Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


Meet our graduate scholars: Lavanya Singh

Photograph of Lavanya Singh, a young woman in subfusc, holding a mortarboard.

Lavanya Singh

  • Guest Author

Lavanya Singh - Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

My name is Lavanya Singh and I am an MSc candidate in Economics for Development at Lincoln. I am from India, where I completed my undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. I have been fortunate enough to be awarded the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship, which is jointly funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (formerly DFID) and the University of Oxford. The scholarship is meant for candidates from least developed and lower middle-income Commonwealth countries and aims to enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development. It is a fully funded scholarship, which covers my tuition fees and pays me a generous monthly living stipend, in addition to other benefits like travel funds, research grants and Development Training programs. The Commonwealth Scholars network also gives me an opportunity to connect with other like-minded students and researchers not just in Oxford, but across various UK universities.

Growing up in a country like India, where at every turn I could see the glaring contrast in the lives of people, I have often found myself thinking about the inequalities that they face. It made me aware of the opportunities and privileges I have, and fuelled a desire within me to do something to make this world a better place for the less-privileged. I am very grateful for this scholarship, because it gave me an opportunity to pursue my education in Economics and work towards poverty alleviation and development of my home country through rigorous evidence-informed research and resolve the most pressing questions pertaining to social policy and international development through cutting edge data and tools that is crucial for ensuring targeted development.

This year has been full of uncertainty and unexpected challenges, but it has taught me how to appreciate the small things in everyday life - going for a walk in the beautiful city and green spaces around, having picnics and lunches outside with friends on a rare sunny day, and enjoying the creative virtual socials organised by the Lincoln MCR. I have also found an escape through photography in different mediums - capturing life in these unusual times to look back on in the future. I am extremely grateful for the community of people I have met at Oxford this year who have helped me grow tremendously both personally and professionally.

My advice for prospective graduate students applying for scholarships would be to be confident and apply for any opportunity that comes their way! You should never dismiss any option assuming you don’t stand a competitive chance or that you won’t get it. Your experience and your journey are unique and bring something very valuable to the table, and as long as you are confident in your subject area and the impact you want to bring about in the world through your education, you are a strong candidate. Lincoln College offers an extraordinary opportunity to pursue a graduate degree in your area of interest and has many scholarships to help aid students achieve their goals, and I am confident that you will find a scholarship which is the right fit for you.

This is one of a series of blog posts featuring current graduate scholarship holders at Lincoln College. For more information about graduate scholarships, please see this dedicated finance and funding page. The deadline for applications is 7 June 2021. 

Where next?

  • Explore the graduate scholarships on offerRead more
  • Read more graduate profiles on the blogRead more
  • Find out more about life at LincolnRead more