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Philanthropy Bursary launch

Giving Northern Ireland has announced the establishment of three bursaries to promote post graduate masters research into philanthropy.

Three successful post graduate students from The Open University, the University of Ulster and Queen’s University will each receive a Giving Northern Ireland Bursary of £4,000 to conduct a piece of original academic work in this area.

The announcement was made on the first day of Philanthropy Fortnight, a celebration of Northern Ireland’s proud tradition of giving which takes place from May 6-15.

The three bursaries will be available to post-graduate Masters level students during the next academic year.

A Bursary Selection Panel, headed by Giving Northern Ireland board member Janet Leckey and distinguished academic Professor Hugh McKenna, will choose the three successful candidates based on the strength of their research project ideas.

Sandara Kelso-Robb, Strategic Advisor to Giving Northern Ireland said the bursaries were in line with the organisation’s aims to promote awareness of philanthropy, research into giving and to encourage a more strategic approach.

She added: “These bursaries will encourage people with fresh and innovative ideas to look at philanthropy through new eyes.”

Earlier this year the Giving Northern Ireland Board approved the bursaries in consultation with the three universities. Students from within the business/management schools of each of the institutions will be eligible to apply.

Board Director and Chairman of the Bursary Selection Panel, Janet Leckey said that the bursary scheme was one of many initiatives set up by Giving Northern Ireland to promote its aim of championing and supporting philanthropic activity in Northern Ireland.

She added: “As the organisation moves forward, inspiring and educating will become important elements of the next phase of the work. We are delighted that we are in a position to create three post graduate research bursaries, one each with the University of Ulster, Queen’s University and the Open University. The Bursary Selection Panel looks forward to receiving applications and would envisage that the potential of the successful research proposals will contribute to the knowledge of philanthropy and assist in the development of a better understanding of the philanthropy environment.”

Giving Northern Ireland was launched in April 2013 with the aim of stimulating and supporting a culture of giving in Northern Ireland. While philanthropy may be perceived to be the province of the wealthy donor it is much more than financial giving. It includes the giving of time, skills and expertise.

It has already commissioned and published a research report ‘Giving By High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in Northern Ireland’, which found that while there is a relatively small pool of HNWIs in Northern Ireland, many are involved in active giving.

Application forms will be available to download at the end of May 2014.