Acton-Goodman Scholarships

Thanks to a generous gift from the Acton Society Trust there are two scholarships available for students applying to study a PhD degree for 2020/21 entry.

  • Funding: Yearly stipend of £15,000, £2,000 per annum for training and a £5,000 transitional allowance upon completion
  • Academic year:
  • Open to: EU, International (non-EU) and UK students
  • Qualification level: Postgraduate research
  • Number available: 2
Applications for are closed.

It is anticipated that the two scholarship-holders will be studying in an area of relevance to the interests and work of the Acton Society Trust and Ted Goodman, and that both will play an active role in the Morrell Centre for Toleration.

Each scholarship offers:

  • tuition fees (at home/EU rate)
  • a maintenance stipend of around £15,000 per year
  • a £2,000 per annum allowance for research, training and conference attendance costs
  • a £5,000 transitional allowance following completion of the degree.

Open to EU, International (non-EU) and UK students.

One of the scholarships will be located at the Morrell Centre for Toleration within the York Law School. The other is open to students in any discipline.

In order to be eligible you must:

  • have received an offer of study for your research degree at York by 31 January 2020
  • expect to begin your PhD studies on 1 October 2020 (deferrals beyond 1 January 2021 are not permitted)
  • have a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent prior to commencing the PhD
  • have completed a masters-level qualification before commencing the PhD.
How to apply

Application deadline: Friday 31 January 2020, 11.59pm GMT

When you make your PhD application, please indicate that you intend to apply for Acton-Goodman scholarship.

Your department will then select up to two candidates. If you are selected, your department will pass your details to the University selection panel, with a supporting statement outlining:

  • your academic excellence
  • how your research proposal aligns with interests and work of the Acton Society Trust and Ted Goodman
  • how your research proposal aligns with the department’s research strategy.
How we allocate

The selection panel will then rank the nominees based on your department’s supporting statements.

We aim to notify successful applicants by the end of February 2020. You will receive a formal letter offering the scholarship, which you must accept within two weeks.

Contact details

Research Student Administration
+44 (0)1904 325962
Student Hub, Market Square, University of York, York, YO10 5DD

Edward "Ted" Goodman was part of the generation which prepared the way for the establishment of the University of York in the late '50s and early '60s.

The Acton Society Trust was founded after the Second World War, possibly by Ted Goodman, and was an early version of what we now call a "think tank". It paid for assistants to frontbench politicians, now known as special political advisors (or "SpAds"), who were referred to as "Chocolate Soldiers", a reference to the Trust being established by the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust, until public money was made available in 1974.

The Acton Society Trust's original focus was to analyse the implications of the burgeoning welfare state for liberty and the individual, although this goal was quickly discarded. Instead, the Trust undertook the first major studies of the nationalised industries, the newly created NHS and, later, aspects of management in the private sector. The Trust was wound up in the year 2000.

Along with WB Morrell, Ted Goodman was responsible for establishing the Morrell Centre for Toleration, initially at Sheffield (1963) and subsequently at the University of York (1980), where it is still based. Loosely defined, the concept of "toleration" is understood as "willingly putting up with the beliefs, actions or practices of others, by a person or group that disapproves of them, and who would have the power to prohibit or repress them, if they chose to do so". Ted was also a trustee of the C &and JB Morrell Trust for many years, which generously supports the work of the University to this day.

It was Ted Goodman's wish that this money be used to fund PhD students.

Contact us

Research Student Administration
+44 (0)1904 32 5962