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Avril McDonald Memorial Fund

On April 15th, 2010, Avril McDonald passed away unexpectedly at the age of 44 years. Avril had been a Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen for only a year. She embodied the qualities that the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship program stands for – excellence in research, a passion for her subject, and a commitment to teaching others – in an exemplary fashion. In the short time we knew her, she became very dear to us.

We, the other Rosalind Franklin Fellows of the University of Groningen as well as her colleagues in the Law Faculty, therefore sought to find a suitable means of commemorating Avril, the person she was, and her life’s work. In order to achieve this, we decided to establish a fund named after her to help encourage promising young female scientists to pursue an academic career.

AMcD Prize: Aims and purposes

We feel that it is in keeping both with honouring Avril’s achievements and with the spirit of the Rosalind Franklin program that the fund should be used to support female students, based on excellence. Each year, 3 to 4 such students will receive an award of 1,000 EUR. The purpose of the prize is to enable a student who has recently finished or is close to finishing her master’s degree to develop a proposal for a PhD project, which she can then submit to the faculty of her choice, to NWO or to another granting body. The awards will be spread across all faculties and research areas (each year, no more than one prize can be awarded to each faculty). In addition to the prize, it is our intention to provide each of the grantees with a Rosalind Franklin Fellow mentor for the duration of her PhD.

Annual fundraising dinner

Since 2010, the organizers of the AMcD Memorial Fund have been hosting an annual charity dinner on the last Friday before the beginning of the Academic Year. Please click here for more information: AMcD Dinner invitation. The charity dinner features musical entertainment, a tombola with prizes donated by the fellows and by local businesses, great food, drink and company. We encourage you to note the date for the next dinner, which will take place on 31st of August 2018, in your diary!

Call for nominations for the AMcD Prize

Rosalind Franklin Fellows and all researchers affiliated with the University of Groningen can nominate outstanding female master’s students who have recently finished or are expected to finish soon for the AMcD Prize.

Nominations should be sent to by July 29th, 2018.

They should include:

  • a short CV of the candidate (student)
  • a letter of motivation, stating why the student wants to pursue an academic career
  • a short outline of the project idea (500-1000 words)
  • a recommendation letter from a faculty Member

A committee of Rosalind Franklin Fellows will review applications and decide on the awarding of the prizes.
The applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by August 20th, 2018. In addition to the 1,000 EUR prize, the winning students will also receive an invitation to the 2018 AMcD Memorial Fund benefit dinner where they will receive their certificates, and will be assigned a RFF as mentor.

Last modified:02 July 2018 2.35 p.m.