Does your club or society need help with funding? Have you got a great idea for a project? Are you presenting your research at a conference? University is about so much more than just studying. The Alumni Foundation supports the extra-curricular activities that make Bristol such an exciting and vibrant place to study, including sports clubs, cultural societies, theatre productions and media
The Alumni Foundation also awards grants to individuals to help cover their travel costs to conferences where they are presenting their research.
The Alumni Foundation is funded by donations from thousands of alumni and friends of the University to enhance the student experience.
The Alumni Foundation Committee includes academic staff, as well as representatives from Bristol's Alumni Association and the Students' Union. The Committee meets once each term to consider applications.
You can apply online via Blackboard. Before doing so, you will need to enrol on Blackboard as follows:
Once you are enrolled you can make your online application to the Alumni Foundation. Please ensure that you have read the guidance notes.
Application deadline: 31 October 2014
Committee meeting date: 14 November 2014
Application deadline: 13 February 2015
Committee meeting date: 26 February 2015
Application deadline: 8 May 2015
Committee meeting date: 21 May 2015
For travel grants, the Committee would prefer to consider your application at the meeting closest to the date of your conference or travel. However, they will take into account that some conferences and travel fares need to be confirmed further in advance than this.
You will find out whether your application was successful by email, no later than a week after the Committee meeting.
If you are successful, we will let you know about the payment arrangements. If you do not collect your grant within one month of notification, your money will be deemed to have expired.
Should your circumstances change, and you no longer need all, or part of your grant, you are obliged to return the funds to the Alumni Foundation. Your grant only applies for the specific project stated on the application form, and is non-transferable.
You must provide feedback to the Alumni Foundation through Blackboard within one month of your conference, or completion of your activity or project. This is essential for promoting the Alumni Foundation to donors, and encouraging others to apply for grants.
If you are applying for a travel grant, you will also be expected to acknowledge the support you have received from the Alumni Foundation on your printed materials or in your presentation (download the Alumni Foundation logo).
You must also ask your supervisor or research advisor to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your attendance at the conference.
The Alumni Foundation was set up in 1982 by staff and alumni who wanted to help current students have as rich and rewarding an experience at Bristol as they did.
Today, many alumni continue to give back to the University – sports clubs, cultural societies and theatre productions have all been funded by the Alumni Foundation in the past.Make a donation
We hope these testimonials will inspire you to get involved in similar events and activities, or come up with your own ideas.
'A grant of £500 was made to the University surf club in order to invest in new surfboards to support the growing number of members and to repair damaged boards.
'The club has experienced a rapid increase in interest over the last few years, and now has more than 150 active members. We run several weekend trips to Newquay each term and day trips to South Wales in the interim. A key attraction of the club is that we provide full kit for our members on these trips, allowing the sport to be more financially accessible. Our previous capacity of 40 places was limited by the number of surfboards and wetsuits that were in suitable condition: interest was exceeding the number of places available.
'The grant we received from the Alumni Foundation was used to purchase three new surfboards, two wetsuits and resin to repair the current boards. The new surfboards are suitable for beginner/intermediate surfers who make up the majority of our new members. There is already demand for these boards on day trips from many of our members. The new men’s wetsuits have been an important purchase as many of our current suits are damaged and consequently not warm enough to use over the winter months. We have recently invested in resin repair kits, and have repaired five of our boards which were previously unsuitable for use. The repair work is still underway, and we aim to have around 10 boards back in working order before the start of next term.
'The grant has therefore been vital for enabling a greater number of members access to kit, and increasing the capacity of our trips. We aim to continue to invest surf club money in the repairs and slowly increase the number of boards available.'
Maisie Nash (MSci 2012-)
'I would like to thank the Alumni Foundation for their generosity in providing me with a travel grant to attend the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology Conference in September 2014.
'Not only did the conference give me the opportunity to showcase the results of the past three years of my studies in an inclusive and supportive environment, it also allowed me to gain excellent feedback from a wide range of academic and non-academic researchers. The conference was also very relevant to my work and meant I made some very useful contacts for future collaborations.
'The conference enabled me to find out about some of the most up-to-date research in osteoarchaeology. The lectures covered a wide scope of topics from proteomics to new studies on dental modifications. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn about research in my field taking place in different departments both in the UK and abroad, and the exchange of ideas that took place at this year’s conference will certainly enrich the quality of my PhD.
'For all of these reasons I am very grateful that the Alumni Foundation was able to sponsor my trip and allow me to participate, as I would not otherwise have been able to present my work this year. It was certainly a very formative experience for me and a central part of a well-rounded postgraduate experience.'
Francesca Migliaccio (PhD Archaeology and Anthropology)
'Thanks to financial assistance from the Alumni Foundation, I was able to attend the internationally renowned course in sensory ecology at Lund University, Sweden. The two-week intensive course gave me the opportunity to hear world-leading researchers in the fields of animal sensation and neuroscience - experts who are both established and emerging in their fields.
'Additionally, I was able to present my research to course attendees and lecturers at several poster sessions, attended by members of the world’s leading research group in my field, the Lund Vision group.
'As a young scientist making the transition from physical to biological sciences and reaching the end of my PhD, the education I received in Lund allowed me to consolidate and develop my knowledge and build a solid base on which to develop my career.
'Furthermore, as a result of discussions held during my time in Lund, I will be visiting as a post-doctoral researcher for three months in early 2015 to work on collaborations with world-leading animal vision expert, Professor Almut Kelber.
'Many thanks to the Alumni Foundation for giving me the chance to have this incredible scientific experience.'
David Wilby (PhD Physics)
'During the month of February the Wickham Theatre was, thanks to the Alumni Foundation grant, able to host Full Circle, a festival of four nights’ worth of theatre written, devised, performed, directed and produced by alumni of the Bristol's drama department. The department was able to provide the theatre space, while the Alumni Foundation grant helped provide the technical and front-of-house support necessary to stage the performances.
'Highlights included Louise Orwin’s Pretty Ugly, a challenging and topical examination of society’s obsession with body image; Lorraine and Allan, a poignant and funny take on the Selki myth; and the hit of the festival, Captain Morgan and the Sands of Time, a fast and furious, keep-the-gags-coming tale of plunder on the high seas: two actors, one musician, a chair, 48 characters.
'All shows played to enthusiastic and responsive audiences comprising members of the public, University staff and students. The shows were supplemented by a series of talks and workshops led by the performers, on subjects ranging from 'Setting Up a Theatre Company' to 'Getting your Work into a Festival'.
'We very much hope to be able to repeat this event in future years.'
Kate Withers (Department of Drama)
'The Capoeira Society would like to express its gratitude to the Alumni Foundation for awarding our society £660. We have used this money to buy instruments which are crucial to the Afro- Brazilian martial art of capoeira, including three berimbaus (long hand-crafted bow-like instruments), one tambourine, one agogo, one reco reco and a large atabaque (drum).
'The instruments were used during our summer festival which was a great success. Nearly 100 people attended the festival and the instruments greatly contributed to its fantastic atmosphere. They will continue to be used at regular training sessions and at future festivals.
'Once again, we would like to express our gratitude for the grant and the support that the Alumni Foundation has provided the Capoeira society!'
Oyinda Bamgbose (BSc Economics and Politics)
'The Alumni Foundation grant enabled BULABDS to host an inclusive Latin American and Ballroom Dancing competition for universities around the country. We were able to hire a larger sports hall as the venue (so more universities could attend), and hire two additional external judges to ensure a fairly judged competition.
'More than 200 dancers from a variety of universities entered the competition and a further three universities have since expressed an interest in attending the competition next year in 2015. The lively and friendly competition helped to promote the University of Bristol as a vibrant place to live and study to the audience who also attended the event.
'The competition hugely promoted interuniversity relations, providing an opportunity for Bristol students of all backgrounds and subject areas to mix with students from other universities.'
Nicolette Moreau (BSc 2013, PhD 2013 -)
University of Bristol,
Bristol, BS8 1TH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)117 928 9000