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Four performers singing into a shared microphone

Funded by former students, Student Experience Grants have been supporting student innovation at Edinburgh for over 10 years. Ahead of the next round of grants opening on 13 October, we look at what impact the alumni-funded grants have had on students, staff and societies at ECA.

Students and staff with an innovative idea to enhance students’ social, academic or cultural development can apply to receive a grant of up to £5,000 to help bring it to life.  

Over the past two years alone, Student Experience Grants have awarded ECA staff, student and society projects over £35,000. These projects have enhanced the experience of students from across the five subject areas to support projects including Fringe shows, workshops, festivals, conferences and performances. 

It is not just projects awarded to ECA that have helped our students; in 2017, Rosalyn Claase, Head of Student Experience at the Business School, successfully applied for an alumni-funded grant of £2,000 to support an interdisciplinary student trek to India. 

The following summer, 24 undergraduate students from a range of programmes– including business, fashion and geography – spent a week following the supply chain of cotton, from the villages of rural Maharashtra to the fashion houses of Mumbai and Vogue India. 

The grant ensured that there were no financial barriers to students taking part in the trip and gaining this invaluable experience. 

Applications for the next round of Student Experience Grants open on 13 October and close on 10 November 2022. Further details can be found here.

"The Student Experience Grant allowed us to do something I never thought we'd have been able to do. It provided us with the runway to be able to really push ourselves to create the space that we felt was missing in the Edinburgh scene. It's what allowed us to really get started."

Jamie Cushing

Fruit Salad Queer Cabaret

Get inspired 

Here are some of ECA’s recent projects to inspire you:

THEBOX.GALLERY - A project to build a miniature contemporary art space where the work of art students can be installed and exhibited. (£2,920)

Future Flavours of Sound Festival - A Glastonbury inspired online sonic festival with four simultaneously streamed stages. (£5,000)

Climascores - ESALA (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) Climate Action members propose a programme of workshops to engage ESALA students and the wider community in the development of ‘Climascores’ - climate-related recipes for material revaluing and community making. (£3,000)

Fruit Salad Queer Cabaret - A student-led cabaret that showcases queer performance art in all its forms. It will give students a chance to express themselves in a safe and creative environment thus nurturing talents that would otherwise go unseen. (£3,000)

Integrating Eco-critical Thinking with Art History - A series of workshops bringing together art historians to develop eco-critical art history methods within the Environmental Humanities. (£1,350) 

Edinburgh Collective Cognitive Cartography (Edinburgh CCC) - Patterns of user experience in urban settings are vital in promoting spatial quality and citizens' wellbeing, yet vastly understudied. This project is using novel strategies to evaluate and improve Edinburgh urban design. (£2,205)

Re-imagine social interactions and interaction design amidst the pandemic - The aim of this project is to design techniques and technologies that can tackle isolation and enhance social interaction in the city, during the pandemic and the post-pandemic era. (£1,350)

For more inspiration you can see a full list of grants awarded across the University since 2018 here.