Students Union Fund

The Students’ Union Fund (SUF) exists to enable LSE students to bring their ideas and initiatives to life in order to positively impact the student community at LSE and the wider society.

Applications for the first round are now open. You must submit your completed application form, along with any supporting evidence, to su.engagement@lse.ac.uk by 11:59pm on 27th November 2019.

The second round of applications will be closed on 27th January 2020. 

What is the criteria?

  • Projects must have an educational effect. This could happen by the project facilitating the development of those involved in the project in some shape or form. It could also happen by the project raising awareness on a given subject.
  • Projects should positively impact the wellbeing of students. They could do this by having a direct or indirect effect on mental or physical health.
  • Projects should be community building. They could do this by bringing people together and by being accessible to a wide range of students.
  • Applications should demonstrate the potential to become financially sustainable and require less or no funding in the future. They should also provide plans to gather data and insights on student engagement in the project.

Moreover we are looking forward to fund outstanding projects. For this reasons the applicants must also demonstrate the following:

Must be a unique initiative that does not replicate existing activity.

We want to fund activities that don’t currently exist and demonstrate innovation. If you are replicating something that LSESU (or an existing LSESU group) already does then you need to explain how your project adds unique value.

Must evidence student demand for the initiative or justify why student demand is anticipated.

We expect projects to come from an existing need. You may be able to evidence this from direct student feedback or statistics however, if not, you should explain why you believe students will want to engage with it.

Must be accessible to all students (unless aimed at an individual liberation group).

Inclusion is a core value of the Students’ Union and so your project must consider whether any groups of students may struggle to access it.

Must take a responsible approach to budgeting.

We want as many students to benefit from the SUF as possible and so we expect applicants to be economical when deciding how much to spend on their project. This doesn’t mean cutting back on your activities, however it does mean doing some research to ensure you’re not overpaying on any items or services.

We would also expect the applicant to consider whether or not to charge for tickets or, if they are applying on behalf of a society, subsidise the project with their own funds. Lastly, the panel will want to know how financially sustainable your project is (i.e. would you be able to run it again at a lower or no cost).

Target Audience

You can choose who your target audience is however we expect your project to be accessible to all students unless it is for a specific liberation group (e.g. LGBT+, women, BME etc.).

The panel are particularly keen to receive applications that engage students who LSESU does not always manage to reach, such as postgraduate and international students.

Budgeting

You will need to carefully consider your budget. We have a few restrictions however you will have a lot of autonomy over what you request. The panel will want to see that you have budgeted in a realistic manner and that the things you have chosen to spend money on directly contribute to the aim of the project.

  • There isn’t a minimum amount you can request. The maximum award is £15,000 (or £5000 for a one day event) however the decision making panel retains the right to approve a lower amount than is requested. You will also need to show that the amount requested is realistic.
  • If you are requesting money for refreshments then this should not exceed 30% of your entire budget.
  • If your event is in the LSESU building (Saw Swee Hock Student Centre) you will need to use the SU’s catering service rather than an external provider.
  • If you wish to use our venue, there may be additional security/technical support requirements that you must factor into your budget.
  • Accommodation will only be funded if it is 3-stars or under or if you can evidence that you have chosen an Air BnB (or equivalent) that is of average price for the location.
  • Travel will be funded if it is via second class train or coach. Flights will only be funded if there is no feasible alternative (and must be economy.

Support Required

LSESU can offer a variety of non-financial support to help you with your project. This will depend on staff capacity however might include:

Operational support

This covers administrative tasks, such as booking rooms. This would normally only apply if you were holding an event within our building.

Communications

If you would like to advertise your event, our Communications team may be able to promote it via our social media channels.

Space provision

Depending on availability we may be able to offer you space within our building to hold your event.

Advice and guidance

The Student Funds Coordinator can provide advice on your application and signpost you to more specialist support if required (for example, if you’re trying to reach out to a particular group or you have specific event requirements).

Composition of the Funding Panel

General Secretary (Chair)

Activities and Development Officer

Community and Welfare Officer

Education Officer

Postgraduate Students Officer

LSE Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Student Funds Coordinator (Advisory)

What next?

You must submit your completed application form, along with any supporting evidence, to su.engagement@lse.ac.uk by 11:59pm on 27th November 2019.

The Representation Team can provide support with your application however this must be before the deadline. After the deadline has passed there is no guarantee that you will be able to submit any further information.

The Process

  • Student completes application form and obtains any supporting evidence.
  • Representation Team provides support/requests further information if time allows (i.e. if submitted in advance of the deadline).
  • After the deadline all applications that meet the basic criteria will be submitted to the Funds Panel.
  • Funds Panel decides which applications to accept and any further information that is required.
  • Representation Team liaise between the Panel and students to provide required information. Any subsequent decisions to be made by the panel via email or chairs actions.

Appeals

You may appeal a decision not to refer your application to the Funds Panel by contacting the Representation Manager. Any decision made by the Funds Panel will be final.