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Frequently Asked Questions

In order to keep costs down so the majority of the funding can go to award recipients, the Trust has limited administration support. This means that we restrict communication to essential notifications only. 

If you have a question about applying for an award from the Hilda Martindale Educational Trust, please use the links below. We receive a huge number of enquiries and have collected the answers to these below, so do please check to see if your question has already been answered before contacting us.

The main criteria for an award are as follows:


  • You must be a female British national



  • Your course of study must be at a British institution.


The maximum amount you can apply for is £3000.


Applications open in August for each academic year, and close on 7 February, 2018.


…if I am not British?

You must be a British national.  If an award is made you will be asked to provide evidence of your British nationality. The most accepted evidence of British nationality is a British passport.

…if I am not a student at Royal Holloway?

Although the Hilda Martindale Trust is administrated by the Council of Royal Holloway, University of London, you do not have to be a student here to apply.

…if I am a first year undergraduate?

No, the Trustees will not make awards to first year undergraduates and priority is given to undergraduates in their final year of study.

…if I have graduated and want to complete an MSC/MA/PhD in an area in an area which is under represented by women?

Yes, but the primary reason has to be that the training is required in order to pursue a career in a field/area/profession where you can demonstrate to the Trustees satisfaction that women are underrepresented.  For example science, technology, engineering, architecture, some branches of medicine such as surgery, at a UK institution approved by the Trustees.

…if the course is not in the UK?

No, the course must be at a UK institution.

…if the course I want to attend is abroad?

No, the course must be in the United Kingdom at a UK institution.

…if I want to study psychology or medical/dental/veterinary studies?

Trustees do not accept that these are fields in which women are underrepresented.  Applicants must provide some evidence of the area that they intend to specialise in after qualifying and Trustees expect to see evidence in the personal statement of some practical experience that demonstrates a firm intention to pursue their career in that specialist area.

…for an award for an Access course?

No, awards are not made for Access courses which are entry routes into higher education (HE) specifically designed for mature students (those aged 19+). These courses lead to a nationally recognised Access Certificate award, and are designed to help people develop the necessary confidence and knowledge for getting onto a degree or diploma course.

…for an award for a short course?

Short courses are those which are for less than a full year. All awards are made and paid for an academic year and the course should last for full academic year.

…for an award for wholly academic courses and/or academic research?

Where the course is based on academic research or aimed at a career in academia an award would not be made.  The Trustees will not make awards to those holding grants from Research Councils, British Academy, and other public sources and, should an award be made, PGR/PhD applicants will be asked to confirm in writing at the time of accepting the award that they have not received an award from the Research Council and that they would advise the Trust should that change.

for an award for elective studies?


…for an award for intercalated BSc years during a UK medical, dental, veterinary, or nursing course?


for an award for a special project in the UK or abroad?

No, awards are made and paid for an academic year, the course should last for an academic year and it must be in the UK at a UK institution.

Do you consider that women are underrepresented in XXX profession?

There are so many possibilities but generally women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and architecture.  The applicant should always make the case in the application to demonstrate that women are underrepresented in the field or profession.

Psychology, medical, dental, or veterinary students will only be considered if they are pursuing an area within that field where it can be demonstrated that women are underrepresented.

When do applications open?

The application form and guidance is now available online, preceding the academic year when awards will be paid.  Applications can be made at any time right through to the closing date for that year which is clearly stated on the web site (Wednesday 7 February, 2018 for the 2018/19 academic year) the information for applicants and on the application form. 

How do I apply?

All the information required is on the web site in sufficient time for you to make an application. If you need a hard copy please write enclosing a stamped addressed envelope and ask for a printed copy:

Secretary to the Hilda Martindale Trust
Royal Holloway
TW20 0EX

How many awards are made each year?

It varies but the highest number of awards made has been 15, normally fewer than 10.  It’s very competitive; applications number more than five times the number of awards made each year and for each application there are more than 12 enquiries.

In order to keep costs down the Trust has limited administration support please read information carefully and only enquire if you really cannot find the answer to your question!

When is the closing date?

Generally around the beginning of February for awards to be made in the next academic year. The closing date for 2018/19 applications is Wednesday 8 February, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted and retrospective awards cannot be made.

What references are required?

Applications should be returned enclosing a written reference from the first referee named on the application form.  The application form ask for details of a second referee who may be contacted by the Trust to provide an additional reference directly to us.

First reference – what’s this about?

The person you put down as your first referee needs to provide a written reference that you then submit with the application form.

The first referee should be Principal, or Head of Department, or Personal Tutor of the educational institution most recently attended. If the training for which assistance is being sought has already started, this institution should provide your first reference. 

Second reference - what’s this about?

The name of the second referee you put on the application form.  We then ask the referee to provide a reference directly for the Trustees. This could be a recent employer, HR Department for example.  Make sure the address/email is correct.

May I send my application by email or does it need to be posted?

Email is fine, all applications will be acknowledged.

You can also now apply online using our Application Form.

For postal applications if an email address is provided we will acknowledge receipt by email.

If an acknowledgement by post is required please send a stamped addressed envelope with your application form.  Any unused stamps are sent to a charity.

I am eligible/will be applying for/ have received a grant from a public source – is this ok?

No, the Trustees will not make awards to those holding grants from Research Councils, British Academy, and other public sources. 

PGR/PhD applicants to whom Hilda Martindale awards are granted will be asked to confirm in writing at the time of accepting the award that they have not received an award from the Research Council and that they would advise the Trust should that change.

If I am eligible for a postgraduate loan – may I still apply to the Hilda Martindale Trust?

Candidates eligible for postgraduate loans are expected to have explored this option and notify the Trust if they are in receipt of a loan.

I need some financial assistance urgently. Can the Trust help?

No.  Trustees meet once per year to agree awards for the following academic year.  In year applications, that require immediate response, cannot be considered. Awards are then paid in three equal instalments throughout the next academic year once continuing satisfactory attendance on the course has been confirmed each term by the institution.  Detailed criteria have to be met for an applicant to be eligible (see Am I eligible?)

If I an award is made when will I hear?

Just as soon as we can let you know. The Trustees normally meet once per year to make awards soon after the closing date for applications.  Successful applicants will be notified of the result of their application as soon as possible after the meeting.  Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified.

If I don’t receive an award can I appeal?

The Trustees’ decision is final and the Trust does not operate an appeals process. In order to keep costs down the Trust has limited administration support and so, apologies but, no feedback can be provided.

If I don’t receive an award can you tell me why?

Sorry, no.  In order to keep costs down the Trust has limited administration support and so, apologies, no feedback can be provided.



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