The Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary will support young women from less privileged backgrounds pursing higher education studies in technology.
Commencing this autumn, females undertaking a STEM-related degree at designated universities can apply for funding for the 2016-17 academic year, with each recipient to be selected by their institution.
Amazon will offer the grant to students from households with an annual income under £42,620. It will provide between £3,500 and £7,500 per year to a female student planning to attend schools including the University Edinburgh, King’s College London and Churchill College, Cambridge, where the group runs development centres.
Women taking up courses such as Electronic Engineering, Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Computer Sciences, and others that support high-tech innovation, will be eligible for support.
In addition to financial assistance, which will cover living costs for up to four years, Amazon will provide mentorship to help candidates develop business skills and work experience opportunity at its local development centres.
The scheme forms part of Amazon’s Community programme, which works across the UK to help young people succeed in the digital economy.
Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager said: “We want to foster the next generation of high-tech superstars in Britain and help people from all walks of life invent for the future. We hope that over time the bursary will make a big difference to many young women who one day will become future leaders in innovation.”
“Churchill College is pleased to partner with Amazon for the Women in Innovation Bursary,” said Dr. Sally Boss, senior tutor, Churchill College, University of Cambridge. “We believe that this programme will help encourage young women from less advantaged backgrounds to consider studying Computer Sciences at the university, and we’re delighted to be working with Amazon to encourage applications for the course.”
Professor Peter McBurney, head of the Department for Informatics at King’s College London, said the university is “delighted” to be part of the bursary programme. He said: “While great work in recent years has gone into widening access and opportunities for women within high-tech courses like Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences, more is needed to bring women into technology. We believe this will both encourage more women to study within these fields and also provide a great boost to the recipient’s studies.”
Professor Johanna Moore, chair of Artificial Intelligence and head of School of Informatics, Edinburgh University said: “We’ve been working with the team at Amazon for two years to bring the bursary to our students, and we’re thrilled that the fund is being increased and extended beyond 2017. Students in the bursary have benefitted hugely, not only from Amazon’s financial support, but also from the opportunity to get experience and mentoring from professionals at the top of their game.”