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Awards and Prizes

Since Lady MacRobert’s historic donation to the Royal Air Force to purchase “MacRobert’s Reply” in 1941, The MacRobert Trust has established a legacy that extends far beyond its charitable grants.

In addition to supporting the numerous charitable activities that take place in the Trust’s estate, the Trust has also endowed a series of prestigious awards, prizes, and scholarships in engineering, military and civil aviation training, tourism, and agriculture. These initiatives serve as a testament to the Trust’s unwavering commitment to excellence and to the values that Lady MacRobert held so dear.

Over the years, The MacRobert Trust has made substantial contributions towards the construction of many significant buildings throughout Scotland, which now proudly bear the MacRobert family name. These include everything from community centres to educational institutions, each one a testament to the Trust’s philanthropic spirit and its dedication to building strong and vibrant communities.

One of the Trust’s most notable contributions has been its support for the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. This prestigious award recognises outstanding innovation in engineering and technology and is widely considered to be the most coveted prize of its kind in the UK. HRH Prince Philip himself presented the award in 2005, underscoring the importance of this initiative and the vital role that The MacRobert Trust plays in promoting excellence in engineering.

Looking to the future, The MacRobert Trust remains committed to carrying on Lady MacRobert’s legacy and to making a positive difference in the lives of people throughout Scotland and beyond. Whether through its charitable giving, its support for innovative engineering and technology, or its commitment to building strong and vibrant communities, the Trust is proud to support awards and prizes which encourage meaningful and lasting change.

Royal Academy of Engineering

Initiated and endowed by The Trust in 1969 in recognition of Lady MacRobert’s interest in science and engineering, The MacRobert Award is the UK’s longest running and most prestigious national prize for engineering innovation.

The Award is now presented and run by Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from the Worshipful Company of Engineers.  One trustee of The MacRobert Trust is always nominated as a member of the judging panel.   Members of the winning team each receive gold medals, widespread publicity, a £50,000 prize and an exclusive weekend away at Douneside House to recognise outstanding innovation.

You can find out more about the MacRobert Award here: https://macrobertaward.raeng.org.uk/about-the-award


The MacRobert Trust Nuffield Scottish Farming Scholarship Award

The MacRobert Trust made a recurring donation commencing in 2009 to initiate a new Nuffield scholarship targeted specifically at potential scholars in Scotland who are farmers or involved in agriculture, horticulture or the wider food chain.

The award is administered by the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust and provides travel and subsistence costs for eight weeks in return for a written paper and presentation of study findings at its annual Winter conference.

A Trustee of The MacRobert Trust is a member of the scholarship award panel which sits each January.

Find more information about the Nuffield scholarships, and the valuable contributions past scholars have made, at www.nuffieldscholar.org

The MacRobert Trust Flying Scholarships and Bursaries

The Air League holds an endowment from The MacRobert Trust to give one of its annual flying scholarships or bursaries to an individual from Scotland, either an adult with particular talent who is looking to improve their ability or a young person who is just below solo standard. Scholarships usually take the form of a week’s residential flying training at Tayside Aviation Flying Training, Dundee.

Find more information about The MacRobert Trust flying scholarships and bursaries at www.airleague.co.uk

The MacRobert Prize

Since 2003, the MacRobert Prize has been awarded annually to the graduating officer at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell, who has, in the opinion of his or her peers, made the greatest contribution to each graduating class.

On average, four prizes are awarded each year and the winning officer is presented with a miniature version of the silver quaich that is kept at the college and on which the winner’s name is engraved.

The Lady MacRobert Trophy

The Lady MacRobert Trophy is awarded annually to the North East Scotland Air Training Corps (ATC) squadron judged by the staff of the North East Scotland Wing ATC to have reached the best overall standard in areas such as efficiency and achievements.

The families of the winning and supporting cadets attend a magnificent parade day in the grounds at Douneside House in June. The Ballater and District Pipe Band provides music for the parade and lunch for official guests is provided in Douneside House.

The MacRobert Trust Emerging Talent Award

In 2023, The MacRobert Trust, in conjunction with Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards, created The MacRobert Trust Emerging Talent Award.  This award is open to all young people, aged between 16-25, who are currently working full time in the hospitality or tourism sector in the North East of Scotland.  The winner is announced at the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards and will receive a bespoke scholarship, courtesy of HIT Scotland.   Find out more, visit https://www.acsta.co.uk/2023-categories