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The University of Southampton
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Student Activity and Engagement Fund

The Student Activity and Engagement Fund allows any student to identify and run their own projects or activity focused on social justice and social mobility.

The fund offers awards of between £100.00 to £800.00 towards projects, events or research which engage with students currently underrepresented at Southampton or are focused on social justice or diversifying students’ educational experiences.

Activity and Engagement Fund

We know that not all experiences are equal and that some students experience both personal and institutional barriers which can impact their experiences. This Fund aims to engage our whole community in creating a fairer future for all.

Students are at the forefront of this Fund; with students designing and leading their own projects and the Widening Participation and Social Mobility Student Advisory Board deciding which applications are awarded.

It is important that we challenge ourselves to create an institution which values students’ different experiences whilst creating a safe and supportive environment in which you can thrive.

Apply here

How does the Student Activity and Engagement Fund work?

We have committed £10,000 to giving you the opportunity to shape the future of your institution and to working in partnership with us to create change. The University is committed to working with students to create an inclusive and engaging environment where everyone can excel.

The fund offers awards of between £100.00 to £800.00* towards projects, events or research which engage students currently underrepresented at Southampton or are focused on social justice or diversifying students’ educational experiences.

This might be inviting an author, speaker, campaigner, or activist for a speaking event, running an event for students who share a common experience, publishing an article or online content, attending a conference or training session or bringing in external trainers to work with your club or society.  

Bids can be as wide ranging as you like though they must realise one or more of the our strands (see below), as well as being feasible to achieve.

*The total amount awarded will depended on the cost of your project.

What are the strands?

Awards from the fund must be well-planned, realistic projects or events that meet one or more of the following strands:

  • Strand 1: Engaging or working with a minority student group; such as mature students, Black, Asian or minority ethnic students, students with a disability, student carers, or those who are care experienced. (Please note this list is not exhaustive)
  • Strand 2: Offering students, a diverse educational experience or champion less heard voices. This could be inviting an activist to campus to speak to students on your course or creating a newsletter or blog where you interview people who are championing equality in their field.
  • Strand 3: Improving your personal understanding of an area of history, culture or academic discipline. This could be on your course, in a society or with a community group.
  • Strand 4: A community focused project. Working within Southampton to link students with the wider community, either through an established community group or a new group with a focus on a community engagement or social justice project


You'll be asked to identify which strand(s) your project meets on the application form.

Am I eligible to apply?

All students at the University of Southampton are eligible to apply; this includes undergraduates, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research. As well as both full time and part time students, who are actively studying and enrolled at one of our UK campuses.

What are the application criteria?

All proposals must:

  • Have a clear financial plan
  • Tell us our desired outcome(s) and how you'll measure this
  • Have a lead applicant who'll receive the funding
  • Provide an impact report on completion

All applications should demonstrate at least two of the following:

  • Have a clear link to the University’s Access and Participation Plan objectives around access, success and progression.
  • Centre on marginalised or underrepresented student groups.
  • Support learning and development within the project team, with consideration of how this will be captured and shared.
  • Engage students as partners through the project, particularly those with lived experience of your area of focus.
  • Use external or internal research to justify the project and its aims.
  • Consider the barriers which may exist outside of the project or intervention.

How are awards decided?

All shortlisted applications will be considered by the Widening Participation and Social Mobility Student Advisory Board - a collection of 25 students who represent a variety of widening participation backgrounds and who'll have ultimate responsibility for selecting the successful projects and allocating awards.

Consideration will be given to how well a projects meets a strand as well as the quality of planning and the benefit of undertaking the project, as outlined in the application.

Each application will be reviewed for its feasibility in the first instance - any proposed projects that are not thought to be feasible will not be considered further.

How do I apply?

Click the 'Apply here' button above and complete the application form in full.

Once completed, applications will be reviewed and shortlisted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

The application deadline is rolling and will remain open until all funds have been allocated or up until June 2022.

What happens if my application is successful?

As applications are considered by the Student Advisory Board, please note it can take up to 6 weeks to receive an outcome. You'll be updated on the outcome of your application via email.
Once you’ve carried out your project, you'll be asked to write a short final report and expenditure summary. Projects which take longer than 1 month to complete may also be required to have an interim catch up with an Advisor. 

How will an award be paid?

Awards will be paid by bank transfer (BACS). To ensure your payment is processed successfully, it is recommended that you check the bank details on your Student Record are up to date; you can do this online via Self Service on SUSSED. You can access Self Service here, and click on Personal Information and then Update Payment Details. We cannot be held responsible for any delayed payments. 

All funds will be paid to the lead applicant as named on the application form.

Have a question?

If you have any questions, would like further information or would like to run your idea pass a member of the team please contact us via email:

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