Each year the Eva Koch Scholarship provides Friends an opportunity for a short period of reflection, research and writing. Successful applicants are offered a residential stay at Woodbrooke, as well as use of its library and staff resources. To be eligible, applicants must have an interest in a particular aspect of Quakerism and be willing to disseminate their work to the wider community of Friends. This work does not need to be overly ambitious or too narrowly academic, but rather, preference is given to small-scale and original projects that contribute to the life and self-understanding of the Quaker community.
In 2019 the scholarship will run from Monday 29 July to Friday 23 August. Applications close on Thursday 31 January.
The new Eva Koch Scholarship seeks to:
- Produce up to four short pieces of work annually, dealing with subjects and issues of relevance and importance to Friends in Britain and beyond.
- Create the opportunity for Friends to make an initial exploration of a subject or issue that might lead to more significant research and action in the future.
- Establish a mutually-supportive, time-limited research community at Woodbrooke each summer.
- Add value to the life of Woodbrooke during the period of the scholarship (e.g. offering short talks and other events for residents, staff and visitors).
Who is it for?
The Scholarship is designed to enable a number of Friends each year to form a small research community at Woodbrooke and undertake pieces of research or exploration on a subject that is of interest to Quakers in Britain and beyond. There are no academic or expertise requirements; however, applicants should be actively involved in at least one Quaker community.
Each Scholar will be offered:
- An assigned tutor (programmes team member or associate tutor)
- At least two hour-long tutorials during the placement
A flexible approach to dissemination will be adopted. Options include:
- An essay published in Friends Quarterly
- A series of articles published in The Friend
- A dedicated Website/Blog
- A Woodbrooke course (on-site, off-site or online)
- Online learning materials
- An audio and/or video presentation
- A lecture delivered and then published online
Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
- Is the theme of the proposal of interest to Friends?
- Can the proposal be completed within the period of the scholarship?
- Does the applicant have a viable dissemination plan?
- Does the theme of the proposal contribute to Quakerism by exploring one of these themes:
- Quaker witness and testimony?
- Quaker spiritual practice?
- Quaker community?
- Quaker identity?
- Quaker corporate discipline?
- Quaker heritage?
- Quakers and other faith traditions?
- Quaker message and outreach?
Each scholar will need to make the following commitments:
- To be in residence at Woodbrooke for the six-week period of the Scholarship.
- To work in cooperation with the other Scholars to present their work to the Woodbrooke community at least once during the scholarship.
- To produce a piece of work that may be disseminated to Friends in a number of ways.
The Eva Koch Scholarship was made possible by the generosity of Hugh Lawson, Eva’s second husband, whom she married at the age of 88.
Eva was born on 4 August 1900. Both she and her first husband, Richard, were Berliners and, although they had Jewish ancestry, were brought up as Protestants. They suffered persecution under Hitler and Richard was held in a concentration camp for nine months. He had been a successful solicitor but all their possessions were confiscated in 1939. After the war they received compensation from the German State and, as they lived simply, much of what Eva left Hugh on her death on 26 January 1991 enabled him to endow the Scholarship in her name.
Eva came to Woodbrooke many times, especially at Easter and Christmas. A fuller account of her life generously lived, can be found in the Proceedings of London Yearly Meeting 1991 (pp 152-3) where we can note that she and Hugh often asked themselves why they had been so lucky as to find, late in life, a love that was both unexpected and unsought.
Hugh was born on 13 February 1912 and was MP for Skipton 1944-5. He worked as Deputy City Engineer for Nottingham for 25 years, and then as the City’s Director of Leisure Services in the three years before his retirement. He married Dorothy Mallinson in 1937. They had two sons, and joined Friends later in life. Dorothy died in 1982 and after Eva’s death 1991, Hugh planted a wood in their memory, ‘The Two Wives Plantation’ at Newstead Abbey. He died on 23 March 1997.