The History of the Dickinson Trust


The Trust was set up in 1920 by a bequest of just over £8000 from a Mrs Dickinson of Stalybridge.  The money was left jointly to Manchester Royal Infirmary and the University of Manchester.

It was given initially to support 3 items:

  • An annual scholarship in anatomy – to the value of £25
  • An annual travelling scholarship in medicine – primarily for study abroad, up to £300
  • An alternative years scholarship in Pathology and Surgery to the value of £75

The Trust was composed of 2 representatives from the Board of Manchester Royal Infirmary, plus 2 members appointed by the Council of the University of Manchester, along with one other “independent” member chosen by the other 4.

Originally the scholarships were limited to undergraduates and graduates of the University of Manchester.

From 1927 onwards there have been a number of suggested and occasionally effected changes to the detail of the constitution and conditions.

Between 1965 and 1969 the latter were formally altered and endorsed by the Ministry of Education (after much exchange and correspondence), along the following lines:

  • –          The anatomy scholarship was converted into prize money for anatomy at the MedicalSchool
  • –          The two £75 scholarships specifically in Pathology and Surgery were scrapped
  • –          Graduates of any university became eligible – as long as clinical training had been done as students in at Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • –          The awards were now to be made of scholarships, bursaries or grants of such value as the Trustees saw fit, for shorter periods than a year to study techniques at home or abroad.

In 1979 the Trust made available 2 prizes (each to the value of £50), the first in Pathology and the other in Pharmacology – in the undergraduate Medical School.

Most recently, Dr Geoffrey Wade secured the following rewording of the conditions of award by way of a sealed order from the Charities Commission, dated 23rd October 1996:

“The award from time to time of a travelling research scholarship I any branch of medicine or surgery of such value as the Trustees think fit in each case to be competed for by graduates of any university in the United Kingdom who have either received their clinical training as students at one of the Teaching Hospitals of the University of Manchester or who hold a post-graduate training post in one of these hospitals”

This reworking went on to form the guidance for future awards.

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