From over 80 applications to the 2016-17 College Bursary from 28 forces, 26 were awarded financial support for their academic study. Following the success of this year’s scheme, the College will be launching a new bursary for members in 2017/18.
Successful applicants are studying in higher education, across a variety of disciplines, including policing, criminology, cyber-security, leadership and psychology; most at postgraduate level and four as undergraduates. Applications were received from members of 28 police forces and over half of the 26 awarded bursaries were given to police constables and sergeants, and seven to police staff. Lorna Dennison-Wilkins, a sergeant in Sussex Police's neighbourhood policing team, received funding to support her post graduate research degree at the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee. Lorna's research on searching for and recovery of bodies from water, will help to inform missing person investigations. She hopes it will make a real difference to the families of missing people and the personnel that work in this area.Lorna said that the bursary offered her much more than financial support:"… it was an endorsement of the worth of my subject area and what I am doing. I feel so privileged to have been accepted onto the scheme and to have been given a bursary grant…. And doing research has made me think more critically and evidentially. My reports and arguments are easier to construct and I have access to the University library now which I've used to help me in my police work." Lorna has shared a summary of her project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map. The Map has helped her to find other relevant research and make contact with other researchers. Lorna also emphasised the value of online access to the National Police Library and recommends that other students working in police forces consider joining. She also uses the College's Academic Support Network on the Police Online Knowledge Area (POLKA). Further details of these, and other support services, for College of Policing Members are available from the membership site. One in four of the 2016-17 successful bursary applicants did not hold a graduate level qualification at the point they applied for funding, with four having A-Levels as their highest qualification. Philip Cobley, a Digital Forensic Investigator at Bedfordshire Police is now embarking on a Masters in Information Security & Digital Forensics at the School of Computing, Open University. He has chosen a course that directly relates to his current area of work and wants to use the academic experiences, skills and knowledge he develops to further support his colleagues and others in law enforcement within this field:"…A lot of the work we do in Digital forensics is unique to a case, and often untested with little or no dedicated research or development. I know from first-hand experience how much time it can take to carry out this research to better prepare a case or improve understanding on a subject. By doing this work, I can not only improve my own knowledge to support investigations, but also help speed up the time it takes for others to find the research that they need to help fill gaps in their knowledge, or answer possible questions that they may have, whilst providing documented research that they can reference in their own reports. Collectively, as a community, this could be of huge benefit." Announcing new College Bursary 2017-18Following the wide interest and success of the Bursary Scheme, the College is pleased to announce the launch of a new scheme for 2017/18. Details of the scheme and the application process will be released following the General Election in June 2017 on College Membership. To be eligible for the new bursary scheme applicants will need to be members of the College. Join here. College of Policing Director of Knowledge, Research and Education Rachel Tuffin: "We were delighted with the response to the 2016/17 Bursary Scheme and were very impressed with the quality of the applications received. They demonstrated the commitment to continuing professional development of our members across all levels of policing and a real appetite to develop knowledge and skills required to help make decisions based on best available evidence.""We are committed to supporting a policing culture which values continuing learning and I am looking forward to extending this opportunity to additional members with the launch of the 2017/18 Scheme later this year." To receive emails about any future schemes and related College work, please email email@example.com to be added to our distribution list.If you have any questions about the Scheme or require any further information, please contact us at BursaryScheme@college.pnn.police.uk.