The Shackleton Scholarship Fund was set up in 1995 to commemorate, in perpetuity, the lives of two remarkable men:
Sir Ernest Shackleton was an outstanding leader in the golden age of Antarctic Exploration at the dawn of the Twentieth Century. His astonishing feats of leadership, navigation, endurance and survival have recently inspired a revival of interest in Britain, the United States and elsewhere in the world.
His son, Lord Shackleton (Edward Shackleton), began as an explorer then won acclaim as a scientist, businessman, wartime Royal Air Force officer, statesman, and author of two reports for the British Government which laid the foundation for Falkland Islands' development and prosperity.
The Fund is a pragmatic, flexible way of commemorating the Shackleton achievements, stimulating human endeavour, initiative and research.
There are two types of scholarship:
1. Academic: For graduates to visit the South Atlantic for research into the natural or social sciences, in such diverse subjects as place names, the English language spoken in the Falkland Islands, Falklands society, fresh water fish, willows, grasses, geology, tree-growing, and many other topics. Several have produced research papers and compiled information for books.
2. "Quality of Life": For people whose visits to the Falkland Islands, or from the Falkland Islands to other parts of the world, benefit the region and enhance the quality of life of the Islanders. These have included top class sports coaches in swimming, golf, fly fishing, shooting and horsemanship; musicians and artists. Several scholarships have been awarded to Falkland Islanders. The Fund benefits both the scholars and the Falkland Islands by creating wider knowledge and promoting new skills and activities
The Patron is Princess Alexandra, who is also Patron of the Falkland Islands Trust, the charity of which the Shackleton Scholarship Fund is a part. The Princess has visited the Falkland Islands, and a Souvenir Booklet of her visit, is on sale in aid of the Fund and the Trust, as is a first day philatelic cover of her visit.
The Fund and its Future
The Fund has raised more than £400,000 and awarded from its income some 90 scholarships, with grants totalling about £12,000 each year. The deadline for applications is 31 March each year.
It is hoped to raise more money to provide a larger number of scholarships, publicise the bursaries more extensively in universities and other places of learning and research, and widen the geographical spread to interest scholars from other countries, such as Chile, Uruguay, Australia and Russia.
The Fund is administered by two committees -- one in the United Kingdom, whose chairman is a former Falkland Islands Governor, David Tatham, CMG; and the other in the Falkland Islands, headed by the incumbent Governor, currently Nigel Haywood. The UK Treasurer is Hugh Normand. Lord Shackleton's daughter and Sir Ernest's grand-daughter, the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, is a member of the London Committee.