The Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarships is a joint project between Mukhtiar Singh and the Sikh Education Council.

  1. The aims of the scholarships are:
    1. To improve social mobility in professions perceived to be out of reach for those from poorer backgrounds. This will be achieved through financial awards, mentoring and work placements.
    2. To encourage a wider understanding of Sikh jurisprudence by considering whether society may learn from Sikhism for the benefit of us all. To achieve this, applicants will be asked to write an essay on the topic. This year’s essay question is, “Was Teresa May right when she said Sikh values are “values we need more than ever as we forge a new ambitious role for Britain in the world”.
  2. The first scholarship will be the Bar Scholarship. This will be a £4,000 award to promote social mobility at the Bar and shall be led by Mukhtiar Singh who is a barrister at a leading set of Chambers

Criteria for Bar Scholarship

  1. Applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply as long as they meet the following criteria:
    1. A strong commitment to a career at the Bar. Applicants will be expected to be studying law at degree level (or GDL); or studying or about to study the Bar Professional Training Course (“BPTC”); or have completed the BPTC but are yet to commence pupillage.
    2. The potential to become a barrister. This will be tested by the application itself, including the essay
    3. Financial and social disadvantage. This will be for the Applicant to demonstrate, who must be prepared to provide further details and documentary evidence upon request. State school education alone is not sufficient. Examples of disadvantage include, but are not limited to:
      1. Qualifying for free school meals or living in (or have lived in)
      2. Lived in social housing.
      3. Please note that these are only examples. Anyone in doubt over whether they may meet this criterion should contact Mukhtiar Singh here. If you are advised that you meet the criterion, then this is on the basis that you will provide verification in accordance with the application process.

The application process

  1. Before 4 PM on 3 September 2018, applicants should provide by email to or via the contact page here: 
    1. Application form and covering letter (max 2 pages).
    2. The essay.
  2. The applications will be considered and further information may be requested. There may be brief interviews.
  3. It is hoped that the results will be published by 1 December 2018.


  1. The prize for the 2018 scholarship is £4,000 and mentoring.
  2. Depending on the quantity and quality of applications, mentoring and work placements will be offered to those just falling short of the first prize.
  3. Chambers and firms willing to provide work placements should please contact Mukhtiar Singh here.

The future

  1. In the spirit of the legal profession, and in the spirit of Sikhism, award winners who subsequently secure pupillage through the scheme (“the Scholars”) will be expected to participate in the scheme in the future including providing mentoring.
  2. Further, it is hoped that as the scheme develops, Scholars will lead engagement in state schools with the Sikh Education Council to encourage the very best potential to consider a career in the Bar, whatever their background.
  3. The Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarships will be available in other professions: please contact the Sikh Education Council if you wish to register your interest.

Any questions

  1. Questions about the Bar Scholarship or the scholarships generally should be directed to Mukhtiar Singh here.


Please feel free to download the documentation:

  1. Application form – here
  2. Essay guidelines – here