Mayflower scholar – 2020

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Applications for the Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial “Mayflower 2020” Scholarship have now closed and we’re very pleased to announce that we’ve appointed Tom Cable as the Mayflower 2020 scholar. The original application information is retained below.

This scholarship is unique and is being developed slightly differently from the main Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship programme but in keeping with the scholarship objectives. In conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council, we are looking for an ambitious and driven individual to research and bring back to Nottinghamshire stories about the lives and legacies of the Nottinghamshire Pilgrims as part of the Mayflower 2020 campaign. The campaign commemorates 400 years since the Mayflower Pilgrims sailed to America, with many settlers aboard the ship hailing from Nottinghamshire. In hopes of bringing a fresh perspective to the Mayflower project we are looking for applicants who are inquisitive, resourceful and can identify new perspectives.

We welcome applications from heritage professionals, journalists, academics, story tellers and creative individuals. Extensive knowledge of the Pilgrims is not a pre-requisite to applying.

Timetable. Travel dates are flexible but expected to be in the early part of the year. Key application dates Applications : 3 January 2020, 1st Interview : 9 January 2020, 2nd interview : 23 January 2020

The trip. It is envisaged the scholarship will take around 4 weeks and entail researching the life stories and legacies of some of the pilgrims who left Nottinghamshire on the Mayflower, bound for New England. By immersing themselves in the US communities, the scholar would arrange to meet with, explore and capture the attitudes of descendants and non-descendants on the impact and importance of the Pilgrims that settled in America as the implications for modern day society. This can be explored in terms of commerce, educational, heritage or even constitutional links – the scholar will be free to determine the medium and emphasis of their research – but the outcomes must be pertinent to the county and its Nottinghamshire pilgrims. Sympathetic engagement with the Native American Wampanoag tribe is expected to understand the wider impacts of the physical settlement of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The scholar would post and upload regular blogs, images and videos throughout the project.

The return On returning home the Scholar will disseminate their research and insights through appropriate channels (possibly including public lectures) showcasing: the different attitudes and interest in the relevance of the Pilgrims, the importance of the Mayflower and 1620 sailing, the links between the impact of the Pilgrims’ decision to go – as well as the impact of the decision to stay – overlaid by modern parallels in terms of current attitudes to religious tolerance, freedom, journeys and migration.

Further details. The Mayflower Scholar will be awarded a scholarship of up to £2,000 plus the cost of a return flight to Boston. Further support may be available to individuals upon their return to the UK to ensure unique ways of effectively feeding back their findings. The successful applicant will be assigned a mentor to help them plan their trip, as well as being introduced to various county experts on the Pilgrims and being briefed on the history of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Some background Many of the Pilgrims had close links to Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire –where they worshipped in secret as separatists unable to accept the ways of the Church of England. This area is now referred to as the Pilgrim Roots area. Nottinghamshire itself is steeped in history and has been home to many key rebels, influencers and innovators over the years….not least of all Robin Hood! William Brewster lived in Scrooby on the old Great North Road in Nottinghamshire and has often been termed the most “famous” of the Pilgrims….he was indeed the Religious Elder of the Pilgrim sailors and was instrumental in setting up the Mayflower Compact – often referred to as the forerunner of the American Constitution.

There are many fascinating stories of the Pilgrims (including those that stayed behind and didn’t leave for America)  but much of that local knowledge has been lost over time along with many of the physical assets that linked this secret congregation to the county.

We want to reignite the knowledge of the Pilgrims to Nottinghamshire residents and communities including school children and to animate the story for visitors and interested parties. The product of this scholarship will be a key feature of this work. Different angles of either interpreting the story, delivering the product or the selection of a completely different slant on the story are invited – we want to capture people’s and maintain people’s attention and ideally make the story contemporary and relevant to 2020. The “end product” will therefore be inspired by the creativity of the successful candidate supported by partners.

Further context and information can be found below

Pre and Post trip considerations

What should be considered in making an application is the need to commit to not only 3-4 weeks in America gathering information but also to the pre-visit requirements including:

  • An initial Inception Meeting with representatives of the Scholarship and Nottinghamshire County Council to take place in West Bridgford together with:
    • Up to 3 review meetings (to be conducted remotely) and
    • A final proposal meeting – to take place at West Bridgford
  • Up to 3 meetings with key contributors to support pre-visit research and associated research (estimated to be up to 5 days) with supported access to the Archives and other information points
  • developing expertise in conducting, recording and capturing interviews and experiences
  • Possible visits to London to support VISA requirements, US Embassy visits etc and
  • Meetings with Mentors to enable wider support and planning

The scholarship envisages the successful scholar, on their return, being able to engage with Nottinghamshire County Council and a number of partners at the local, regional and national levels to develop a series of events and projects which commemorate the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims in America in 1620. The successful candidate must be available to commit to participating in an event in November 2020 (date and location within Nottinghamshire to be confirmed) when the product will be shared with an invited audience of partners, residents and visitors.

Options to re-produce the Scholar’s product by the Scholarship and County Council as a wider engagement tool (via written report/film/audio/other) should be afforded and all products must carry the Scholarship and Council’s logo but will remain the property of the scholar.

For all individuals wishing to participate, adequate consideration should be given to the commitment required and all applicants are recommended to take the opportunity to discuss expectations at the drop-in events or via email to


Applicants need to produce at outline plan of how they would spend their time in the States and complete the online application form from the button below.

The deadline for applications is 3rd January 2020 with interviews scheduled for the evenings of 9th and 23rdJanuary 2020 at County Hall, West Bridgford.  The intent is to create an environment where applicants can be creative, submitting a “pitch” that can then be supported and explored through a 2-stage interview. This will give the panel the opportunity to work with candidates to shape the initial pitch into a deliverable proposal that can complement a wider programme of activity for delivery in November 2020.

This is a wonderful opportunity for self-development, to learn about a major part of Nottinghamshire and US history, to develop contacts within the US and to become a leading authority on the Mayflower Pilgrims. We held drop-in sessions for prospective applicants at Blend Café in Sneinton Market on Saturday mornings in November from 10am to 12 noon. If you missed those you can contact us directly at