Since its inception, the Trust has supported female students and academics who have become leaders in their field.

thumb 220px-Charlotte AuerbachCharlotte Auerbach (Genetics)

Charlotte Auerbach FRS FRSE (14 May 1899 - 17 March 1994) was a German zoologist and geneticist who came to Scotland in 1933 to undertake a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, where she also spent her entire academic career. In Edinburgh, Auerbach worked alongside leading scientits such as Julian Huxley, J. B. S. Haldane and Hermann Muller, who introduced her to his work on genetic mutation. AUERBACH

During the Second World War, Auerbach's research focused on the genetic mutations caused by mustard gas, which earned her the Keith Prize, awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1947. Two years later, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, one of a group of five female scientists who were the first to be elected fellows. Throughout her career, Charlotte Auerbach gained numerous awards: Fellow of the Royal Society in 1957, Darwin Medal in 1977, Gregor Mendel Preis (Germand Genetical Society) 1984 as well as honorary degrees. The Trust supported her research with three research grants during the early days of her career.

thumb Ethel CurrieEthel Currie (Geology)

Ethel Dobbie Currie (4 December 1899 - 24 March 1963) was a Scottish geologist and assistant curator of the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow. Born in Cathcart, she studied at the University of Glasgow where she obtained her PhD un 1923 and a DSc in 1945. Like Charlotte Auerbach, she was one of the first women to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1949. CURRIE ETHEL D

Ethel Currie worked in the field of paleontology and this work and her publications were supported by several Carnegie grants between 1921 and 1945. She was the first woman to be awarded the Neill Prize by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1945). In 1952, she became the first woman to be president of the Geographical Society of Glasgow. She published significant pieces of work on Scottish carboniferous goniatites and on mammalian fossils preserved in the Hunterian Museum's collections.

thumb isabella-gordonIsabella Gordon (Marine Biology)

Isabella Gordon (18 May 1901 - 11 May 1988) was a Scottish marine biologist, specialising in carcinology and the study of crabs and sea spiders. 

GORDON ISABELLABorn in Keith, Isabella Gordon's parents could not afford a university education for their daughter so a tuition fee bursary from the Carnegie Trust enabled her to attend the University of Aberdeen and study zoology. She graduated with distinction in 1922 and left for Imperial College where she studied echinoderms such as starfish, sea urchins and similar marine creatures. She was awarded a PhD from Imperial College in 1926. After her graduation, Isabella Gordon spent a couple of years at Yale University before joining the Natural History Museum in London in 1928. There she was Assistant Keeper for the Crustacea Section. She was the first woman appointed as a full-time permament member of staff. During her career, Gordon was elected Fellow and Council Member of the Linnean Society and of the Fellow of the Zoological Society. She was awarded an OBE in 1961.

Isabella Gordon died in 1988 and her will included a small legacy of £1000 to the Carnegie Trust in recognition of the support she had received as an undergraduate student.

thumb Maria Matilda Ogilvie Gordon 1900Maria Gordon (Geology)

Dame Maria Matilda Ogilvie Gordon DBE (30 April 1864 - 24 June 1939) was a Scottish geologist and palaeontologist who specialised in the study of fossil corals. Born in Aberdeenshire, Maria first studied at Heriot-Watt College, and University College London where she completed a Bachelor of Science in geology and zoology. Refused admission to Berlin University, she was awarded a PhD in 1900 from the University of Munich, the first woman to graduate with a PhD at that institution. She was also the first woman to receive a DSc from the University of London. GORDON MARIA M OMaria Gordon returned to Aberdeen where she married a local physician and went on to have three children while still carrying out research in the geology of the Dolomites. Her research in the geological structure of the region led to to a new understanding of the tectonic structure of the Alps.

In addition to her scientific work, Maria Gordon is also known as a strong and vocal supporter of the rights of women and children, calling for better representation of women in politics. A fossilised fern genus found in sediments in the Dolomites was named Gordonopteris Iorigae in her honour in 2000. In total, Gordon received 8 research grants from the Carnegie Trust.

thumb Prof.Dr.Anna MacGillivray MacleodAnna MacGillivray Macleod (Biochemistry)

Anna MacGillivray Macleod (15 May 1917 - 13 August 2004) was leading Scottish botanist and biochemist who was the first female Professor of Brewing and Biochemistry in the world appointed by Heriot-Watt University.

MACLEOD ANNA MBorn in Kirkhill, near Inverness, Anna Macleod studied Botany at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a BSc. She joined the Heriot-Watt University in 1945 and remained there throughout her academic career. In the 1960s, she was awarded a DSc from the University of Edinburgh for a thesis on the germination of barley. In 1975, she became the first female Professor of Brewing when she was awarded a personal Chair. Following her retirement, she maintained links with her previous department and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by Heriot-Watt for her discovery of Gibberellich acid. During her career she received the Horace Brown Medal, the highest honour in the brewing industry. Her research was supported by a Carnegie grant in 1958 and 1969.

thumb millerChristina Cruickshank Miller (Chemistry)

Christina Cruickshank Miller (29 August 1899 - 16 July 2001) was a Scottish chemist. Born in Coatbridge, Christina studied at the University of Edinburgh and at Heriot-Watt College during the sameMILLER CHRISTINA C Page 1 period, graduating from each institution in 1920 and 1921 respectively. Under the direction of Sir James Walker she started a PhD which was funded for two years by the Carnegie Trust. This was followed by a Carnegie Fellowship during which she started working on phosphorus trioxide of which she produced the first ever sample and delivered the definitive explanation of its glow. The resulting paper was awarded the Keith Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1929, following which she achieved her ambition of earning a DSc before the age of 30. She was the first female chemist to be elected fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

A teacher revered by her students, her research focused primarily on inorganic chemistry and she was appointed Director of the Teaching Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University in 1933.

Over the years, a number of students and academics whose work was supported by the Carnegie Trust received a Nobel prize in their respective fields.

James Whyte Black (Medicine, 1988)

thumb black postcard©Nobel Media ABSir James Whyte Black OM FRS FRSE FRCP (14 June 1924 - 22 March 2010) was a Scottish Pharmacologist. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used in the treatment of heart disease and cimetidine, an H2 receptor antagonist used to treat stomach ulcers. This work earned him the Nobel prize for Medicine in 1988.

BLACK JAMES WBorn in Lanarkshire, Black was brought up in Fife, not far from Dunfermline. At the age of 15, he earned a scholarship to the University of St Andrews. At the time, all clinical studies for the University of St Andrews took place at University College, Dundee (now the University of Dundee). The final years of the MB ChB were taken in St Andrews. It was Black's final year of study that was funded by the Carnegie Trust. After his graduation, James Black remained in Dundee as an Assistant Lecturer before taking up a teaching job in Singapore for three years. He returned to Scotland to establish the Physiology Department at the University of Glasgow, before joining ICI Pharmaceuticals in 1958. A number of positions in academia followed from 1973 to 1992. His scientific and clinical knowledge in cardiology and the development of propranolol are considered to have enabled major breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of heart disease. 

Max Born (Physics, 1954)

thumb born postcard©Nobel Media ABMax Born (11 December 1882 - 5 January 1970) was a German physicist and mathematican who was Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh (1936-1952). BORN MAXBorn won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954 for his "fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction" (Source:

Following Hitler's rise to power, Born, who was Jewish, was suspended from the University of Gottingen. Unable to work in Germany, he migrated to Britain and took up a post at the University of Cambridge. In 1936, he joined the University of Edinburgh where he continued his work on physics until his retirement in 1952. During his tenure in Edinburgh, Born received 5 research grants from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, as shown on the card reproduced here.

Walter Norman Haworth (Chemistry, 1937)

thumb haworth postcard©Nobel Media ABSir (Walter) Norman Haworth FRS (19 March 1883 - 19 March 1950) was a British Chemist whose work on ascorbic acid earned him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1937 "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C" (Source: Educated at the University of Birmingham, he went to to study at the University of Gottingen where he was awarded his PhD. He returned to England in 1912, before becoming a lecturer at the University of St Andrews. HAWORTH WALTER NAt the time, two other chemists at St Andrews were investigating carbohydrate chemistry and he began working on a new method for preparing the methyl ethers of sugars using methyl sulfate and alkali. This method is now named Haworth methylation. During World War I, the labs at St Andrews were used to produce chemicals for the British Government. Haworth's work at St Andrew's was funded by three Carnegie Research grants.

Hawort left St Andrews in 1920 to first join Durham University and then the University of Bimingham in 1925. There, he continued his research into the stucture of sugars such as lactose and maltose. He was knighted in 1947.

John Boyd Orr (Peace, 1949)

thumb orr postcard©Nobel Media ABLord John Boyd Orr ( 23 September 1880 - 25 June 1971) was from Ayrshire and studied Biology and Medicine at the University of Glasgow before becoming a leading expert on nutrition. While an undergraduate in Glasgow, his tuition fees for the University of Glasgow were paid for by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. ORR JOHN BOYDIt was during that time that he was first confronted with the effects of poverty on health in the slums of Glasgow. After his graduation, Orr worked as a ship's surgeon before taking up a Carnegie PhD Scholarship in Physiology.

In the 1920s, Orr succesfully raised funds to establish the first research institute in human nutrition, the Rowett Research Institute at the University of Aberdeen. During the Second World War, he proposed the idea of a world food plan to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He later became the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the first specialised body established by the United Nations. His humanitarian work and commitment to international organisations in the fight against malnutrition and hunger earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949 (Source: He was elevated to the peerage in 1949 as Baron Boyd-Orr, of Brechin Mearn in the County of Angus.

Frederick Soddy (Chemistry, 1921)

SODDY FREDERICKthumb soddy postcard©Nobel Media ABFrederick Soddy FRS (2 September 1877 - 22 September 1956) was a radiochemist who, with Ernest Rutherford, explained radioactivity and proved the existence of isotopes of certain radioactive elements. Soddy received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1921 for his "contritution to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes" (Source:

Born in England, Soddy studied at the University of Oxford where he also worked as a researcher until 1900. Following a few years in Canada, he joined the University of Glasgow as a lecturer in Practical Chemistry and Radioactivity in 1904. It was in Glasgow that Soddy realised that atoms of a given element could exist with different atomic weights and he introduced the word ‘isotopes’ to describe these. From 1914 to 1919, he was Chair of Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen before returning to Oxford in 1919. During the First World War, he applied his expertise to a number of war-related projects. His research on radioactive elements at Glasgow and Aberdeen was funded by a number of Carnegie Research Grants. 

Alexander R. Todd (Chemistry, 1957)

thumb todd postcard©Nobel Media ABAlexander Robertus Todd (2 October 1907 - 10 January 1997) was a Scottish biochemist who researched the structure and synthesis of nucleosides and nucleotide coenzymes. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1957 for his "work on nucleotides and nucleotide co-enzymes" (Source: Born in Glasgow, he studied at the University of Glasgow in 1928 and then moved to Germany to undertake a PhD on the chemistry of bile acids at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. TODD ALEXANDER RThe foundations of Todd's academic career were supported by a Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarship. At the time, the scholarships enabled Scottish students to pursue doctoral studies at universities in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

Following his return to Britain, Todd completed another doctorate at Oriel College, Oxford. During his academic career, Alexander Todd held posts with the Universities of Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Cambridge, before becoming Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde in 1975. While Professor of Chemistry at the University of Manchester, Todd began working on the nucleosides and compounds that would earn him the Nobel Prize. He was created a Life Peer as Baron Todd of Trumpington in 1962.

 J.Fraser Stoddart (Chemistry, 2016)

stoddart postcardProfessor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart (24 May 1942 - ) currently Professor of Chemistry Northwestern University, Illinois, USA was awarded the Nobel

Prize for Chemistry in 2016 "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines" (Source: Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the University of Edinburgh BSc, PhD (1964 &1966).

It was during his time at UCLA that stoddart Stoddart was awarded Carnegie Centenary Professor in 2005 at The University of Edinburgh. 

He joined Northwestern University in 2008.

The photograph on the right shows Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart FRS (left) receiving a ‘nano-sculpture’ inspired by his molecular Borromean rings from Professor Grahame Bulfield (Then Vice-Principal of the College of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh).


NOTE: All photos of the Nobel laureates courtesy of Nobel Media AB.


Archive of student records

Since 1901, the Trust has supported thousands of students and academics in the Scottish universities. Our records include index cards, in particular for the undergraduates students who were able to attend university with our help at a time when no government grants or loans were available.

Read more ...