ASF and SIET invites you to become an American Friend of SIET

The Scottish International Education Trust (SIET) was founded in 1971 as an initiative of Sir Sean Connery and his friend Jackie Stewart. The aims of the foundation are to assist young Scots showing promise in academia, sports, or other projects likely to benefit Scotland including: culturally, environmentally, educationally, economically, socially, etc.

The American-Scottish Foundation® is proud to partner with the Scottish International Education Trust (SIET) - a Directed Giving Project as SIET launches American Friends of the Scottish International Education Trust.

The SIET exists to support ambitious, successful Scots, at masters level of education in their quest to reach the heights of their ambition.

All applicants to the Trust will have an opportunity at post-graduate level which - by contributing to their funding package - we can help them fulfil. A grant from SIET can be life changing.

Since its inception in 1971 the Trust has given out around $3 million to 1000 Scots with high level potential but as educational opportunities have grown so has the demand on our funds.

So we need your help to sustain and increase the levels of funding to Scots with proven talent in a wide range of subjects from science and technology to music and the arts. Who better to help us than Scots who have succeeded abroad?

To Support the Trust and Learn how to become involved Click Here.

Prof. Mark Blyth, now William R. Rhodes '57 Professor of International Economics at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and American Friends of SIET Patron is an Alumnus.

"The Trust transformed my life. I graduated from Strathclyde University in 1990 and was admitted to Columbia University in NYC for my PhD the following year. I was awarded my fees but was given no stipend for living expenses. The Trust stepped into that breech and helped finance my first year of studies. I then picked up internal funding and never looked back.

From a Dundee council house to the Ivy League is possible. But what made it actual was the faith placed in my abilities by the Trust, for which I am forever grateful."

The creation of the Trust was a long held ambition of Sean Connery. Amazingly, he contributed his entire fee - around $1.5million - from Diamonds Are Forever to set up the charity which has been supporting Scots with promise for the last 50 years. The Trust’s mission was then and remains supporting excellence in need.

Sir Sean believed passionately that education was the key to talented Scots contributing to world-class solutions. The current Trustee group want to continue the work and preserve Sir Sean’s legacy into the next 50 years.

Successful applicants for grants come from all kinds of backgrounds, yet they all have a burning desire to use their talents to better themselves and society, at home and on the international stage. Each one is a true success story, carrying on a long tradition of gifted Scots going out into the world and making a difference wherever they go.

Who else have we supported?

In the last year we have given out $100,000 to 45 promising Scots. Some examples are:

  • MSc in Molecular Genetics, Imperial College
  • MA in Musicology, University of Denver
  • Masters in Public Health (Humanitarian Assistance)
  • Masters in Mathematical Sciences, Oxford University
  • MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development, Queens University, Belfast
  • Masters of Performance (Jazz), Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo
  • MA History of Art, Courtauld Institute
  • MA in Regional & Urban Planning, LSE
  • PhD in International Relations at St. Andrews University
  • Bachelor of Civil Laws, University of Oxford
  • Masters in Migration Studies, University of Oxford
  • LLM in Public International Law, University of Leiden
  • MA in Voice Studies, Teaching & Coaching, Central School of Speech & Drama London Voice/ Acting at Atlantic School, (in conjunction with the Tisch School of Arts at New York University)
  • MA in Journalism, City University, London

For many individuals' stories and personal testimony about the effect of a grant from the Trust see

Ways to Support the Scottish International Education Trust

Become a Friend - and be part of the SIET family.

  • Decide on the membership level that suits you best.
  • Help us raise funds to sustain and increase the levels of funding to Scots with proven talent who need support to further their career ambitions.
  • Your donation can be directed to our general fund or to a particular subject or sector of study, from Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
  • As a Member of AFSIET we look forward to sharing semi-annual news about the work of the Trust
  • You will be invited to AFSIET Events - when Covid pressures are less; we’re aiming for a celebratory screening of Diamonds Are Forever in 2022.







American Friend - Diamond Donor

Your donation as a Diamond Donor may be for general funding or targeted as indicated below:


Targeted Scholarships


Targeted Scholarships


Targeted Scholarships


Targeted Scholarships


Targeted Scholarships

A Message from the Chair of SIET

As Chair of the SIET it’s my mission, and that of my fellow Trustees, to ensure the legacy of the founder Sir Sean Connery who passed away in October 2020 after living a life no one would dream a boy born in 1930’s Fountainbridge in Edinburgh could lead.

Now the Trust has 50 years of important work under its belt I am proud to say….

  • SIET has spent over $3 million supporting over 1000 talented Scots to progress on the international stage,
  • SIET has supported studies and promising individuals’ activities in over 50 countries in the world and in over 300 institutions - 25 in the USA.
  • SIET gives grants to those at post-graduate level for Masters degrees, PhDs, specialist equipment and travel grants. (We do not make awards at under-graduate level.)
  • Recipients say that the belief the Trust shows in them is as important as the money.

The work of the Trust in the 21st century is even more pertinent as the world faces challenges on a global scale – and we see the number of worthy applicants rise year on year, so SIET needs to raise funds which is where we hope new donors can make a difference.

I sincerely hope that you will be inspired to become an American Friend of the Scottish International Education Trust and consider donating to the excellent work we do.

Thanks to the ASF you can benefit from the US tax breaks if you donate through their website using the form provided.

Sir Sean took a personal interest in the recipients of grants. Although famous as an actor, not many people know that he invested over $1million to benefit Scots at the highest levels of education and he was keenly interested in how individuals got on. Many of their stories are now on the website so you can read the personal testimony of some of the talented individuals who have received grants in the past here.

With warm wishes.

Ginnie Atkinson

The American-Scottish Foundation is a non profit 501c3 organization and all donations made through the Foundation are tax deductible in the United States to the extent of the law.