Current PGS pupils aged 16 years and over, who are planning a travel experience either during the school holidays or a GAP year, are able to apply for a Travel Award. 

Three awards are available – the Tim McDowall Travel Award, the OP Club Travel Grant and the Young Explorer’s Award (only available for pupils on British Schools Exploring Society expeditions).

Alumni aged up to 23 (and still in full time education) are able to apply for the OP Club grants.

Each award has certain eligibility criteria which need to be met and in general the travel experience needs to be educational, of a volunteer nature or result in personal development. It also needs to be organised by an individual rather than involving participation in a group venture organised by the school.

Examples of activities undertaken by pupils in the past include volunteer teaching in Malawi and Ghana, volunteer work with orphan children in Mexico and participation in a leg of a Tall Ships voyage.

When applying for a Travel Award the following needs to be provided:

  1. A Curriculum Vitae 
  2. A covering letter explaining what the travel activity is, the reasons for wanting to go, how the experience will benefit the applicant, the total cost and how the applicant intends to meet this cost. (You can download a budget template from here).
  3. A reference from a member of the teaching staff.

Further information about the Awards, including the eligibility criteria and how to apply, can be found in the documents linked to below.  

Completed applications (hardcopy or e-mail) should be sent to the PGS Development Office ( 

If applying for an OP Club award an additional copy of the application needs to be provided for the OP Club Honorary Secretary.

Deadlines for submitting applications:

OP Club Travel Grant – Applications encouraged by 31 January 2019, though late applications are possible
Tim McDowall Award – 29 March 2019
Young Explorers Award – 31 January 2019 


Summary of Awards Eligibility Criteria

Old Portmuthian Travel Grants