Check our frequently asked questions before you apply for a Gray’s Inn Scholarship.
Do I need to be a member of the Inn before applying for a scholarship?
- You do not need to be a member of the Inn to apply for a GDL or Bar Course Scholarship. You will need to be a member of the Inn before you can receive any scholarship funding.
- Internship and Pupillage Scholarships are only available to members of the Inn.
Do I need a confirmed place on my course before applying for a scholarship?
- You do not need a confirmed place on a conversion course or Bar course to apply for a GDL or Bar Course Scholarship. You will need to have a confirmed place before you can receive any scholarship funding.
Can I apply for a scholarship at more than one Inn?
- You may only apply to one Inn for a GDL and Bar Course Scholarship. The Inns share information to ensure no applicant has applied to more than one Inn.
- Certain scholarships are administered by one Inn but open to members of all Inns.
I am not studying my conversion or Bar course full-time. Can I still apply?
- Part-time and two-part students are eligible to apply for GDL and Bar Course Scholarships to support either year of study. Students awarded a scholarship during their first year of study cannot reapply during their second year.
Does the Inn grant scholarship deferrals?
- All deferral requests will be considered by the Scholarships Committee but are only granted in exceptional circumstances.
How many Inn scholarships can I receive?
- Members can receive one of each type of Inn scholarship. The exception is the Hebe Plunkett Scholarship.
Are the interview dates flexible?
- Interviews outside of the established interview dates cannot be accommodated under any circumstances. Where interviews are taking place over multiple dates, a change of an applicant’s specific date and time due to exceptional circumstances will be considered and accommodated where possible. Applicants should contact the team at the earliest opportunity.
Where are the interviews held?
- All scholarship interviews are held in person at Gray’s Inn.
Can I be interviewed online?
- We strongly encourage you to make arrangements to attend your interview in person. However, requests for online interviews will be considered in certain circumstances. For example, if you will be living outside of the country during the interview window or have a physical disability.
How long does an interview last?
- Interviews last for 15-20 minutes. For GDL and Bar Course Scholarships, each applicant is provided with two topical questions in advance of the interview and asked to answer one of these as part of the interview. The panel will ask additional questions, all of which relate to the merit assessment criteria.
Can I use a referee that does not meet all aspects of the referee guidance?
- Your application will be considered irrespective of whether both referees meet all aspects of our criteria. If you are confident that a referee who does not fully meet our guidance can provide you with a better supporting reference than a referee who does, you may choose to use them instead.
Can I reuse my GDL Scholarship references to support my Bar Course Scholarship application?
- You are welcome to use the same referees however you are strongly encouraged to ask your referee to resubmit their reference, even if the content is the same. This clarifies their willingness to support your current application and provides the opportunity to make additional comment.
When are results released?
- Shortlist results are released at least 6 weeks before the scheduled interview dates. Interview results are released within one week of the final interview date.
My scholarship application has been unsuccessful, can I reapply?
Can I request feedback?
- Individual written feedback is available to all unsuccessful applicants at both shortlist and interview stages. Applicants are informed how they can request feedback in their results email.
What conditions do I have to meet before I can receive my funding?
- To receive a GDL or Bar Course Scholarship, scholars must have:
- completed their Inn membership
- enrolled on an eligible course
- signed an undertaking committing to diligently pursue practice at the Bar of England and Wales and support the professional development of future Inn members.
How will I receive my funding?
- All scholarship funding is transferred directly to the scholar via bank transfer. The Inn does not transfer scholarship funding to course providers.
I have previously received scholarship funding but no can no longer comply with my undertaking. What should I do?
- You must report this to the Inn and may, at the discretion of the Scholarships Committee, be required to repay all or part of any sums awarded.
- To receive a GDL or Bar Course Scholarship, scholars must have:
The scholarship application does not ask you to indicate whether there may be a matter which calls into question whether you are a fit and proper person to become a practising barrister. However, please be aware that:
- If you are awarded a scholarship, or internship funding, you must be a member of the Inn before any funds will be paid
- In order to become a member of the Inn, the Inn must be satisfied that you are a fit and proper person to become a practicing barrister
- When you apply to become a member of the Inn, you must disclose any matter which might reasonably be thought to call into question your fitness to become a practicing barrister
- Matters that call into question your fitness to practise will be referred to the Inns’ Conduct Committee [ICC] to decide whether you are eligible for admission to the Inn
- If the ICC decides not to admit you, you will not be eligible for your scholarship
The Bar Standards Board Handbook governs the Inns of Court and states under Part 4 (Admission to an Inn of Court) that in order to be eligible for admission to an Inn of Court a person must “be a fit and proper person to become a practicing barrister”. It also states “if the applicant for admission to an Inn falls within Rule Q17, the Inn must refer the question whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to become a practicing barrister to the Inns’ Conduct Committee to decide. An applicant falls within Rule Q17 if:
- the applicant has been convicted of a Criminal Offence (or is the subject of pending Criminal Proceedings) or
- the applicant has been convicted of a disciplinary offence by a professional or regulatory body (or is the subject of pending proceedings for such an offence) or
- the applicant has been the subject of a Bankruptcy Order or Directors Disqualification Order or entered into an individual voluntary arrangement with creditors or
- the applicant has previously been refused admission to or expelled from an Inn or
- there is any other circumstance which in the opinion of the Inn calls into question the applicant’s fitness to become a practicing barrister”
The Inn will retain and/or use the information supplied in your application to administer and determine your application. This may include information from third parties, for example the references that you arrange to be provided. We will disclose this information to the committees and interviewers who consider your application. If and/or when you become a member of the Inn, your application & references will be kept in your membership file.
We may share information about your identity with the other Inns of Court for the administration of the scholarship process.
If you are awarded a GDL or Bar Course Scholarship your name and scholarship will be published together by the Inn and The Times.
Our Equal Opportunities Policy is applied to applicants for all scholarships, internship funding and prizes:
“This Society, in common with the other Inns, is committed to a policy of fairness and equality of opportunity without discrimination on grounds of race, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or political persuasion or, from October 2006, age (‘prohibited grounds’). The Society will have regard to the needs of disabled persons and will comply with such provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and of Regulations and Codes made under it as may be in force from time to time and which apply to them.”
A complete copy of the Inn’s Code and complaints procedure, is available on request from the Director of Education.
Submission of ethnicity information is entirely voluntary and will not affect your application. This information will be provided, nameless, to the Race Relations Committee of the General Council of the Bar for the monitoring of the ethnic origin of candidates.
If you have a question not covered in the FAQs, please contact the scholarships team.