What's next? Our new fundraising projects

The University of Birmingham was founded through a philanthropic gift 100 years ago, and that tradition of charitable giving continues today. We are fundraising for a diverse range of projects in areas addressing society's biggest challenges: Health and Medical Research, Access to Education and Innovation and Immediate Impact. Find out more about some of our new projects below or make a donation

Global maternal health

Born and raised in Sierra Leone, Sessay was married aged 14 and had her first child aged 15. At 18, the age of a typical first year student, she became pregnant with twins. She was unable to deliver the second twin and died through excessive bleeding while walking miles to see a doctor. Researchers at Birmingham know they can save the lives of mothers like Sessay through simple initiatives covering everything from healthcare and food security to transport. Give £50 and you could fund a place for a healthcare worker on a training course about infection. 


Miscarriage is by far the biggest cause of pregnancy loss in the UK, with one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage. 85 per cent of miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks, but there is little known about how and why they occur, leaving couples grieving with few answers and little support. The University is leading a collaboration to fund much-needed research into early miscarriage at the Tommy's National Early Miscarriage Centre, a partnership of three universities: the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, and Imperial College London.

Mental health

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, leading to an estimated annual cost to society of £110 billion. Approximately 75% of those who experience a mental health problem first do so before the age of 24. The University is aiming to establish an Institute for Mental Health with the aim to increase research on the impact of mental health on the people affected, on society and on the public purse, creating a collaborative and interdisciplinary Institute that will situate the University of Birmingham as an internationally recognised source of expertise on mental health.

Access to education

StudentsupportimageOur donors have funded 570 student scholarships through the Circles of Influence campaign. However, more and more bright young people from under-represented backgrounds apply each year, and we hope the University School will increase this further. Your donations will help us continue sector leading initiatives such as Access to Birmingham (A2B) Scholarships, PhD Scholarships, Article 26 Scholarships, Music Scholarships, Sport Scholarships, Internships and International undergraduate scholarships for Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Alternative cancer treatments

‘This could be a real step-change in cancer treatment,’ according to Professor Ben Willcox, of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Centre, whose team is researching the immune system’s response to cancer. They are developing treatments to stop tumours ‘switching off’ immune responses to the cancer, so a patient’s own immune system can fight the cancer cells. This produces significantly fewer side effects than chemotherapy but can be as effective. The team have seen transformational results in treating solid cancers that lung cancer specialist Professor Gary Middleton says ‘made the hairs on the backs of our necks stand up’. Your support could fund more specialist scientists and help Birmingham establish a world-leading institute for this exciting work. 

Antibiotic resistance research

Antibiotic resistance and the control of infectious diseases such as TB are global issues. Scientists at the University are carrying out pioneering research to understand diseases and the spread of antibiotic resistance, identify new strains of disease and facilitate the development of new antibiotics. By supporting this work you will help address an issue deemed a major global threat by the World Health Organisation. 

Fighting children's cancer

Dr Frank Mussai is developing new treatments for children with cancer. His research involves investigating the links between adult and childhood cancers and the immune system, and focuses on acute myeloid leukaemia (the worst form of leukaemia in children) and the solid cancer neuroblastoma. Currently there is little funding available for testing the results of adult cancer drug trials in children. Donations given towards simple laboratory equipment such as freezers, centrifuges and flow cytometers, will help save lives.

Innovation and immediate impact

Life-changing research would not be possible without everyday items ranging from test tubes or laptops. Philanthropic donations provide the basis for new ideas to take shape, and enable important work to take place without waiting for formal funding applications to be approved.

How you can help 

To find out more about any of the projects above, email giving@contacts.bham.ac.uk, or make a donation today at www.bhamalumni.org/givenow