Calling all architects and building professionals – have you got what it takes to be a 2014 SPAB Scholar?

The search is on for up to four architects, building surveyors or engineers to become part of the SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) Lethaby Scholarship 2014. This is a training opportunity like no other. After completing the nine-month programme, previous SPAB Scholars have gone on to become experts in their field – some are cathedral architects, some look after palaces, National Trust houses and English Heritage sites.

The Scholarship is open to architects, building surveyors and structural engineers who have completed the college-based part of their courses (e.g. RIBA Parts I & II for architects), ideally with two or three years work experience. The programme is organised and administered by the SPAB and will be of particular career interest to early career professionals with a passion for historic building conservation.

Successful applicants will visit some of the country’s most fascinating built heritage projects to deepen their knowledge of historic buildings and explore the challenges surrounding their conservation. We aim to give our Scholars first-hand experience of conservative repair in action; they will be meeting professionals involved in the full range of building manangement issues, working on site and in workshops and studios throughout the UK.

Alongside professional qualifications, potential SPAB Scholars need to be good team members, sociable, committed and favour a hands-on approach. During the nine-month programme they travel together as a group, living, learning and working in a range of locations from stately homes to building sites. Scholars spend the first six months travelling from site to site together, in the last three months they study, together or apart, aspects of the nation’s Country Houses.

Former Scholars include Ptolemy Dean. Last year Ptolemy was appointed Surveyor of the Fabric at Westminster Abbey. Along with Scholar Marianne Suhr (a building surveyor), Ptolemy Dean was a co-presenter for The BBC series Restoration.

The pair were dubbed ‘ruin detectives’ and were able to draw on the breadth of knowledge and experience gained during their SPAB Scholarship year.

Marianne says:

“Quite simply the Scholarship is very special and inspirational. I would urge anyone who is serious about developing a career in conservation to apply.”

If shortlisted, all candidates must be willing to attend an interview in London at their own expense. Commitment to the Scholarship is full time, including some weekends, and it is impossible to combine it with any other form of study or employment. Candidates should be aware that there will be long periods spent away from home. The programme runs from 17 March to mid December. There are no course fees as training and administrative costs are borne by the SPAB. Successful candidates will each receive a bursary toward their basic travel and living costs.

SPAB is inviting applications now for the 2014 Lethaby Scholarship. For further information or to obtain an application form, please visit our website or email: education(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)spab.org.uk. The closing date for applications is 1 December 2013 and interviews are held at 37 Spital Square, London on 23 January 2014.