application form and submit this before the deadline of 5pm on 9th April 2021.

***** The link to the online application form will be forwarded by a course administrator at Reading University to applicants offered places to study on the above courses. *****


Applications will be evaluated by a committee representing the Rotary District 1090 Foundation Committee, and short-listed applicants will be requested to attend an interview (by Skype or similar) in early May 2021. A preferred applicant (and runner-up) will be selected for the scholarship.

The selected District-endorsed applicant will then be linked to a “host” Rotary Club in District 1090. The District 1090 Foundation Committee will also find a partner Rotary Club and Rotary District from another country. This may not be from the applicant’s home country, but the applicant will be encouraged to engage with Rotary in their home country.

The final decision on award of the scholarship will be made by the central Rotary Foundation offices in the USA. The selected District 1090 candidate will be given full support to complete the Rotary Foundation Global Grant online application form. There is no requirement to complete the Rotary Foundation online application form when submitting an initial application to District 1090.

Applicants will be required to provide evidence of acceptance from the university of their choice before the scholarship is awarded.


Award of Funds

Once the scholarship is awarded, the sponsoring Rotary Club will be responsible for managing the funds. Both the Club and the Scholar are required to submit reports to the Rotary Foundation.


OTHER Rotary Scholarships for those wishing to study in District 1090 in the Thames Valley, at the universities of Brunel, Bucks New, Oxford, Oxford Brookes and Reading

If you are applying to or have been offered a place to study at a university in our district, and you are not eligible to apply for the above District 1090 Scholarship, then you should apply to your home Rotary District for a scholarship. If successful, then you or your sponsoring Rotary Club or District would contact the District 1090 Scholars Committee to ask for a partner club to host you and to support your Global Grant application to Rotary International. See the links above for further information on the Areas of Focus and the links to the My Rotary webpages.