New bursaries of £1,000 each are being launched for the next academic year by the WCSM Education Trust, a charity founded by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers to support optical training and education. The bursaries will be available to those starting on optical training courses.
Applications will be accepted straight away from those who have been offered places on courses starting in the next academic year, though bursaries will only be paid once satisfactory evidence has been provided of registration on, and successful commencement of, a relevant UK course.
The closing date for applications is Friday 7 October 2016. At least ten bursaries are expected to be awarded from October 2016, with payments being received by students by mid-November, at the latest.
The scheme is designed to ‘tip the balance’ in encouraging some of those just about to start on education courses in the United Kingdom specifically related to work in the optical professions.
In this first year of operation, bursaries will be single awards targeted at new entrants to optics. They will not be available for post graduate courses or ophthalmology, where students must already have qualified as doctors. However, the 2016/17 scheme will be a pilot and may be extended in future years.
There is no restriction by age, gender, region or course and all applications will be treated equally. The selection process will involve independent assessment by the Trustees, all of whom are Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.
There are no conditions as to how the bursary must be spent but successful applicants will be required to report back to the Trustees on the difference the bursary makes to their education. On the basis of the reports received, the Trustees will invite one bursary recipient each year to a Court Luncheon of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, where the student will be able to meet established professionals and discuss their progress and career ambitions in optics.