Raising funds for your placement doesn't have to be hard...

Fundraising can feel daunting, but it's getting easier and easier to make a success of it.

Applying for bursaries and grants is one of many ways of getting the cash together. There are quite literally hundreds of grants and bursaries relevant to funding a healthcare elective, and the more you apply for, the better your chances.

Below, we've outlined some pointers to help put you in the best position to succeed with your applications when the time comes.

WHEN SHOULD I START EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES?  

As early as possible. We advise doing some solid research before whittling down your options. Keep in mind that sometimes policies and procedures change, so be sure to refresh your knowledge closer to the time of your application.

You can book your elective dates up to two years in advance, so you'll have plenty of time to research. However, we recommend making decisions at least 12 months before you’re due to leave, giving you enough time to raise the funds you need.

There are hundreds of groups that want to help fund your elective placement, but the sheer volume of these might leave you feeling more daunted than inspired. Start by speaking to your course supervisors/elective lead and university bursar. Your university may even offer bursaries for overseas electives so start close to home.

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA?

Each funding group, bursary, and prize has different application criteria. Our advice is to focus on one funding body at a time to maximise your chances of receiving a grant.

Most groups will require you apply with the specific details of your overseas elective and your reasons for undertaking one. They’ll also want to know how the work you’ll be doing will support them as an institution. Others will ask you to conduct work to support your application, do specific project work while you’re abroad, or even write reports back home.

A lot of funding bodies will ask you to work on ‘data collection projects’ or ‘reflective essays’ whilst on your elective. It’s worth noting that as data collection projects will almost certainly involve lab and clinical research, this type of funding might not be suitable for you.

On the other hand, reflective writing projects work well with the type of electives we offer at Work the World. This is because they encourage you to think over how your time practicing in a developing country has affected both your personal and professional development.

HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I APPLY FOR?

Some bursaries award fixed amounts, but under certain circumstances you’ll have to apply for the amount you think you’ll need. You can use the list of bursaries and grants at the bottom of this page to get an idea of how much you might be eligible to receive.

 

If you’re travelling with Work the World the process will be easy — we’re very clear about the cost of our programmes and the money you’ll need for whichever destination you choose.

 

For a detailed breakdown of our prices and what they include, head to our prices page or read our FAQs.

 

PRICES

HOW DO I MAKE MY APPLICATION STAND OUT?

You first need to get clear on why you want to go to a developing country, what you hope to learn there and when you’re planning on making it happen. If you’re familiar with the above, your application is more likely to be clear and concise.

If the funding body asks you to complete a reflective project, you should write up a project outline that has a title relevant to the elective you’re undertaking. With it you should provide a brief background summary relevant to the area they’ve asked you to focus on.

Do some background reading and exclude external references for extra points. Remember, this isn’t only for their benefit — having a pre-written plan when you’re in-country will remind you what you need to pay attention to. When it comes time to write up what you’ve learned, the project outline will speed up the process.

Your CV

Although it might seem like an unnecessary formality, bursars will want to get familiar with the students they’re funding. While your CV might not fully encapsulate the unique and wonderful individual that you are; it will help the funding bodies make a better informed decision as to aiding your funds.

With this in mind, polishing up your personal statement to include any relevant experience you might have, your ambitions in healthcare and attaching a transcript of your grades is a small price to pay for what you could gain in return.

WHAT WILL MY UNIVERSITY ASK FOR?

Regardless of whether you’re working overseas or not, your university will likely ask you to provide a comprehensive summary of your elective plans and then ask you to discuss them with your supervisors.

If you’re applying for a grant from your university, the above process is more or less a given.

We work with a large number of universities all over the world and each has different requirements when it comes to electives. Because we know this can be a hassle, we do everything in our power to provide you with as much information as possible on your placement, in-country supervisors and the hospitals you’ll be working in.

We also supply signed and sealed supporting documents which bring validity to your placement (useful if you’re applying for a grant, too).

IS IT WORTH THE EFFORT?

Yes!

You'll probably only get one chance to take an overseas elective placement, so don't let a lack of funds stand in your way. Getting hands-on experience in an overseas setting is one of the most beneficial ways you can develop as a healthcare professional.

There’s every reason to think you stand a good chance if your application is well thought out. Approach each application with time and consideration, and you’ll stand a better chance than those who’ve hammered out hundreds. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the narrower the niche, the less competition you’ll have. Up your chances by applying to smaller organisations local to you. Lastly, presentation is paramount, so slip your final copy into a new folder and send it off with plenty of time to spare.

After a couple of weeks, it’s a good idea to contact the organisation to confirm they’ve received your application, but don’t go so far as to hassle them. You can also use this opportunity to find out how long you can expect to wait for a response.

Medical Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland Elective Bursary

Maximum of £750 for students whose electives prepare them for a successful career in anaesthesia, pain, peri-operative, and intensive care medicine.

Beit Trust Medical Elective Bursary

Around 20 bursaries of approximately £700–1000 per student for selected applicants. In order to be eligible, students must undertake a minimum of ten weeks in Zambia.

Simmonds Bursary

The Simmonds Bursary of £250 for a medical school student undertaking their elective within the next twelve months in the UK or abroad, with a research component.

British Association of Dermatologists Electives Prize

Up to nine grants of £500 each are available to undergraduate medical students at UK or Irish universities, undertaking a research project related to dermatology or skin biology or an elective in an overseas dermatology department.

British Society for Haematology Student Elective Scholarship

The Society provides student scholarships with a maximum value of £1,000 to support UK-based undergraduates undertaking electives in the field of haematology.

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

Ten awards of £500 each, available annually. These provide financial support for medical students who wish to undertake research, travel, or undertake an elective in a subject related to plastic surgery.

British Geriatrics Society

Grants of up to £500 to medical students to enable them to make use of their elective period for a project concerned with health or healthcare in old age.

The Mobbs Travelling Fellowships - Medical Student Electives

Fellowship awards can contribute to living and/or travel expenses up to £2,000 to enable students and junior doctors to experience work in an occupational health/medicine environment overseas.

Institute of Medical Ethics

Bursaries of up to £800 each to support electives.

Medical Women’s Federation

Grants of £100 - £500 and above are awarded to female medical students to assist them with elective costs. Please note this bursary is only available to MWF members.

Dorothy Ward International Travel Fellowship

£1000 fellowship to provide financial support to an individual MWF member to gain further experience or training in their field by visiting an overseas institution or research group in furtherance of their own professional and personal development.

Renal Association Elective Bursary

8 prizes of £250 each to medical students who are planning to undertake electives which include a significant renal component, either clinical or research.

BMDST-RSM Student Elective Awards

A grant of £500 - £1,000 to undertake a specific project on a medical elective.

British Neuropathological Society

2 grants of £600 each to provide financial support for a medical student training in a UK university to undertake a period of elective study in neuropathology or in neuroscience related to neuropathology during their training.

Pathological Society

Funding to support experience in diagnostic departments during elective or vacation periods. £150 per-week for a maximum of eight weeks.

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh - Bursaries for Affiliate Medical Student Elective Placements in Africa

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is offering a number of bursaries to Undergraduate Affiliates of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, enrolled at UK universities, who have planned to carry out their elective placements in Africa.

Wong Choon Hee Medical Student Elective Travel Bursaries

The award provides a contribution towards the overall costs of travel and subsistence.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Medical Student Elective Travel Awards

This award is open to medical students in the UK and the Republic of Ireland undertaking approved surgical electives abroad. The award provides a contribution towards the overall costs of travel and subsistence. The awards will be £250 each.

Royal Society of Asian Affairs

The award will consist of up to £2,000 and two years’ free membership of the RSAA. These awards, open to individuals aged 21-30 are supported by long-standing members of the RSAA who have a special interest in medical science and practice in challenging environments.

Scar Free Foundation

Scar Free Foundation Electives are worth up to £1,200 each, for research in the areas of scarring, wound healing and disfigurement.

Grant for Christian Work Abroad

Anyone who is a British Christian may apply.

Holiday Lettings Study Abroad Scholarship

£500 scholarship towards studying abroad. The winning student can put the money towards tuition fees, accommodation or travel costs to make their trip abroad easier and even more enjoyable.

The Lord Mayor's 800th Anniversary Award

Applicants need to be between 17 and 25. Preference is given to those who have a connection with the City of London. The award is available to medics, nurses, and dentists, and may be available to midwives as well.

RCGP-SAPC Elective Prize

An annual prize of £500 is awarded for the best proposal by a medical student for an elective based in Primary Care/General Practice.

Calcutta Eden Hospital Annual Prize

This prize is open to final year medical students or FY1 doctors in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Ethicon Student Elective Award

The RCOG, with the kind and generous support of Ethicon, was pleased to offer up to £500 of funding towards approved student medical electives in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Target Ovarian Cancer Essay Prize

First prize: £500; Second prize: £200 - This essay prize is open to all undergraduate medical students across the UK.

Tim Chard Case History Prize

The Tim Chard Case History Prize (three prizes: third prize £150, second prize £250, and first prize £500) This prize is open to medical students from the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Women’s Visiting Gynaecological Club Prize

Through the generosity of the Women’s Visiting Gynaecological Club, the RCOG is able to offer £500 towards an overseas elective in obstetrics and gynaecology to a medical student in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

John Lawson Prize

Prize of £150, through the kind generosity of the late Mr John Lawson FRCOG, for the best article on obstetric and/or gynaecological work carried out in Africa between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.

EM Undergraduate Essay Prize 2019

£1000 prize for an essay that should describe original Emergency Medicine research (not previously been published in a journal or presented at a major UK/international conference and with a clear applicability to EM).

RCS Elective Prize in Surgery

The RCS Elective Prize is an award of up to £500 for clinical students wishing to pursue a career in surgery and planning to undertake an elective in surgery in the ‘developing world' in 2019/2020. At least 3 prizes will be awarded.

Epidemiology & Public Health Section: Brooke Bursary Award

Two prizes of £800 - Open to undergraduate students studying at a UK university or who are taking a postgraduate degree such as an MSc in public health or similar and are travelling abroad on an elective module related to public health or epidemiology.

The Dr Hamilton Award

A £150 grant prize to assist students with the cost of planning an elective.

Matthew Wrightson Bursary

Typically £500 — Any student undertaking an elective which incorporates the following areas: Christian work, the homeless, rehabilitation medicine, paediatrics, the disabled and their carers, the elderly, those with special needs, and the poor.

Hilda Martindale Trust Awards

The Hilda Martindale Trust gives awards to British women who are training or studying for a career in a profession where women are under-represented. The maximum award is £3,000.

Clinical Immunology & Allergy Section: Professor Jonathan Brostoff Award 

£750 to be used towards research or training in clinical immunology and allergy, and a year's free RSM membership.

Digital Health Section: Prize for Innovation

First prize: £500 and a year’s free RSM membership - Submit a 500-word paper on a digital innovation project that is applying a digital voice to improve healthcare or social care.

Gastroenterology & Hepatology Section Prize

First prize: £100 and a year’s free RSM membership; Second prize: £50 and a year’s free RSM membership.

General Practice with Primary Healthcare Section: Medical Student and Trainee Poster Prize

First prize: £100 and a year’s free RSM membership; Second prize: £50 and a year’s free RSM membership.

Geriatrics & Gerontology Section: A.C. Comfort Essay Prize

£300 prize.

Odontology Section: Colyer Prize

First prize: £200; Second prize: £100.

Ophthalmology Section: Students and Trainees Prize

First prize poster: £150; First prize paper: £150.

Orthopaedics Section: President’s Prize

First prize: £600; Second prize: £400; Third prize: £200.

Paediatrics & Child Health Section: President’s Prize

£250 prize.

Sexuality & Sexual Health Section: Medical Student and Trainees’ Essay Prize

First prize: £250 and a year’s free RSM membership.

Venous Forum: Annual Meeting Prize

First prize: £250; Second prize: £200; Third prize: £150; Poster prize: £200.

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad.

GRANTS AND Bursaries exclusive to particular universities:

Nursing Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The Lord Mayor's 800th Anniversary Award

Applicants need to be between 17 and 25. Preference is given to those who have a connection with the City of London.

Gane Trust - Travel Scholarship

Three £1,000 Gane Scholarships, each to a student in the second year of study, selected by staff tutors from applications by anyone in the year.

Vegetarian Grant

£500 grants for being a vegetarian or vegan

Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary

£3,000 for students who are either the spouse or child of a commercial traveller, pharmacist or grocer, and who are in "financial need".

Greenwich Hospital Bursary

Bursary awards of up to £3,000 are awarded to students in need of financial assistance for a maximum of three years, and who are studying an undergraduate degree at any of the Greenwich Hospital partner Universities.

Dame June Clark Travel Scholarship

Up to £1000 during financial year 2019-2020 - Applications are invited from nurses working in Wales who hold a statutory nursing qualification or students undertaking an approved course in Wales leading to a statutory nursing qualification; preference will be given to applicants who are early in their nursing career.

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad.

Bursaries and grants exclusive to particular universities:

University of York:

Santander International Connections Award

Travel Bursary Awards

Glasgow Caledonian:

Magnusson Awards 2019

Santander Travel Scholarship

Sir Alex Ferguson Travel Bursary

School of Health & Life Sciences Travel Bursary

Midwifery Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Gane Trust - Travel Scholarship

We give three £1,000 Gane Scholarships, each to a student in the second year of study, selected by staff tutors from applications by anyone in the year.

Vegetarian Grant

£500 grants for being a vegetarian or vegan

Graham Trust Bursary Scheme

£500 grants for having the surname Graham and living in the Glasgow area

Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary

£3,000 for students who are either the spouse or child of a commercial traveller, pharmacist or grocer, and who are in "financial need".

Greenwich Hospital Bursary

Bursary awards of up to £3,000 are awarded to students in need of financial assistance for a maximum of three years, and who are studying an undergraduate degree at any of the Greenwich Hospital partner Universities. The scheme provides support to students who are former members of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines or the children of current or former members of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines.

The Dora Opoku Student Award

Funding for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic student midwives - Worth up to £1,000

Student Award

The Iolanthe Student Awards are offered to pre-registration midwifery students seeking financial support for attendance at study days, to undertake elective visits or for projects to improve local services. Worth up to £1000

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad. Must be travelling through a UK based sending organisation.  Must live in London or Essex

University of York

Santander International Connections Award

Travel Bursary Awards

Paramedic Science Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The Lord Mayor's 800th Anniversary Award

Applicants need to be between 17 and 25. Preference is given to those who have a connection with the City of London.

Gane Trust - Travel Scholarship

We give three £1,000 Gane Scholarships, each to a student in the second year of study, selected by staff tutors from applications by anyone in the year.

Vegetarian Grant

£500 grants for being a vegetarian or vegan

Graham Trust Bursary Scheme

£500 grants for having the surname Graham and living in the Glasgow area

Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary

£3,000 for students who are either the spouse or child of a commercial traveller, pharmacist or grocer, and who are in "financial need".

Greenwich Hospital Bursary

Bursary awards of up to £3,000 are awarded to students in need of financial assistance for a maximum of three years, and who are studying an undergraduate degree at any of the Greenwich Hospital partner Universities.

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad. Must be travelling through a UK based sending organisation. Must live in London or Essex.

Grants And Bursaries exclusive to particular universities:

Glasgow Caledonian

Magnusson Awards 2019

Santander Travel Scholarship

Sir Alex Ferguson Travel Bursary

School of Health & Life Sciences Travel Bursary

Physiotherapy and OT Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Gane Trust - Travel Scholarship

We give three £1,000 Gane Scholarships, each to a student in the second year of study, selected by staff tutors from applications by anyone in the year.

Vegetarian Grant

£500 grants for being a vegetarian or vegan.

Graham Trust Bursary Scheme

£500 grants for having the surname Graham and living in the Glasgow area.

Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary

£3,000 for students who are either the spouse or child of a commercial traveller, pharmacist or grocer, and who are in "financial need".

Greenwich Hospital Bursary

Bursary awards of up to £3,000 are awarded to students in need of financial assistance for a maximum of three years, and who are studying an undergraduate degree at any of the Greenwich Hospital partner Universities.

CSP Elective Clinical Placement Award

Up to £750 to help with the cost of elective.

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad. Must be travelling through a UK based sending organisation. Must live in London or Essex.

Glasgow Caledonian

Santander Travel Scholarship

Sir Alex Ferguson Travel Bursary

School of Health & Life Sciences Travel Bursary

Dentistry Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The Lord Mayor's 800th Anniversary Award

Applicants need to be between 17 and 25. Preference is given to those who have a connection with the City of London. The award is available to medics, nurses, and dentists, and may be available to midwives as well.

Gane Trust - Travel Scholarship

We give three £1,000 Gane Scholarships, each to a student in the second year of study, selected by staff tutors from applications by anyone in the year.

Vegetarian Grant

£500 grants for being a vegetarian or vegan

Graham Trust Bursary Scheme

£500 grants for having the surname Graham and living in the Glasgow area

Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary

£3,000 for students who are either the spouse or child of a commercial traveller, pharmacist or grocer, and who are in "financial need".

Greenwich Hospital Bursary

Bursary awards of up to £3,000 are awarded to students in need of financial assistance for a maximum of three years, and who are studying an undergraduate degree at any of the Greenwich Hospital partner Universities. The scheme provides support to students who are former members of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines or the children of current or former members of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines.

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad. Must be travelling through a UK based sending organisation. Must live in London or Essex

The Prize for Elective Period Projects

The British Endodontic Society offers a national award annually to the dental student submitting the best report of an elective period project in the field of endodontology. The winner shall receive £1000.

Laurence Usiskin Student Elective Scholarship

Any undergraduate at a Dental School in the United Kingdom in their final two years of training. The chosen topic must be based on orthodontics or closely related . The elective to be undertaken the same calender year as submission. Prize of £1200

Frank Ashley Undergraduate Prize

Two prizes of £500 each are offered by the British Society of Periodontology to encourage dental undergraduates at UK Dental Schools to undertake a project that has a clear educational benefit in periodontology.

Grants and bursaries exclusive to specific universities:

Cardiff University

KCL

University of Leeds

University of Manchester

Radiography Grants and Bursaries

*Please note that Work the World are in no way affilliated with any of the below bursaries or grants. The summaries below are advisory — you need to thoroughly check each grant or bursary website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Gane Trust - Travel Scholarship

We give three £1,000 Gane Scholarships, each to a student in the second year of study, selected by staff tutors from applications by anyone in the year.

Vegetarian Grant

£500 grants for being a vegetarian or vegan

Graham Trust Bursary Scheme

£500 grants for having the surname Graham and living in the Glasgow area

Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary

£3,000 for students who are either the spouse or child of a commercial traveller, pharmacist or grocer, and who are in financial need.

Greenwich Hospital Bursary

Bursary awards of up to £3,000 are awarded to students in need of financial assistance for a maximum of three years, and who are studying an undergraduate degree at any of the Greenwich Hospital partner Universities.

Jack Petchey Foundation

Up to £400 available from the Jack Petchey Foundation for individuals who want to volunteer abroad. Must be travelling through a UK based sending organisation. Must live in London or Essex.

The Forder Memorial Award

Presented to the best paper proffered by a student at UKIO. The winning student is awarded the prize of £200.

Grants and bursaries exclusive to specific universities

Glasgow Caledonian

Magnusson Awards 2019

Santander Travel Scholarship

Sir Alex Ferguson Travel Bursary

School of Health & Life Sciences Travel Bursary