120 Young Darwin Scholars from 2012-2019

The Young Darwin Scholarship is an FSC initiative to encourage and support young people who have a real interest in the natural world – to develop the next generation of ‘Darwins’. 15 Scholarships are awarded each year to young people aged 16 and 17 living in the UK who have demonstrated their interest and potential.

  • Young Darwin Scholars looking at insects
  • Ian Cheeseborough teaching Young Darwin Scholars about bees
  • young people learning outdoors
  • Young Darwin Scholar looking at insect with hand held microscope

All Young Darwin Scholars (YDS) attend an introductory five-day residential course at FSC Preston Montford near Shrewsbury – the home town of Charles Darwin. In subsequent years the YDS are offered support and other opportunities to develop knowledge and skills. YDS from different years meet each other at reunions and on subsidised courses. They build friendships and are also able to provide advice and support through social media including top tips on university and course choices. Above all they enjoy spending time with other YDS – people of their own age who have a similar enthusiasm and interest for the natural world.

The Young Darwin Scholarship has received support from The Jean Jackson Trust, The Cross Hills Naturalists’ Society Duncan Clough Grant, The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, the Royal Entomological Society and individual donations. Thanks to this generous support FSC is able to provide ongoing support and opportunities for the Young Darwin Scholars.

Something clicked. Maybe it was Bio-Blitzing in and around the centre, digging for earthworms or sweep netting the long grass. I was in awe of the identification skills of the tutors, their knowledge of the local area and their understanding of the impact each organism had on the ecosystem as a whole. The exploration, the fresh air, the use of field guides and searching for different species. It was clear I was more enthusiastic than most about looking up at trees and rummaging under logs.

Olivia Cairns, 2013 Young Darwin Scholar

Are you…

  • Aged 16 or 17 by 31 August 2020?
  • Studying and interested in: science – especially ecology, geography, geology or the environment?
  • Interested in understanding more about an area – what lives there (plants, animals and humans) and its place in the world?

How to apply

Applications are not yet open for the 2020 scholarship. We will upload an application form to this webpage when the application opens in 2020.