It Starts With You
The Student Opportunity Fund is an exciting initiative which contributes financial support that helps you to take part in activities which enhance your employability and develop your transferable skills.
If you are an undergraduate or PGCE student at Edge Hill University, you can apply for up to £2,000 to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich your student experience and enable you to stand out in a competitive environment.
What projects, activities and opportunities can the Fund support?
Examples of the types of activities that the Student Opportunity Fund can support include:
- Travel and accommodation costs required to undertake unpaid work experience or volunteering opportunities for up to a maximum of 30 days;
- Expenses to travel to and from interviews or assessment days (which are not covered by the employer);
- Presenting your work at a conference, festival or event;
- Developing and making creative material, for example films, performances, readings and publications which are not a compulsory part of your coursework.
The panel will only consider applications for funding which cover opportunities to travel abroad where this is arranged through an established partner of the University, who has existing links with our International Office and where the University has a Memorandum of Understanding or similar in place, or where activities are organised and endorsed by the British Council.
Since there is a competitive application process for the Student Opportunity Fund, you are strongly advised not to commit to paying for your activity until you have been notified that your application has been successful.
What funding can I receive towards the cost of a Sandwich Year or a Study Abroad placement?
Although UK universities are entitled to charge fees for sandwich years or years abroad, Edge Hill is waiving these charges to support students who wish to take up these valuable opportunities.
We will meet the cost of tuition fees, for either a sandwich year or an additional year spent studying abroad as part of your course, through the Student Opportunity Fund.
If you are spending a semester overseas, as part of the second year of a 3-year degree or a 4-year integrated Masters degree, standard tuition fees will apply (as if you spent the full academic year based at Edge Hill University), however half of these tuition fees, i.e. £4,625 for academic year 2019/20, will be paid for from the Student Opportunity Fund.
A bursary is also available through the Student Opportunity Fund for Sandwich Year placements, year-long Erasmus+ placements in Europe, and Study Abroad placements outside of Europe (where the award amounts for eligible students will be determined by the location of your placement and your household income). Please note, there is no application process to access this bursary. Your eligibility will be automatically assessed.
What can’t be supported by the Fund?
The Student Opportunity Fund cannot be used to support:
- Core programme requirements, such as field trips, work placements or coursework, where these are compulsory, credit-bearing elements of a programme or module;
- Paid work, for example with organisations such as Camp America;
- Fundraising activities;
- Costs of studying a qualification or course. The panel may, however, consider helping you with travel costs;
- Short-term elective placements;
- Aspects such as cost of food, clothing, equipment, loss of earnings or insurance for specific items such as laptops and mobile phones;
- Activities with organisations such as Plan My Gap Year, International Citizen Service (ICS), Go For Life, SLV Global or similar initiatives.
The Fund encourages students’ employability through unique experiences and opportunities, therefore it would not support a continuation or extension of a previous successful application.
In addition to the above, the Fund cannot be applied retrospectively to activities which have commenced, or taken place, prior to the point of application. Group applications can not be accepted.
To be eligible to apply for the Student Opportunity Fund, you will need to be:
- Registered on a programme leading to the award of an undergraduate degree, integrated Masters degree, DipHE, foundation degree or PGCE. This excludes inbound Erasmus students;
- Studying full-time or part-time. Part-time students are required to be studying a minimum of 60 credits in the year of application;
- Domiciled in the UK, EU, Isle of Man or Channel Islands.
If you are a permanent employee of Edge Hill University or a seconded student, you will not be eligible for the Student Opportunity Fund.
One successful application can be submitted per academic year.
How to Apply
To apply for support from the Student Opportunity Fund, you should download and complete the application form (docx) electronically.
You will need to submit:
- A completed application form;
- A completed risk assessment;
- A written reference from your personal tutor or programme leader who must confirm that the activity is not a compulsory element of a course or module;
- Evidence of securing the placement or opportunity;
- Evidence of costing;
- A document describing what your roles and responsibilities will be while undertaking your activity or opportunity. This should be similar to a job description (if applicable for your opportunity).
If you experience any issues downloading the application form, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a Student Opportunity Fund application form and we will email the relevant document to you.
You should treat applying for the Student Opportunity Fund as you would a job application and answer all questions fully, providing thorough information of your activity/opportunity and a detailed risk assessment.
It is recommended that you get in touch with the Careers Centre prior to submitting an application. Careers Centre staff can advise on the suitability of your chosen opportunity and provide support in strengthening your application.
As part of your application, you will need to provide a breakdown of the budget for the activity. You should:
- Ensure the most cost effective options are selected;
- Use a railcard (if applicable) or advance/off-peak standard class tickets;
- Choose established companies;
- Include screenshots of all expenses, such as travel, transfers and parking;
- Provide all quotes in pound sterling and include screenshots of the prices as proof of costing.
If claiming for petrol costs, the Fund cover such costs at 14p per mile. Evidence of the number of miles must be provided.
When you have completed your application, you should submit the form and supporting evidence by e-mail to email@example.com. Alternatively, you can submit your form and supporting evidence by post or in person to the Student Administration building.
Applications will be considered by a panel.
You are advised to apply as early in the academic year as possible.
Full or partial costs may be awarded and, in some cases, means-tested criteria may be applied.
The panel’s decision is final and no additional money will be awarded (including for exchange rate fluctuations) once a decision has been made.
If your application is successful, payment will be made directly to your bank account via BACS. This can take up to five working days from our Finance department receiving the relevant paperwork.
You will be required to sign to accept the Fund’s terms and conditions prior to payment being made. The allocated funds must only be used for the purpose specified within your application. It is your responsibility to make the relevant arrangements for the activity to take place once your funding has been confirmed.
Any money you are allocated does not have to be repaid. The only exception is where the project, activity or opportunity does not take place. In these circumstances, the Scholarships Officer must be notified without delay and you will be required to repay any previously awarded funds to the University.
Sharing Your Story
Upon successful completion of your project, activity or opportunity, you will be required to complete an online survey within one calendar month of the activity taking place and make an appointment with a Careers Advisor to discuss how the opportunity has enhanced your employability.
We will also ask you to share your story, for example through a poster presentation, blog, written report, student profile or news article, telling us what you did with the money. Edge Hill University reserves the right to use this information in future publicity material.
We will also ask you to become a Fund Ambassador, working with the Scholarships Officer to promote the Fund, sharing your story and enthusiasm with your peers.