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After two years of wrangling, Foster stumps up cash for student award

Norman Foster has finally handed over the money he pledged to a RIBA scholarship programme - two years after making the offer.

The project, the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship, will be formally launched at the RIBA President's Medals Student Awards on 6 December, the event at which Foster promised to donate his cash in 2004.

It has taken months of negotiations for Foster's representatives and Portland Place staffers to come up with a mutually satisfactory proposition.

But now the details of the deal have finally become clear. The biennial travel grant of £6,000 will be awarded to one student from up to 98 RIBA-accredited architecture schools in the UK and abroad.

The money will be available to the winning student to fund international research on a topic and in a location of their choice.

The findings will then be presented in a report, which could be photographic, graphic or written, to be shown at the RIBA in an exhibition to be held to coincide with the following year's President's Medals.

Applicants will be selected on the basis of their proposed area of research, which will be judged by a panel including Foster, RIBA president Jack Pringle, two Foster & Partners employees and two other judges to be chosen by Foster and Pringle.

Foster said: 'As a student I won a prize that allowed me to spend a summer travelling through Europe and to study first-hand buildings and cities that I knew only from the pages of books.

'It was a revelation - liberating and exhilarating in so many ways. It is my privilege to fund the scholarship, which I hope will have a lasting legacy - offering the chance for discovery and the inspiration for exciting new work, for generations to come.'

Submissions for the scholarship will be required by 28 February 2007, with travel to be carried out by the winning student between June and September 2007.

by Richard Vaughan

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