University College London Union

Money for Something

Got a great idea for a community project? We’ve got the cash to make it happen.

The Volunteering Services Unit promotes FOUR different grant schemes to help UCL students turn their ideas into amazing projects:

VSU Student Led Projects
Up to £750 is available for student-run projects that benefit other communities within London.

Step Out
The Step Out Programme supports post-graduate students who want to engage the wider public with their studies or research. Up to £750.

UCL Grand Challenges Student Projects Fund
The Grand Challenges Fund supports UCL student projects that relate to UCL’s four grand challenges of Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction, and Human Wellbeing. Up to £750.

UCL Global Citizenship Project Grant
UCL’s Global Citizenship Project Grants scheme is supported by Santander Universities and offers grants of up to £4000 to UCL students to allow them to tackle a social problem head-on.

That’s a lot of grants. Which one is right for me?

  Amount Collaboration with Comunity Connection with study/research School Projects



VSU Student Led Projects £750 Community needs to benefit in some direct manner Not required Yes London projects only
Step Out £750 Project must involve input of the community Required No For Public Engagement projects
Grand Challenges Student Fund £750 Benefit to wider society can be indirect Required - and must relate to one of the 4 Grand Challenges Yes Inter- disciplinary projects especially welcome
Global Citizenship Project Grant £4000 Community needs to benefit in some direct manner Not required Yes Only apply if project is ineligible for other UCL grants

For more info, read our Guide to Funding for Student Community Projects then contact Oliver Peachey.

What other help is available?

The Volunteering Services Unit can also give advice and support as you develop your project. This includes:

  • Advice on applying for the grant
  • Help with getting other students involved
  • Project Management Training
  • Links with other useful people in UCL
  • Connecting you with community organisations
  • Help with publicising your project

See our Student Led Projects webpage for more info.

Some of the projects we’ve funded

Save A Baby’s Life
Save A Baby’s Life are a group of UCL students who teach infant and toddler life saving skills to parents and carers across London. The VSU Student Led Projects grant provided them with money to purchase child-sized dummies to help them teach CPR and to pay for their affiliation to the Royal Life Saving Society.

Raspberry Python was a project ran by UCLU TechSoc. With help from the VSU Student Led Projects grant, they purchased Raspberry Pi computer kits to teach children programming skills. Read more

Bentham’s Farm
Bentham’s Farm is an organic vegetable garden in Camden. They teach volunteers how to grow sustainable, organic food as part of a healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle. The Farm received a grant from UCL’s Global Citizenship Project Grant to buy a greenhouse, raised beds, plants and other vital equipment. Read more.

The Urban Wild Project
Jane Dickson, a PhD student in Anthropology, received funding from Step Out to support her work with a community organisation in Herne Hill that’s aiming to establish and promote green roofs, providing her with publicity materials to communicate her research to the wider public. Read more.

Building Virtual Transcontinental Student Links
The Grand Challenges Student Fund provided support to this student-run project, connecting UCL Medical students with Medical students in Tanzania to share their learning through online collaboration. The Fund paid for internet café use in Tanzania and some IT equipment.

Other funding and support at UCL

Scaling Up
Do you already have a successful community project, and are thinking about scaling it up? Up to £5000 in grant funding is available to help UCL students and staff develop entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. The funding may be of use if you want to develop your project into a stand alone charity / social enterprise or need additional funding to expand it.

You can find out more here.

Business start-ups
Want to set up your own business? UCL Advances may be able to help - visit their website to find out more.

International Volunteering
We don’t fund international volunteering – but you may find the guidance on our website useful.