La Societe awards its Griff Caldwell Bursary to natural science student

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A NATURAL science student will be able to get more out of his course, after being awarded a special bursary.

La Societe Guernesiaise president Yvonne Burford with Pieter Durman, the winner of its annual Griff Caldwell Bursary. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 23555121)

Pieter Durman, 18, was presented with La Societe Guernesiaise’s Griff Caldwell Bursary of £1,000 at its office in Candie Gardens.

Mr Durman, who previously studied at the Guernsey Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre, first heard of the award through a presentation at school and has just completed his first term reading natural sciences at Cambridge University.

He described life at Cambridge as a lot of work but very enjoyable, with no rest from the six 9am starts a week.

‘I chose the natural sciences course as it’s so broad, you can look at the subject from an interdisciplinary point of view, which is good for working towards solving today’s problems,’ said Mr Durman, whose particular interest lies in the colonisation of the solar system and the study of life outside earth.

He said that with high living costs, the bursary will be useful and mean he is able to get involved with more opportunities, including field trips.

The Griff Caldwell Bursary was established in memory of Major Frank Griffiths ‘Griff’ Caldwell, who served as president of La Societe for three years and helped acquire several local nature reserves, as well as initiating multiple island conservation projects.

The award aims to support a student studying a subject related to Major Caldwell’s interests in fauna, flora, the natural environment and conservation.

There have been three previous recipients – Evie Wood, Laura Bampton and Aimee Golden.


Ms Bampton is the current secretary of La Societe marine biology section and received the award as she undertook a master’s degree.

She said the bursary was a huge help due to so many universities charging Channel Island students international fees in order to complete a master’s degree.

‘I was really lucky in that I received a good grant from the States as well as the Griff Caldwell bursary, and I doubt I would have been able to do the course at all without it,’ she said.

La Societe president Yvonne Burford said: ‘It is very rewarding to see the enthusiasm that these young people have.’


She encouraged eligible students to apply.

Applications are now open for this year’s bursary. Anyone ordinarily resident in the Bailiwick of Guernsey who is starting or continuing to attend an undergraduate or postgraduate higher education course this autumn term can apply.

The course must be in a biological, ecological or environmental science course or a course that contains a substantial element of such science.

An application form is available at


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