The award comprises funding from two bequests, the Richard and Elizabeth Court Scholarship (1974), and the Charles M Lilley Scholarship (1955). They are held in conjunction so as to ensure the amount of the scholarship is significant and also because the terms of the bequests are very similar.

The awards are made every three years, but holders and their supervisors must reapply by submitting an annual report.  Further instalment will be made only if these are satisfactory.