Alumni Impact Fund

Since 2002 the Development and Alumni Relations Office has shared more than £2 million with colleagues across campus. Thanks to the generosity of alumni, supporters and friends of the University, hundreds of innovative projects have been brought to life and directly impacted on teaching, learning, student experience, outreach and the academic endeavour.

Applications are now closed.

For more information about applying to the fund, please contact Eleanor Woulfe.


Learn how you could benefit from the Alumni Impact Fund for Students.

Alumni Impact Fund for Dubai staff

Please read the rest of the information on the webpage before submitting an application.

The Alumni Impact Fund for Dubai staff will open on Monday 19 February and run until 9am on Monday 11 March.

Key dates

Open at 9am on Monday 19 February

Close 9am on Monday 11 March

Shortlisting panel will take place on Thursday 2 May. 


How does it work?

The Alumni Impact Fund is a pot of funding generously donated by alumni, students, staff and friends of the University, which is split equally across the Colleges and Professional Services.

Applications are open to all staff, whether you are academic, support, technicians or Professional Services, to bid for a share of the Fund to support innovative projects that have a positive impact on the academic endeavour, teaching and the student experience.

Candidates wishing to apply must fill in the online application form and provide written support of the application from your Head of School/Department, or Head of Estates if your project will impact the University's estate.

As a general guide most previous successful applications have been in the range of £500 to £5,000. However, other amounts will be considered. 

Applications to support a larger project will be considered providing it is clear which aspects the Alumni Impact Fund will contribute to and the impact of not receiving funding is clearly explained.

Applications will be considered by a panel comprising representatives from your College or Professional Service, including but not exclusive to:

  • Head of College
  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Education or Research
  • A member of the College Alumni Relations Team (Development and Alumni Relations Office)
  • A member of our alumni community
  • A student

All successful applicants will be required to provide a thank you message to our donors and a report on their project. These reports will then be shared across the University website and social media, and sent to our alumni donors as part of a thank you message.

Key dates and events

Monday 15 January 2024: Applications open

The Alumni Impact Fund team will be running drop-in advice sessions, at these drop-in sessions you can:

  • find out if your activity is eligible for funding
  • speak to staff about your application
  • get tips on how to fill out your application effectively

Please email Eleanor Woulfe to find out what times these drop-in sessions will take place, and book a slot.

Monday 19 February 2024, at 9am: Applications close

w/c 26 February 2024: Applications will be shortlisted

Beginning of March 2024: Successful applicants will be informed of funding


To be considered for funding, your project must clearly demonstrate that it:

  • Is new and/or innovative and may provide the basis for future activity
  • Supports the University and College strategic priorities
  • Offers a unique opportunity to enhance teaching, or students' academic activities, on campus and enriches the student experience
  • Is not a core Department, School, College or University requirement
  • Cannot be funded in any other way
  • Has the support of the Head of School/Department, and Head of Estates for any bids that impact on the University's estate
  • Must be completed by an agreed date in order to demonstrate immediate impact

Please note: for 2023/24 we are actively encouraging applications that will boost the student experience during Summer Term and UoB Xtra.

Terms and conditions

  • This money has been charitably donated to the University by alumni and all projects funded must reflect the spirit of this generosity and the ethos of the University
  • Funding cannot be used to support research trips, cover travel expenses, catering or alcohol
  • We reserve the right to consider the likely expectations of charitable donors about the use of their donation, and will not fund projects that could negatively impact on our future fundraising. We would not, for example, usually fund proselytising activities
  • Funding cannot be used with the sole aim of directly supporting another charitable cause
  • Only one application will be funded per individual
  • All funding must be spent and projects completed by an agreed date
  • All successful applicants will be required to provide a thank you and a report on the completed project which will be shared with donors and on the website

Why are you doing it this way?

By ring-fencing equal shares, we will ensure that each of the Colleges and Professional Services as a whole will enjoy significant opportunities to bid to the Fund. All applications will be reviewed and decisions made locally by colleagues in your College and for Professional Services, a small steering group.  

Previously funded projects

Here are just some of the 270+ projects we have supported over the years:

Micro Internships for Law Finalists

College of Arts & Law

CAL Internship Officer Lizzie Argirou was awarded £6,000 for an innovative scheme that offered bursary-funded, micro-internships to final year undergraduate students in Birmingham Law School for students identified as potentially needing additional careers support.

24 eligible students undertook a micro-internship (five days in length, full-time) within a local business/SME in the West Midlands region.

The aim was to support and increase graduate employability for law students, which had been identified as a primary target for improvement within the College of Arts & Law. The programme also helped ensure that ‘at risk’ final year law students would remain engaged with the University as they started their careers and became young alumni. 


Open wide: creating exhibition space in the School of Dentistry for public engagement and display of historical items

College of Medical and Dental Sciences

The School of Dentistry relocated to its new home in March 2016 and a contribution of £4,800 from the 2017 Alumni Impact Fund was used towards the establishment of an exhibition space. Not only does this space benefit the school, staff and students, but also patients and the wider community. 

The exhibition space displays quarterly collaborative exhibitions inspired both by the School of Dentistry’s research and historical artefacts held by the school. Recent exhibitions include “Slime Cities”, “Light Fantastic” and “Dancing Bubbles”.  In addition to exhibitions, the space has also been used to host participatory workshops for visitors to encourage involvement in the School’s projects.

Branding was also purchased with AIF money and this has helped promote the space to external visitors. 

More information can be found at BHD Openwide.  at


Bringing Forests into the Classroom

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Dr Rick Thomas from the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) was awarded over £5,000 for a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality system (VRT) that will allow students and online users to experience, learn and interact with this experimental woodland. Whilst initially planned for the benefit of degree level students, it is anticipated that it will also benefit school-age children, stakeholders and funding bodies. 


The fund provided the kick start that BIFoR needed to establish a VRT system, and is being used to demonstrate the power of the technology which is able to provide visitors with an immersive experience.


More information on BIFoR and a virtual tour can be found on YouTube.



The Political Worldview Podcast

College of Social Sciences

Whilst initially established in 2015 by volunteers from the Dept of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), the Worldview Podcast applied for funding from AIF in 2017. Money was required to purchase new equipment (to improve sound and production quality), pay for the services of a producer (since the doctoral student who had previously donated his time was no longer able to do so) and to enable a number of special edition recordings in front of live audiences. 

With the help of this funding, the growth of the podcast has been substantial with increases seen both in the number of subscribers and the average listens per episode.   

As well as providing a platform for PhD students, the financial backing has allowed the podcast to continue and explore new avenues of engagement with the public, as well as generating a worthy research outlet for UoB academics. 

The podcasts are now available to listen to on the University website.


CG in a Suitcase

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

The School of Chemistry applied to the AIF in order to bring the important chemistry technique of chromatography alive for students in Birmingham schools. A series of internal and external events was run using a new portable gas chromatogram to enable school pupils the opportunity to try out this often difficult to grasp technique.

This project not only supported the GCSE and A-Level syllabus but also reinforced the links between UoB and feeder schools. Undergraduate STEM ambassadors also attended these events, providing school pupils an opportunity to ask general questions about university life and the route to higher education. 

Hundreds of students and staff are now benefitting from the Undercroft as it is a more vibrant and active place where students and staff can access study spaces and ICT resources, with dedicated areas for individual study and collaborative learning.

Contact us

For queries relating to the Alumni Impact Fund, please contact Eleanor Woulfe.