EUC Sports Scholarship

Exeter alumni choose many individual ways to support their University. Within EUC, and with support from our Club Branches, we have chosen to support one scholar each year with prowess in sport as well as in their academic studies. The EUC Sports Scholarship has a value of £1000, and scholarship holders are expected to report on their progress to the Club during the year.

In June 2018 the Exeter Scholars Programme Manager Mel Ruddock commented:-

Ensuring that the University of Exeter continues to diversify its student body and offer opportunities for all academically able young people is extremely important. The Exeter Scholars Awards recognise individuals for their academic attainment and their background. They open up opportunities to recipients as well as motivating them to do their best in their school studies and in their degree. These awards are only possible thanks to the generosity of donors.


A recent letter from Clara Nielsen to EUC


Dear Exeter University Club

I would like to thank you for your continued support for the upcoming academic year. I really enjoyed meeting some of you at the recent event here at the University (September 18) and it was great to be able to show you all exactly how your support has helped me and what I have been getting up to! I hope I will be able to meet more of you this year.

I am currently setting up my final experiment for my PhD in the lab and then start the big task of finishing my thesis, so I will be spending a lot of time writing over the next few months!

Rugby wise, I am still playing up at Bristol, where we are currently 4th in the table and hope to stay near the top as the season continues. I have also been lucky enough to be captain for the last few games, which I have massively enjoyed. The Exeter University season has just started as well, with us winning our first game against Oxford. We are lucky enough to be playing our game at Sandy Park, the home of Exeter Chiefs. This is the first time we have been able to play here and it is going to be an amazing experience, especially as I have been a Chiefs fan since I was little!

Your support is allowing me to continue my studies here as well as being able to focus as much on my rugby as possible. I am extremely grateful and will continue to work as hard as I can to achieve my PhD and hopefully get to the top of my game in rugby.

Kind regards


PhD Biological Sciences


Clare Nielsen’s Annual Report for 1917-18

PhD Marine Biology and Women’s Rugby


A highlight of this last year for me has been the women’s 1st rugby team winning the BUCS Rugby Final at Twickenham, against a tough Hartpury side beating them 35 – 32. The game went into extra time and we ended up winning by 3 points from a penalty in extra time! Lifting the trophy with such a great group of girls was pretty special and something I will remember forever. We have also played in the BUCS 7s tournament up in Leeds, making into the semifinal, beating Hartpury again along the way.

The Bristol season finished early for us as we unfortunately didn’t make the play offs this year, narrowly missing out. However, I was fortunate to win player of the season at our end of season dinner, so it wasn’t all bad news! Through Bristol a few of us, including myself, have been involved in coaching in the community. We were lucky enough to be invited to Paignton RFC and Exeter College to deliver training sessions and hope to continue this next season with other local clubs.

On an academic side, my Marine Biology PhD is coming along well. I am about to start my final lab experiment and then will move onto completing my write up for my thesis. I have also been in the Arctic recently, spending 2 weeks in Svalbard, for my research which was an amazing experience, both personally and for getting data required on microplastics and ocean acidification. Part of being out there included taking part in ‘Arctic Live 2018’ which is a live education stream to connect school children across the country to the UK science expedition team, it was great to be able to share what we were doing with enthusiastic children. This was a unique experience and a real once in a lifetime opportunity.

Your support has made this year at university possible and I can’t thank you enough. I was able to upgrade from my masters to my PhD due to your funding, allowing me to hugely progress my academic career. Being able to play top level rugby alongside doing a PhD has been challenging at times, but having the stress of how to afford my studies being taken away has made it much easier and much more enjoyable. To win BUCS gold and go to the Arctic in the same year means this year is certainly going to be one to remember.

I hope to finish my write up by next Easter and am already looking forward to the next rugby season where I will still be playing for both the university and for Bristol Ladies (now Bristol Bears). We have a new set up at Bristol now and I am excited for what we can achieve next year.

Thank you once again for all your support and for making my ambitions possible.