Dr. TK Whitaker Scholarship


Dr. TK Whitaker was one of Ireland’s greatest living Irish people. He was widely considered to be the architect of the modern Irish economy and his seminal 1958 publication Economic Development, known as 'The Grey Book', is widely accepted as a landmark in Irish economic history because of its thought leadership and bold ideas. He was appointed Secretary to the Department of Finance when he was 39 (at that time an exceptionally young age) and went on to become Governor of the Central Bank. Based on the blueprint he had set out, Dr. Whitaker subsequently steered Ireland’s programme of trade liberalisation and structural reform in the 1960s. Economic growth accelerated as a result. In 1973, Ireland acceded to the EU in a process to which he played an instrumental role as Governor of the Central Bank.

Dr. Whitaker had considerable involvement in the fields of education and the arts. He served as Chancellor of the National University of Ireland from 1976 to 1996. He was President of the Royal Irish Academy and a member of the Board of Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland, from 1985 to 1987. He also served as first Chairman of the Scholarship Board of the O'Reilly Foundation and first Chairman of the Agency for Personal Service Overseas. 

Dr. Whitaker was a member of the Institute of Banking since 1985.

Dr. Whitaker was elected as an Honorary Fellow of The Institute of Banking by the Council of the Institute on 4 November 2014. The Institute, with the agreement of Dr. Whitaker, created an annual TK Whitaker Scholarship in recognition of his immense contribution to the state. The Scholarship to a UCD graduate programme (Diploma in Advanced Management Performance or equivalent programme to be decided by the Institute) is awarded to the top candidate on the Professional Diploma in Banking, which leads to the Chartered Banker professional designation (for details on the programme click here). A “TK Whitaker Medal” is also awarded to the candidate. The award is related to the academic year in which the candidate completes the programme. 

The Scholarship recognises outstanding academic achievement and the mission of the Scholarship is to develop further the management and leadership capabilities of a future leader in banking. It is awarded at the Institute’s graduation ceremony each year. 
The criteria for the Scholarship are as follows:


Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Be a current professional member of the Institute of Banking.
  2. Have graduated from the Professional Diploma in Banking (leading to the Chartered Banker professional designation) as follows:
  • Passed each module on first attempt
  • Completed the programme in two consecutive semesters (programme scheduling permitting)
  • Attained an award Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 4.0
  • Not having any exemptions

Selection criteria

The Scholarship is awarded to the candidate who achieves the highest award GPA subject to the following:

  • Where there are candidates with the same Award GPA the top place goes to the candidate with the highest number of Modules at a GPA of 4.2 (A+), if still tied then the candidate with highest number of modules at a GPA of 4.0 (A), and if tied the candidate with the highest number of modules at the next highest grade and so on. 
  • If there is still a tie, i.e. the GPA and individual module grades for the programme for two or more candidates are the same, award of the Scholarship will be decided on the basis of submission of an application by each of the tied candidates. Each candidate's application must include:
    • Short essay (approximately 1,000 words) on how the Scholarship will support their educational, professional and personal development.
    • Information on any professional or non-work activities, awards or leadership roles (that support the candidate essay). 
    • Two references that can support the submission.


The candidate’s essay should demonstrate:

  • The relation between the Scholarship’s mission and the candidate’s academic, career and personal goals.
  • How the candidate has achieved or plans to achieve their goals.
  • Engagement – activities (either professional or extracurricular) that add to their academic achievements.
  • Leadership – either in professional or non-work pursuits.
  • Sense of purpose – linking direction and career ambitions with understanding of how past experiences and decisions support that sense of purpose.

The selection of the winner will be made by an independent Scholarship Assessment Committee of at least three members drawn from the Institute’s Education Committee (excluding the candidates’ financial institution) and a senior academic (current or retired), who shall chair the committee.


The Scholarship Assessment Committee will consider:

  • How well the essay makes the connection between the mission of the Scholarship and the candidate’s academic, career, personal interests and/or goals.
  • How well the essay articulates the candidate’s plans to achieve those interests and/or goals.


On 21 January 2015 the Institute of Banking conferred an Honorary Fellowship on Dr. TK Whitaker. Read more


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From left: Kevin Gallen, Deputy Chief Executive, The Institute of Banking, Jim Brown, President (2014), The Institute of Banking,
Dr. TK Whitaker, Michael Feeney, Chief Executive, The Institute of Banking