The College supports students in a range of different ways. One of these is financially. One way that Selwyn students can benefit is through the various sources of support that are available centrally to students from all Colleges. Generally the way these can be accessed is through your Tutor, and sometimes the Senior Tutor, making a case to the relevant University body. The range of grants and funds is extensive. Please consult

If there are problems with your granting authority, you may, in the first instance, consult and and contact the relevant research council.

Like all Colleges, Selwyn has funds of its own for use in cases of student hardship or other need. Accessing the University funds can be dependent on a College contribution.

In addition there are various funds that are less to do with hardship or particular needs and targeted instead at particular activities or subject areas.

This section of the Guide outlines what is available in all three of these categories.

5.5.1 Student Support Funds

The need for support is difficult to define in a precise way, but for the purposes of assessing eligibility for interest-free loans or grants, it is taken to mean: ‘being unable to meet the reasonable (in the College’s view) costs of accommodation, maintenance, study, and living expenses, whilst having drawn fully on normally available resources, and not having incurred any foreseeable unreasonable expenditure’. Postgraduate students completing a course with a research element are encouraged to complete their thesis in a timely manner within the period for which they have been awarded funding or for which they have planned to be self funded. It is not anticipated that the College will have funds available to support students who overrun that period unless they have faced exceptional difficult unforeseen circumstances. When a student is accepted, a financial guarantee is given for every year of the course either by the funding body, or the student themselves, or both in parts. Therefore any application for hardship funding has to make the case that the circumstances of the financial guarantee are no longer valid.

The College has various Trust funds available to help alleviate financial difficulty. The size of loans or grants varies according to circumstances. The amount does not usually exceed c£500, but larger loans or grants can sometimes be made in exceptional circumstances.

There is also a fund (the ‘Hepper Fund’) to assist disabled students and a fund (the ‘Dawson Fund’) dedicated to the support of students with serious mental health problems.

If you wish to be considered for a College support loan or grant, you should, in the first place, discuss your circumstances in detail with your Tutor. You will then need to complete an application form setting out your financial position and showing all sources of income and other resources (e.g. loans, savings from vacation work, legacies, scholarships etc). The form can be completed and submitted to your Tutor as an electronic document rather than a hard copy. Your Tutor will then complete a separate section and will forward the form to the Senior Tutor. Based on the details of your application, the Senior Tutor who will make a recommendation for consideration by the Master and Bursar.

Student Support Application Form. 

5.5.2 University Funds

There is a range of support available centrally from the University as well as College support. See for details.

The key University support fund operates on the assumption that any given student will usually only receive a maximum of £2,000 per annum. Tutors apply on behalf of students for funding, the deadlines being at the division (mid-point) of each term.

5.5.3 Cambridge Bursary Scheme

Most graduate students are not eligible for a Cambridge Bursary. To be eligible for a bursary a student must be a Home or EU student doing a Cambridge full-time undergraduate course as their first degree. This includes some students who have qualified for the BA degree but who are still classed as undergraduates. The principal categories are: Clinical medical and veterinary students doing the 4th, 5th and 6th year of their course; any student doing a course at undergraduate level in Medicine, Veterinary Science or Architecture even if this is not their first degree; Bachelor of Theology students who receive a means-tested grant; or MPhil students in Architecture and Urban Design.  Please see for further details.

5.5.4 Childcare Bursaries

The College pays into a University Bursary Fund for Childcare which provides grants to overseas and EU student parents. If you have childcare costs while you study here, both pre-school and after school, you should ask your Tutor for details and complete an application form in the Michaelmas Term.

Eligible Home students with children receive financial support through public funding. In a few cases this is not the case and a fund exists to make small awards to support childcare costs incurred by Home students in financial hardship under the remit of the Childcare Office for Home student parents. Please consult:

5.5.5 Medical Expenses

Crane’s Charity exists to support students who are ill and who can demonstrate financial  need.

For expenses relating to a disability please see or contact the Disability Resource Centre

5.5.7 College Funds (non-hardship)

Thesis Submission

Those of you undertaking M.Litt. or Ph.D. theses will qualify for a grant from the college to assist with the binding of the thesis. This will be paid automatically when confirmation of submission is received from The Student Registry. If you find yourself in unexpected financial circumstances that may prevent the completion of your thesis, you may apply for assistance from the Board of Graduate Studies, 4 Mill Lane.

5.5.8 Travel Grants

In some Departments funding is provided by the University to make contributions towards maintenance costs and travel associated with particular academic courses (the approved list of courses is usually referred to as the ‘Pink List’). The Fellow for Grants (Professor Daping Chu) will advise on eligibility, but your Director of Studies should also be able to give you information. The College will not expect to fund activities that are covered by this list.

In all cases it is a condition of accepting a grant from the College that the student will undertake the travel for which they applied and that they should submit a brief report on their travel or other activities to their Tutor by the Division of the Term after their travel.

College Travel and Vacation Study Grants are awarded to enable students to travel on projects that cannot be helped directly through the list mentioned above. The total amount available is not large. Grant applications should be submitted to your Tutor by 5 p.m. on Friday 5th May so that your Tutor can forward the completed application with their comments to the Tutor for Grants. They will then be considered by a meeting of the Tutors. Full details are circulated in the Michaelmas Term. Application forms can be available online here.

In addition to the General Travel Grants, there are some Special Travel Grants which are aimed a particular kinds of travel but considered through the same application process.  If you are thinking of directing your application to one of these grants you simply indicate so on the form. You should discuss this with your Tutor before submitting your form.

The T S Cordiner Travel Bursary

As a result of a generous gift from an alumnus, this travel bursary will support the full costs of a current Selwyn student who wishes to travel to the United States of America during the Long Vacation.  Preference may be given to those who have never previously travelled to North America and whose project is planned as both a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to undertake a potentially life-changing experience and something the student could not otherwise afford to do without the Fund’s support. The project need not be Tripos-related.   To apply, please submit the application form and include the crsid of your Tutor in the appropriate box.

The following funds require only the standard application form, including a clear statement of the fund to which the student wishes to apply:

  • The Borradaile Fund is available for zoology related travel with a preference to undergraduates.
  • The Boydell Fund is for vet students to travel to remote regions to study wildlife. It is distributed every a few years when sufficient fund is accumulated for a meaningful award.
  • The Cott Fund exists primarily to assist junior members of the College who wish to travel overseas to engage in a biological or anthropological scientific expedition/research project.
  • The Terry Dixon Memorial Travel Fund has the priority to support any students travelling to Japan.
  • The Medical Mission Fund is for religious (Christian) related trips and must be used for the activities which can be regarded as missionary and medical in nature.

Like the general grants, it is a requirement of accepting the grant to complete a report. Use this form to submit a report on your travel after your return.

5.5.9 College Grants for Graduates

Graduates should note that the College now has two separate funds available to support the academic work of MCR members.  In addition to work-related travel grants (approximate in value to those given in previous years), there is a second fund to which graduates may apply – for help in covering the costs of essential items such as books, software, meeting registration, etc. Please contact your tutor for details and clarification. Application for either fund is made using the same form. There are no closing dates; applications may be submitted at any time. It is usually a good idea to discuss the application with your Tutor before you fill in the form. Completed forms should be submitted to your Tutor who will forward them for decisions within a few days. The grant application form can be completed online here.

5.5.10 Subject Related Funds

Use this form to submit a report on your travel after your return.

Beker Mathematics Fund

The Beker Mathematics Fund was set up in 2008, following a generous benefaction from Professor Henry J. Beker. The purpose of the fund is to encourage the study of mathematics and to promote excellence in the subject. Grants from the Beker Fund may be made to both students and teachers of mathematics at Selwyn, in accordance with the following order of priority: undergraduates; those reading for Part III of the Mathematical Tripos (or the Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics); postgraduates; Fellows (and Bye-Fellows).

It is anticipated that grants will be made to assist Selwyn mathematicians with the following types of expense:


  1. the purchase of recommended course books

ii) the purchase of a computer

iii) the purchase of licences for computer programmes that are not currently available to undergraduates

iv) attendance at mathematical conferences or meetings; or travel broadly related to the applicant’s course of study

Candidates for Part III (or CASM): attendance at mathematical conferences or meetings; or travel broadly related to the applicant’s course of study

Postgraduates: attendance at mathematical conferences or meetings; or travel in connection with the applicant’s field of research

Fellows: attendance at mathematical conferences or meetings (or similar professional gatherings)

N.B. Subject to the approval of the HJB Charitable Trust, it may be possible to make grants for academic purchases or activities not listed above. Enquiries should be addressed to the Senior Tutor.

3. Applications should be submitted in accordance with the following procedures:

a)  Undergraduate course books: undergraduates wishing to apply for a book grant should complete the standard application form and submit it, together with proof of purchase to their Director of Studies, who is asked to confirm that the title in question is a recommended course book before forwarding the form to the Senior Tutor. Not all the elements of the form will necessarily need to be completed. Applications can be submitted at any time, but payments will only be made at the end of each Term when the managers of the fund will consider all of the claims made in that term in the light of the available resources. It is expected that, within reason, the cost of the purchase of course books will be refunded in full.

b) All other categories of expenditure: applicants should complete the standard application form and submit it to their Tutor. The Tutor will then forward the application to the Senior Tutor. Potential applicants wishing to ascertain in advance the likelihood and scale of the grant sought should consult the Senior Tutor.  Applications may be made at any time.

4. The managers of the Beker Fund are: the Master, the Senior Tutor, a Tutor for Graduates (Sciences); and the Fellows in Mathematics. They will provide a brief annual report to the College Council, listing the grants approved in the course of the previous academical year.

Medical Elective Fund

This Fund was established in 2009 after an appeal when multiple donations were received from medical alumni and others, with one large donation from an individual alumnus. It was instigated to supply financial help for students planning medical electives usually, but not exclusively, away from Cambridge.

Recipients must be Selwyn clinical students studying Clinical Medicine at the Cambridge Clinical School. Occasionally, if sufficient funds are available, undergraduate medical students undertaking medically orientated vacation projects may be helped. Funds can be used for travel, subsistence or fees and should be considered as a contribution and not complete funding. As there is a limited annual income from the capital fund, maximum help at present is usually in the region of £200-300.

To apply, please submit the application form and include the crsid of your Tutor in the appropriate box. Funding from other sources, applied for or already promised, must be declared. Details of any projects of an academic nature should be clearly stated.

The closing date for applications for 2017 is 31st January 2018 

All applications will be considered and funds allocated as fairly as possible. Factors taken in consideration will include:

  • Projects that are of an academic nature that may lead to a publication or presentation at a scientific meeting.
  • Proof that applications have been made to other grant sources. A list of potential sources can be obtained from Dr Robert Whitaker.
  • Special circumstances.

The Fund is administered by Dr Robert Whitaker and Dr Charlotte Woodford.

Successful applicants will be obliged to submit a report of their research or experiences and be prepared to address the Selwyn College Medical and Veterinary Society when requested to do so.

Ball Fund for Geography

The College has recently received a gift from an Alumnus to support Geography students and those whose studies relate closely to geography and to promote excellence in the subject. These funds are primarily intended to support academically-related travel. They may also be used for other purposes than travel. Priority will be given to those whose application relates to a specific project rather than general need.

Support is available for subject-related activities during the current academic year, the long vacation or into next academic year for purchases or activities that involve students in out of pocket expenditure and that are not fully supported from Departmental sources. It may be possible to make larger grants than are given in the general travel grants competition. The level of support will depend on the proposed expenses. However, to facilitate ambitious projects funding in excess of £1,000 (or occasionally more) may be awarded.  The total amount available in any year may be up to £5,000, to be allocated across the various applicants. Eligibility is restricted to undergraduates who are returning to continue their studies in the next year. Some support may also be available for graduate students whose studies will extend beyond the present academic year. In some circumstances grants may be made to undergraduates from other Triposes whose projects have a geographical aspect, such as Land Economy or Earth Sciences, for example.

Awards from the fund will usually be made towards such things as:

  • third year dissertation projects;
  • course-related travel of benefit to a student’s second or third year geographical studies but which is not strictly connected to a particular project;
  • books and other course related expenditure not covered by the department;
  • dissertation projects in Triposes other than Geography but that relate academically to topics covered by geographers, such as Land Economy, Earth Sciences, some aspects of HSPS and other courses in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • ad hoc financial assistance for undergraduates studying Geography.

To apply, please submit the application form and include the crsid of your Tutor and Director of Studies in the appropriate box. The application must include a statement of your likely expenditure (itemised as appropriate e.g. travel, books and computing resources, other equipment, source materials or other geography-related expenses) and an account of no more than 1,000 words of the project, travel or need for equipment. It should also state how you would benefit from receiving funds. You should not have already received full funding for any items you include.

The initial deadline for applications is the end of Lent Full Term. A decision on awards will then be taken by the Senior Tutor, the Master and the Director of Studies in Geography. If funds remain unspent after this first round of applications, later applications may be considered.

Gebauer Fund for German

The College has recently received a gift from an alumnus to support students with academic interests in the German language or in Germany itself. These funds are intended primarily to support academically-related travel but may also occasionally be used for other purposes.

The fund has been established to promote German studies in the fields of language, literature and culture.  The fund is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students of all subjects, who intend to visit Germany, for whatever purposes including research and study. Those wishing to be considered for an award from the fund should complete the application form and send it to their Tutor. The Tutor will then forward the application to the Senior Tutor. The application must contain an outline of the proposed project and its relevance to your academic interest in Germany. It is not anticipated that grants will be awarded to fund routine year-abroad travel to or within Germany undertaken as a compulsory part of the MML Tripos. However, trips to set up a year abroad placement or return visits to where you spent your year abroad in order to complete an academic project may be considered.

Awards from the fund will usually be made towards such things as:

  • dissertation projects;
  • graduate projects that involve research in Germany;
  • travel that relates directly to a student’s studies and has a strong German element but which is not strictly project related;
  • travel to Germany to learn or improve your knowledge of German;
  • essential course-related expenditure relating to Germany;
  • German language courses undertaken for academic purposes

To apply, please submit the application form and include the crsid of your Tutor and Director of Studies in the appropriate box. It may not be necessary to compete all elements for the form, but please give as much detail as possible. The application should provide some details of any travel, dissertation research, resources, other equipment, source materials or other relevant expenses. You should include a statement of your proposed expenditure and a one or two paragraph account of the project and how you would benefit from receiving funds.

The deadline for applications is the end of Lent Full Term but some applications may be considered before then. If funds remain unspent, there will be a second round in the Easter Term. Decisions on funding will be taken by the Senior Tutor, the Master and the Director of Studies in German.

It is anticipated that sums in the hundreds of pounds may be available to those who demonstrate a need. Priority will be given to those whose application relates to a specific project rather than general need.

5.5.11 Chapel Funds

There are a number of funds available to help students intending to take Holy Orders in the Church of England, or to engage in overseas missionary work. There is also a fund to assist members of the College who are the sons or daughters of Anglican clergy. Students who think that they may be eligible should contact the Dean of Chapel.

5.5.12 Music Awards

Around six Choral Exhibitions (£100 per annum, normally tenable for three years) are offered each year, for all voices. Holders of Choral awards form the nucleus of the Chapel Choir. All members of the Choir are expected to attend all rehearsals and services, participate in periodic concerts, recordings, tours etc, and take an active part in the general musical life of the College.

Instrumental Awards (£100 per annum, normally tenable for three years) are offered every year for certain instruments. Instrumental award holders also receive professional ensemble coaching and subsidies for their instrumental lessons. For details, see the current Cambridge Admissions Prospectus.

Organ Scholarships (£450 per annum, normally tenable for three years) are offered in two out of every three years. The Organ Scholar’s responsibilities include playing for Sunday services, and any other non- Choral services, and assisting the Director of Music in the preparation of all Choral services and practice. The Scholar is expected to take a leading part in the musical life of the College, and to conduct and arrange concerts in consultation with the Director of Music.

5.5.13 Sports Grants

As a result of generous donations made by alumni, the College has a number of funds available to help members of the College with their sporting expenses, especially those competing at University level or at national level. There is an application form for these grants, and the procedure for applying will be advertised in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms for completion at the beginning of the following Term. Grants will only be made to cover expenses incurred during the academic year during which the claim is made and not retrospectively for the previous year(s). In some cases this may entail an estimate being made of the expenditure that will be incurred during Easter Term. In exceptional circumstances grants may be made to help College teams with the costs of kit, hire of facilities or the purchase of specialist equipment. It is, however, anticipated that clubs will usually apply to the Societies Fund for support and that they should also explore other funding opportunities such as sponsorship before making an application to the Sports Grants funds.  Further details and an application form are available.

5.5.14 Awards for which no application is necessary

In addition to the Scholarships and Prizes that are awarded for academic excellence, the College makes some further awards upon the nomination of Tutors.

Tallow Chandlers Awards.

Each year two students are nominated by the Tutors for Tallow Chandlers Awards on the grounds of their academic excellence and general contribution to the life of the College. There is no application form.

Christopher Johnson Awards

Each year two students are nominated by the Tutors for Christopher Johnson awards on the grounds of their academic and other contributions to the life of the College. These awards are made to mark the long service of our Honorary Fellow, Dr Christopher Johnson, to the Selwyn College Association. There is no application form.

5.5.15 Bowman Scholarship

The Bowman Scholarship, tenable at Selwyn, is intended to assist with the fees and maintenance of a former member of Nottingham High School who wishes to read for an advanced degree of the University of Cambridge or for the BA degree as an affiliated student; or whose undergraduate course entails a fourth year of study for which the public funding element is not available. The Scholarship is tenable for one year, but in certain circumstances may be renewed for a further one or two years. In determining its value the College Council will take into account any other emoluments received by the Bowman Scholar, but it is not expected that it will ordinarily exceed £5,000 a year. Application forms are obtainable from the Senior Tutor. The closing date for applications is 15 February.

5.5.16 Loans

Some students finance their studies with government approved loans. An officer in the Student Registry's Fees and Funding Office may assist with the administration of loans from outside lenders. From the academic year 2016-17 Home/EU Postgraduates (residency rules apply for eligibility) may apply to Student Finance for Postgraduate loan up to £10K. The loan is a contribution to costs of their course, paid directly to student. Certain Master's courses are eligible. Then college confirms student attendance via the Student Loan Company website in order that this loan money is released to the student.  The student registry deals with the administration of US loans. The college confirms attendance and course dates. The monies are paid directly to the college and it deals with this in accordance with the loan conditions. The monies are offset against bills and the remaining balance paid to the student within the set time period.  For more information please consult and