STEM Bursary applications open

Home Economics included for first time.

Career changers can now apply for a £20,000 bursary to support them while training to fill high-demand teaching roles in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

100 bursaries are available in academic year 2019/20 at a total cost of £2 million - with Home Economics included for the first time. Other STEM subjects in demand are Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Technical Education and Computing Science.

Applications for bursaries open on February 25 for postgraduate teacher training courses beginning in August 2019.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Developing STEM skills is vital for our future economy, and having great STEM teachers who are enthusiastic about their subjects will inspire the next generation of the Scottish workforce.

“The success of the 2018/19 scheme demonstrates that teaching is recognised as an attractive profession, and we want to continue to make it more accessible to those considering a career change to become teachers.

“These bursaries will continue to provide financial help, making it easier for enthusiastic career changers to pursue a career in teaching and share their passion and expertise with pupils.

“The inclusion of Home Economics in the STEM Bursary scheme means it will carry on encouraging new teachers in some of the highest demand teaching posts in schools across the country.”

Skills Development Scotland Education Programme Lead Ken Edwards said:

“The support offered by the STEM Bursary gives career changers the security to make the move from existing employment into teaching.

“This will contribute to getting the right skills balance in the teaching workforce and in supporting young people to be engaged and enthused in their STEM learning.”

Marielle Van Veggel received the STEM Bursary last year, and is currently undertaking teacher training. She said: “I wouldn’t have been able to make the career change without the bursary. It’s given my family the financial stability we needed while we make this change for our future.”


107 Bursaries of £20,000 were awarded to career changers to become teachers in STEM subjects in 2018/19.

To be eligible to apply for the 2019/20 scheme, candidates must:

  • Have been in employment for at least three out of the last five years, including career breaks
  • Hold a 2.1 degree or minimum ITE entry requirement with a relevant masters in their subject area
  • Have Higher English and National 5/credit level Maths, or equivalent
  • Be more than three years away from full time education unless they have completed a paid PhD which includes teaching experience.

The bursaries are one of the actions within the STEM Strategy for Education and Training, published in 2017. The first annual STEM Strategy report was recently published.


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