European Rolex Scholarship

The Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society

Suggest an update

Grant amount: £20,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 15, 2021

Applicant type: Undergraduate Student Graduate Student

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

Location of citizenship: Europe

Age restriction: Between 21 and 26 years of age

View website    Save

About this funder:



Each Rolex Scholarship provides a hands-on introduction to underwater and other aquatic-related endeavors for a young person considering a career in an underwater-related discipline. One scholar is selected from each of the three regions and each scholar spends approximately one year working side by side with current leaders in underwater fields. Each scholar travels primarily within his or her region, but may have opportunities throughout the underwater world.

The range of experiences may include active participation in field studies, underwater research, scientific expeditions, laboratory assignments, equipment testing and design, photographic instruction, and other specialized assignments. 

Scholars pursue activities in their chosen disciplines during the one-year period between Our World Underwater Scholarship Society® annual spring meetings. Experiences may last from a few days to over a month. At the conclusion of each experience, the scholar moves on to another, so the scholarship year involves extensive travel.

The scholar is literally on the road from spring-to-spring with very little time at a home base. Scholars spend most of the year with the society's friends, hosts, and coordinators around the world. The experiences vary from year to year depending upon the scholar's interests and the availability of expeditions and hosts' opportunities. These experiences make up the real heart of the scholarship. The opportunity to join a host's daily activities exposes the scholar to the realities of the host's special pursuits. 

Each of the three Rolex Scholarships has a coordinator who works with the scholar to organize their itinerary  - emphasizing breadth of experience, but tailoring the itinerary to the individual scholar’s background and interests. These itineraries include time with specialists in such areas as biology, hyperbarics, anthropology, and archaeology. Scholar hosts include scientists, engineers, filmmakers, and marine mammal researchers. Visits to dive store operations, classes in underwater photography, and working with conservation organizations are also typical experiences. 

These experiences provide the scholars with a broad overview of careers in the underwater world. Scholars may spend varying lengths of time investigating:     

  • Science    
  • Publishing    
  • Medicine    
  • Manufacturing    
  • Photography    
  • Education    
  • Management    
  • Expeditions    
  • Government    
  • Tourism    
  • Commercial and Research Diving    
  • Ecological Activism 

The global underwater community sees the selected North American, European, and Australasian scholars as individuals with the potential to make significant contributions to the underwater world even though they may not have yet chosen a specific career path. During the course of the year, exposure to a wide array of types of work and the chance to actually jump in and experience specific jobs provides scholars with invaluable career-deciding opportunities. 

The scholarship emphasizes hands-on experience in activities that will contribute to a well-rounded education and a broad network of contacts.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:
    • Minimum age of 21 and maximum age of 26 at the time of the application deadline (15 January 2020 for all regions)
      • To be eligible for any of the 2020 Rolex Scholarships an applicant must have a birth date from 2 December 1992to 15 January 1999(inclusive).
        • Those whose birth dates are outside of this range are not eligible.
    • Valid European citizenship
    • Applicant has not yet earned a graduate degree (i.e. Masters, Doctorate or similar) by April 1st of the scholarship year, and has not yet chosen a clearly defined career path
    • High academic standing    
    • Fluency in English    
    • Certification as a Rescue Diver or equivalent with a minimum of 25 dives logged in the past two years
    • Evidence of adequate health insurance for duration of scholarship year    
    • Submission of a completed diving medical examination form which is found in the application    
  • If you are chosen as a scholar, you will be required to pass a NOAA or equivalent physical.