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The Explora Scholarship Fund (ESF) is both a registered charity (number 1152232) and a Charitable Company (number 08381653). Its main object is to advance education by providing funds, and facilitating the establishment of scholarships in further or higher education, for the dependents of severely injured (physically or mentally) and deceased members of the UK Armed Forces and UK Security Services who were in Government Service when killed or injured. The ESF became a full member of The Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO) in February 2015


The ESF will disburse scholarship funds in the UK, mainly for post-graduate degree education in architecture, engineering and the applied sciences in a field relating to physical protection. Typically this might be protection against explosive blast or ballistic injury. Funds can be granted for up to four year's study for any one individual. In certain circumstances, scholarships can also be granted to members of the UK Armed Forces or UK Security Services who have suffered severe physical or mental health injury as a result of Government Service. Further or Higher Education may range from A-Level/Diploma/Foundation Degree to a First Degree. Disability may also include stress related trauma. In exceptional circumstances, an individual benefitting from an initial Further or Higher education course might be considered for a later stage of education eg post-graduate.


This includes spouse, children, legally dependent partners, and other family members who are, or were, directly dependent upon the income of the killed or injured member of the UK Armed Forces or UK Security Services.


The maximum award will be up to £15,000 per year.


Captain David Henson MBE Royal Engineers, was awarded the ESF's first scholarship in 2013 to follow an MSc course in biomedical engineering at the new Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College, London. When leading a Royal Engineers search team in Afghanistan in 2011, Dave lost both of his legs above the knee when he triggered an improvised explosive device during a compound search. During the MSc course, he conducted research into the development of more advanced prostheses with an aim to allow leg amputees to take part in more dynamic sports such as basketball and tennis.

In 2014, Dave captained the UK Armed Forces team in the Invictus (Unconquered) Games in London where he won gold in the 200 metres. The Games, an international event for wounded and disabled service men and women, were championed by HRH Prince Harry and brought together over 400 competitors from the Armed Forces of 13 nations that had served alongside each other. Dave became a Trustee of the ESF in December 2014.

  • Applications for Further Education study must be supported by appropriate academic recommendations, a clear and strong justification, and a confirmed offer at the place of education.

  • Application for first degree study must be supported by a clear and strong justification, a confirmed place at a UK university and supporting academic recommendations.

  • Applicants for post-graduate study will be expected to have completed their first degree, or be about to do so, and for a post-graduate masters programme would normally have an honours degree at 2nd class, 1st division, although suitable qualified experience may be taken into account by each university.

  • Applications must be made to the Explora Scholarship Fund (ESF) at the address shown on this website. The Secretary General of the ESF, or an appointed representative, will advise potential applicants on their eligibility and application requirements.

  • The ESF will normally involve an appropriate Armed Forces welfare charity to assist in the verification process.

  • The Secretary General ESF, or appointed representative, together with the Further or Higher Education establishment, will assess applicants to determine eligibility and academic qualifications prior to submission to the ESF Selection Committee.

  • The ESF Board of Trustees is the final authority for all award decisions and there may be no award in any year if there are no suitable candidates.

  • Once a scholarship is awarded, there is an expectation of success. If any year or stage is failed, or the course of study is changed without the prior approval of the ESF, scholarship funding will be suspended and could be withdrawn.

  • Payment of the scholarship will be determined with the individual scholar and the education establishment involved, but it will normally be paid in advance at the beginning of each term, either to the scholar or to the university.

  • Each successive year of scholarship funding will only be released after receipt of the report on progress from the scholar's course superviser or academic director, with confirmation that the next year of the course is as originally planned or that there is a prior agreement to any change in the course together with a proper explanation.

  • Scholars will be required to share the intellectual property rights (IPR) of any research undertaken with the Explora Foundation. This is to ensure that the Foundation and the wider community are able to benefit from the results of the research.

  • Scholars will be expected to undertake an internship each year during the period of study and the ESF is able to facilitate placement if necessary. All internships must be agreed and approved by the ESF.

  • Scholars will be expected to take part in publicity activities associated with their scholarship, with at least their names and courses being listed on the ESF website. There would also be a need for further marketing and public relations work to increase awareness and demonstrate the value of the scholarships.

  • The ESF may seek partnerships, which would be subject to a joint agreement, in funding a scholarship and scholars will be required to recognise such partnerships.


It is planned to establish, in due course, separate Scholarship Funds in the United States and Canada in accordance with charitable legislation applicable in each country. When registered, there will be separate web pages for the UK, US and Canada so that applicants can be clear on the eligibility requirements based on their respective residency status. The eligibility requirements for the US and Canada will follow the same ethos but will be tailored to meet national requirements under their respective charity laws.