The University of Southampton
Alumni and supporters

The Fund for the Greatest Need

By giving to the Fund for the Greatest Need, our supporters are funding projects that help us to respond to the needs of our students and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Through education, innovation and research the University unlocks potential and provides opportunities that transform lives. The Fund for the Greatest Need enables us to maximise these opportunities for our students, researchers and the wider community.

Read about some of the projects which have been supported by the Fund for the Greatest Need below.

Formula Student

Helping students develop their design, engineering and teamwork skills
Formula Student Team

The Southampton University Formula Student Team (SUFST) is an innovative student society that competes with other Formula Student teams across the world. Each team designs and builds a single-seat racing car from scratch before putting it to the test by racing it at one of the world’s greatest racetracks. Gifts to support the Fund for the Greatest Need have enabled us to support our SUFST students to compete with their car at the world-famous Silverstone in 2013 and 2014.

We are incredibly grateful for support that enables our students to take part in activities like this, helping them to improve their skills and teamwork, broaden their horizons and provide them with fantastic memories to last a lifetime.

The Portus multi-disciplinary field school

Gifts to the Fund for the Greatest Need have helped to create a unique field school at the world-leading archaeological excavation site of Portus, the maritime port of Imperial Rome in Italy. The Portus multi-disciplinary field school provides the opportunity for all our students to have a new educational experience by offering hands-on training in a variety of techniques used in modern archaeological fieldwork.

The field school hosts up to 50 students per year. They have the chance to try techniques from different scientific disciplines (including computing, geology, geophysics, biology), as well as research methods of social and human sciences (including history, classics, history of art), to encourage them to develop as interdisciplinary scholars. With the help of alumni support, the field school is equipping our students with crucial skills for the modern world in a practical, engaging and problem-based fieldwork environment.


Helping young people to make better health choices
LifeLab hospital-based classroom

LifeLab is an innovative educational intervention being piloted in Southampton. It aims to improve young people's health and inspire an interest in science. Lifelab works on the premise that educating children about the impact of their lifestyle choices will reduce the likelihood of them developing chronic health problems, such as heart disease or obesity, in later life.

Based at Southampton General Hospital, run in partnership with our world-renowned researchers, LifeLab is one of the projects supported by donations to the Fund for the Greatest Need. Our donors are ensuring that students from local schools can take part in hands-on activities in laboratories and interactive learning environments, including analysing their DNA, using ultrasound to look at their own arteries, and studying how nutrients cross the placenta.

Many young people have never been inside a hospital or research laboratory before; studies have shown that learning in this environment can have beneficial effects on their health choices and encourage them to consider a scientific career.

Southampton Astrodome

Managed by the Outreach Team in the Physics and Astronomy department, the Southampton Astrodome is a 5m square portable dome which, with the help of mirrors and projection equipment, transforms in to a mobile planetarium. It is used to inspire school children and members of the public to learn more about astronomy and consider studying the subject at Southampton. The astrodome shows, facilitated by our undergraduate and postgraduate students, have been seen by over 20,000 people to date.

With the help of donations to the Fund for the Greatest Need, we were able to support the purchase of a second astrodome. As a result the team is able to present to even more school groups and more students are able to become involved in the team, helping them to develop their presentation skills and volunteering experience.

Supporting Excel Southampton

Helping our students gain valuable work experience
Excel Southampton event

Gifts to the Fund for the Greatest Need have helped to fund our Excel Southampton Placement Programme. The programme provides unique placement opportunities for students with local, national and international employers.

In an increasingly competitive graduate jobs market, professional placements help to give our students the best possible chance of success when they leave Southampton. With the support of our donors, more students are now able to take part in the Excel Southampton scheme, which is having a widespread impact on the future employability of our graduates.

The scheme has also helped the University to develop links with our alumni community; partnerships with many employers taking part in the scheme have been facilitated by former Southampton students who now work in or own the companies. This also means that the placements are a great way to inspire our students and provide them with real-life examples of the success that their time at Southampton can lead to. 

Would you like to contribute to the creation of unique opportunities? Click the link to make a donation online or download and return a gift form in the post.


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