The UCD Ad Astra Academic Scholarship programme seeks to recruit exceptional, high-achieving students and provide them with additional support and unique opportunities as they study for a degree at UCD. These students will have a proven record of academic excellence, a desire to continue to achieve at the highest level and develop their leadership potential. The scholarship is designed to further foster their talents by providing these students with a range of benefits, mentoring and development opportunities to allow them to perform to their full potential. There are close to 120 Ad Astra Academic Scholars in undergraduate programmes across all University programmes including Architecture, Engineering, Social Sciences, Law, Commerce, Economics and Finance, Science, Medicine, Nursing, Health & Performance Science, Linguistics, English with Creative Writing, History, Actuarial & Financial Studies, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Nursing and more. Each year we offer up to sixteen places in the academic programme for school leavers applying to UCD and the Academy.
Ad Astra scholars have participated in study trips to organisations such as European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Council of Europe; they have been awarded internships in a range of national and international companies such as Harvard Institute of Medicine, USA; the European Space Agency; Boston Scientific, Galway and have worked as volunteers in community projects, as well as in schemes in the developing world.
Our scholars have gone on to do further studies in places such as Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Stanford University and Harvard University. In 2018 we saw our first Ad Astra Academic Scholar, Ben Moore, receive the Fullbright Scholarship Student Award. Ben used this award to pursue a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University. We have also had scholars pursue PhDs in University of Cambridge, University College London, UCD as well as securing jobs with Google, Salesforce, Goldman and Sachs, JP Morgan, Deloitte and more. We have also had alumni have who had gone onto set up their own companies including Unflow, Fresh Graze and SQUID.
Students on the Ad Astra Academy Academic Scholarship benefit from a scholarship, mentoring and a range of tailored supports. The value of the scholarship for new scholars entering the programme in September 2024 is €3,000 for each year they are a member. If wishing to live on campus, Ad Astra scholars may avail of allocated on-campus accommodation but will have to pay for it themselves.
In addition to this scholars receive a range of academic privileges which include:
- The support of a dedicated academic mentor
- A programme of workshops and seminars by academics, distinguished alumni and guest speakers throughout the year to develop the scholars’ academic, personal and leadership potential
- The opportunity to undertake an elective module in stage two called Ad Astra Professional & Personal Development
- Networking and development opportunities
- Access to the Scholars' Room
- Team Building events
- The scholarship is tenable for the duration of the undergraduate programme, subject to meeting the criteria for scholarship renewal each year.
The Ad Astra Scholars' Room located in the Student Centre, UCD