New scholarships to be offered at Cambridge University -
March 2024

New scholarships to be offered at Cambridge University

New scholarships to be offered at Cambridge University

Talented female students from the UK can study astronomy and astrophysics at Cambridge University through a new Parasol Foundation Scholarship programme with women’s college Murray Edwards College.

The first intake of students to take up our scholarships will start in the academic year 2024-2025. Three promising female applicants a year will be offered a fully-funded place to study for a Master’s degree in Astrophysics, an MPhil in Astronomy or the new MPhil in Planetary Science and Life in the Universe (PSLU) at Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy. This third option is an exciting and deliberately interdisciplinary approach to mirror the interplay of knowledge needed to help unlock the secrets of the Universe.

The one-year Master’s degree programme is not only valuable to students themselves but will provide a vital pathway for more women to progress further in academia and in careers in the space sector. Currently, women are significantly under-represented in both areas. Figures show there is an alarming under-representation of women at lecturer and professor level in STEM subjects in UK universities. Women made up only 14% of professors of Physics, Maths and Chemistry in 2021-22, while in Electrical and Computer Engineering, only 9% were women.

According to the 2020 Space Census, women account for only 29% of the space workforce, a percentage that has scarcely changed in decades.

We hope that this scholarship programme will encourage more talented young women to think that they can have a bright future in space.