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Foundation Year


A fund has been set up to support Foundation Year students at Cambridge, past and present, in undertaking enriching activities during the long vacation. It aims to reduce ‘barrier expenses’ for internships and voluntary work, recognising that these that can develop a range of skills outside of the classroom.

What is available?

Registered Cambridge students can apply for up to £500 each in a given year, to support one internship or voluntary role during the long vacation. We cannot support every student at full value, so what is given to each student will vary according to need and availability as determined by the panel reviewing applications.

What can I use it for?

Students who receive support through this fund must use it to support costs related to internships (a professional learning experience) or voluntary work (work that is unpaid but benefits others) within the UK. It will not, in most cases, cover the full cost of participation, but should reduce ‘barrier expenses’ and otherwise incentivise opportunities.

The funds could be used for:

  • Travel and subsistence during the activity;
  • Accommodation during the activity;
  • Related costs such as the purchase of clothing or other equipment needed;
  • Reimbursing lost wages from part-time work.

The funds must not be used to pay for other people, or to support the activities of the company or charity itself directly (for example by paying charity costs). The fund intends to support roles which comply with national minimum wage legislation (unless it is a charity, voluntary organisation or statutory body which are exempt from this). As we do not want to disadvantage students who undertake roles which do not comply with the national minimum wage, students undertaking those opportunities are not debarred from applying, but we would expect that the opportunity in that case should not last more than 7 working days.

The University does not accept any liability for risks involved in the activity itself, nor are students insured by us for their participation. Students will need to confirm that they are aware of risks and asked to consult the company/charity for copies of risk assessments.

What do I need to do?

Students should fill in the online form by the deadlines stated to provide us with information to consider awarding funds. Students are also required to submit a short written report after you complete the activity.

To fill in the online form, students should provide us with key information such as what the opportunity involves, who is running it, how long it will take and where it will happen. It is helpful for us to receive detailed responses. We also requite evidence from the company or charity detailing the role. This could be a letter confirming the appointment or arrangement. 

What is the deadline?

There is a deadline of 15th June for activities in July or later, and a deadline on 15th July for activities in August or later.

Application form now live. Apply here.

How will funds be awarded?

We will award funds that are considered proportionate to the activity, especially if demand is high, and so students should not bank on receiving the full amount they request.

A panel comprised of University staff will be responsible for assessing applications and will be considering:

  • What the activity is, how long it takes and whether there are unavoidable costs involved such as travel or accommodation needs;
  • If there is any financial remuneration or other funding available to support it (for example, a paid internship will reasonably be considered a lower priority than unpaid roles);
  • If the internship or voluntary work supports education or social justice aims in line with the values of the University of Cambridge and the Foundation Year, for example working with groups who may be eligible for the programme;
  • If the position has been sourced via the University of Cambridge Careers Service, for example through Handshake listings or after consultation with Careers Service advisors;
  • (In future years) Whether the student has already received support from this fund or not.

What if the activity doesn’t go ahead after I receive funds?

If you end up not under-taking the activity, you must inform us and return any awarded funds so they they may be used to support other opportunities in the future.

**Apply online here**