York Enigma Scholarship

The York Enigma Scholarships have been established with the generous support of York alumni and entrepreneur Max Noble to support talented undergraduate students at York.

  • Funding: £3,300, paid over three years
  • Academic year: 2021/22
  • Open to: UK (home) students
  • Qualification level: Undergraduate
Applications for 2021/22 are closed.

Enigma Scholarships are designed to assist undergraduate students who have faced significant barriers to their educational goals, and will provide financial support, alongside the opportunity to work together on a project.

Alongside financial support, Enigma Scholars join a multidisciplinary community of like-minded students, and gain valuable experience. Our community of Enigma Scholars will work together to complete a project, tackling a real-world problem that will help you to develop skills and make a difference to society.

By connecting students from a range of backgrounds and disciplines - sciences, technology, creativity and the humanities - the Enigma Scholarship programme will offer the chance to have a positive experience, develop problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills, gain unique opportunities, and develop new behaviours around solutions-focused practice.

There are no limitations to the project - every step of the plan will be built by the Enigma Scholars themselves, with guidance from the donor, Max Noble, and additional support from the Careers Service and our network of employee mentors.

  • You will create an idea.
  • You will create a brand identity.
  • You will market the brand.
  • You will have guidance.
  • You will work together.
  • You will challenge each other.
  • You will solve a real-world problem.

Additional financial awards and prizes will be available to the Enigma Scholars as the programme develops.

Enigma scholars will be selected before the end of 2021, and the programme will begin in early 2022, with the scholars working together for a few hours per month in term time, to a project plan, for the duration of their scholarship.


Open to UK (home) students only.

You must meet all of the essential criteria to be considered for a scholarship.

  • You are studying at the University of York at undergraduate level from September 2021 (this is inclusive of undergraduates starting in September 2021 for a four-year intercalated Masters degree)


  • You are a permanent resident in the UK, classified as Home (UK) in university admissions procedures, and have a household income below £70,004
  • You studied in a UK state school or college
  • You can show that you have faced significant barriers in your personal, social or domestic life that have affected your journey through school and college
  • You should be able to demonstrate how a significant barrier might have caused you to have experienced a period of disrupted education

You must also meet at least one of the additional criteria.

  • Be from a background underrepresented in higher education, as follows:
    • a. British Black background (such as Black or Black British - Caribbean, Black or Black British - African or Other Black background)
    • b. Asian or Asian British background (such as Asian or Asian British - Indian, Asian or Asian British - Pakistani, Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi)
    • c. Mixed- or multiple-ethnicity background (such as White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian)
    • d. Roma, Gypsy or Irish Traveller background (including Boater or Showmen communities)
  • Are/were care experienced
  • Have experienced a period of homelessness
  • Are estranged from your family (defined by the relationship between the family and student breaking down and becoming irreconcilable)
  • Were eligible for Free School Meals
  • Were in receipt of College discretionary payments
  • Reside in a POLAR Q1/2 area
  • Have attended a school or college at key stage 4 or key stage 5 that achieved below the national average
  • Be the first in your family to attend higher education
  • Have a disability or long-term health condition
  • Are an adult learner (defined as students who were 25 or over on the first day of their course)
  • Are from a military background
  • Are a young carer (defined as being under 18 and helping to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem. A young carer may look after a parent or a sibling. Caring for a child is not included in this.)
  • Identify as LGBTQ+
  • Are a refugee

A note on additional eligibility:

The York Enigma Scholarship is awarded in part to support students financially, in recognition of the significant barriers that they have overcome in pursuit of their education, but also with the opportunity to gain additional skills and experiences from working collaboratively as a cross-disciplinary team.

When applying, students are encouraged to consider the impact that meeting one or more of the additional criteria has had on their life and educational opportunities, and what they would like to get out of being an Enigma Scholar, by working together over the three years on this collaborative programme with students from other subjects to tackle a problem for social benefit.

You will be asked to consider how the Enigma Scholarship will help you to reach your ambitions, and how you demonstrate positive behaviours and attitude, including collaboration, willingness to learn, and inquisitiveness.

If you have any questions, please contact: enigma-scholarships@york.ac.uk.

How to apply

Application deadline: Friday 19 November 2021, 11.59pm GMT

We'll share application details here when they reopen for future years of entry.

Terms and conditions
  • The scholarship is available for a maximum of three years of undergraduate study.
  • Scholarship recipients must be able to commit to monthly sessions, based on campus or virtually, during term time from Year 1 Spring Term, to work together on the project, including attending regular meetings with the programme team.
  • Scholarship recipients are encouraged to complete the York Strengths Programme in their first year, and have the option of being allocated a mentor to help them with their development action plan and goal setting.
  • If a scholar takes a year in industry or year abroad, they will still be able to make a contribution to the Enigma programme, and will still be eligible for their scholarship payment.
  • Successful scholarship recipients are required to complete a Scholarship Partnership Agreement outlining reporting obligations as a scholar, including providing an annual written update and occasional meetings with the donor to the Enigma Scholarship Programme.

Contact details

York Enigma Scholarship Coordinator


Contact us

If you have questions relating to any of our funding opportunities, please see the contact details on the specific scholarship or bursary page.