Journey to Success

Our in-house Scholarship scheme helps promising youngsters overcome financial and social barriers to gain the university education they deserve and the career they aspire to.

"The best thing about being a Robertson Scholar? You feel like you can achieve anything!"

Are you a scholar? 

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What is the Journey to Success? 

The Robertson Trust’s Scholarship has supported career development amongst Scottish undergraduates since 1992. Through our Journey to Success self-development programme we have supported thousands of talented young people to succeed at university and increase their graduate career prospects.  

Understanding that a major barrier to participation in higher education is lack of finances, we also offer a bursary of up to £4000 p.a. to each of our Scholars.  

Receipt of this bursary is dependent on active participation in Journey to Success training sessions and events, the submission of regular reports to the Scholarship team and ongoing evidence of good academic progress. 

Robertson Scholars are an incredible pool of talent who recognize that working with others makes them stronger. There are over 700 Scholars across Scotland’s universities, studying a broad range of subjects. This network of peer support is a powerful resource for the young people who maintain it. 

Find out more about Journey to Success

What does the Scholarship involve? 

The Robertson Trust Scholarship is designed to be much more than a financial bursary, although we realise that our financial support is vital to our Scholars.  

The Journey to Success programme guides Robertson Scholars towards finding their graduate career path and to develop the skills they will need as young professionals through the following initiatives: 

  • Welcome Weekend: designed to begin building the peer support networks Scholars need to ease their transition into university and maximise the potential of their degree. 
  • Leadership development: encourage second year Scholars to support their peers throughout the Welcome Weekend and the first year at university.  
  • Personal development training sessions: improve the self-awareness needed for university and graduate recruitment success. 
  • Career Pathways: support Scholars to source meaningful work experience, access careers awareness-raising activities and make professional contacts. 
  • Alumni Network: encourages our Alumni to mentor younger Scholars and ‘give back’ to the Scholarship. 

To retain a place on the Scholarship successful candidates must complete the induction process (the Welcome Weekend), attend two self-development workshops each year and submit a written report describing how they are progressing through university at the end of each academic term. 

As a highly competitive award failure to engage with the Scholarship Team or the activities they facilitate can result in removal from the Scholarship.  

How are Robertson Scholars chosen? 

With over 300 applications each year for only 150 places, it is vital that we identify young people who can work together. We adhere to set criteria for nominations to ensure that only candidates with the potential to be part of our self-development programme are considered. 

Our team of assessors look for those positive characteristics that make a good candidate. These are a high degree of academic potential and the ambition and ability to make a commitment to participating in the Journey to Success programme whilst studying at degree level 

Applications should therefore show a willingness to engage with our training opportunities, have a genuine interest in self-development and a desire to collaborate with others to achieve change.  

In assessing each application, we acknowledge the difficulty some candidates may face in describing personal challenges, but these should be balanced with examples of resilience, positive outlook and connectivity with their local community as a celebration of their abilities. 

We are looking for young people who have the drive but not necessarily the means to be successful in higher education, and we rely on our partners, who will have known them for many years, to help select the best possible candidates. We ask our partners in education to complete a form about each nomination telling us about their background and their engagement with education.  

The final decision as to a young person’s suitability for the Scholarship, however, always rests with the team of assessors drawn from across The Robertson Trust. 

Application Assessment Criteria: The Journey to Success 

All applications must be submitted by one of our partner schools or universities according to the following guidelines: 

  • 16-25 year olds accessing a programme of undergraduate study at a Scottish University 
  • Candidates are assessed according to both financial need and academic ability; it is expected that recipients of the award are high achievers; 
  • Commitment to learning and a keenness to participate on our self-development programme, The Journey to Success; 
  • Clear indication of financial need i.e. evidence of low income, receipt of EMA/Free School Meals, entitlement to maximum amount of SAAS; 
  • Evidence of socio-economic challenges or care experience impacting on education; 
  • Resident in Scotland at time of application; 
  • ‘Leave to remain’ within the UK; 
  • Only first degrees with evidence of a university offer can be considered.  

Journey to Success alumni share their experiences

How to apply

All applications for Journey to Success are made by schools or universities. We do not accept direct applications from students or families.

If you are from a school, college or university and would like to find out about the application process, please email scholars@therobertsontrust.org.uk

Summer internships – hosting a Scholar

Third-year Journey to Success scholars are offered a six-week summer internship to help enhance their CV. Host employers have included a range of organisations, from large corporates to charities. Past hosts include Barclays, Breast Cancer Care, SportScotland, Scott Moncrieff and Citizens Theatre.

Interns are paid a monthly stipend by The Robertson Trust during their placement.

Take a look at our case study of internship host JLL in Glasgow.

If you are an employer interested in offering a placement, please contact gemma.manclark@therobertsontrust.org.uk

Journey to Success Scholars talk about their internship experiences

Would past hosts recommend the Internship Programme to other employers?

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