Amazon is going to help fund a small number of aspiring female engineers through Cambridge

Cambridge puntingWikipedia/Andrew DunnKing’s College, University of Cambridge.

Amazon has expanded a UK bursary programme for aspiring female engineers, the company announced on Wednesday.

As of this autumn, annual bursaries of between £3,500 and £7,500 will be given out by Amazon to female students at the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, and the University of Edinburgh. Why those universities? Well, Amazon has R&D centres in each of the cities where the universities are located.

The bursary, which is designed to help female students cover their living costs, was previously only available to students at the University of Edinburgh.

The US tech giant said the “Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary” will help young women from less advantaged backgrounds fulfil their ambitions of a career in innovation and technology.

Despite having billions of pounds at its disposal, Amazon only plans to help fund one female student at each of the partner universities per year. An Amazon spokesman said: “It will be one student a year so in four years time every university will have four students going through the scheme.”

In addition to money, Amazon said bursary recipients — to be chosen by the university, rather than Amazon itself — will also receive mentoring on business skills like CV-building and interview techniques, as well as a potential work placement at Amazon’s local R&D centres.

Bursaries will be available to young women from households that have an annual income of less than £42,620 who are looking to study electronic engineering, robotics and intelligent systems, and computer science courses.

Amazon office CambridgeSam Shead/Business Insider UKAmazon’s R&D centre in Cambridge is relatively inconspicuous.

The Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary was first mentioned at an Amazon press conference in July, but an Amazon spokeswoman told Business Insider that the bursary programme is now official, saying that agreements have been signed with the universities and the programme has been created for the students.

“We want to foster the next generation of high-tech superstars in Britain and help people from all walks of life invent for the future,” said Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, in a statement. “We hope that over time the bursary will make a big difference to many young women who one day will become future leaders in innovation.”

Amazon has been running the bursary programme in Edinburgh for the last two years, but this is the company’s first bursary scheme in the UK that is specifically for women.

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