How to apply for a Friends Programme Grant

‌Complete an application and gain authorisation as required.  Please ensure you follow the correct authorisation procedure as outlined below.  A completed budget should be submitted with your application.

  • Deadline for submission of Students’ Union applications for authorisation: Midnight on Sunday 1st December 2018
  • Deadline for submission of Faculty and College applications for authorisation: 5pm Monday 17th December 2018
  • Deadline for submission of applications to the Alumni & Development Office: 5pm Thursday 10th January 2019

Click on the links below to download an application form:

(Please ensure you read the guidelines below before applying)

Friends Programme application form 2018

Guidance for applicants 2018 (or see below)

*Please note, a full project budget must be included with all applications

Guidance for applicants:



Authorisation procedure

 Department/Faculty, College or Lancaster University Students' Union applications only:

Please ensure you submit your application to the relevant contact for approval and prioritisation as below. 

  • Department/Faculty Applications:  All department applications need to be approved, signed and prioritised by the relevant Faculty Dean prior to submission to the Friends Programme.  The Dean is asked to then forward the applications to the Development and Alumni Relations Office.  Each faculty will be limited to five applications per round of funding.   In the case of more than five applications being submitted to a Dean, the Dean should forward the top five applications for consideration, according to the Faculty’s priorities for funding. Applications have to be submitted to the Faculty by 5pm on Monday 17th December 2018.
  • College Applications:  Each college is limited to one application per round of funding.  All college applications are to be prioritised at a College Principals’ meeting prior to the deadline date.  The Chair of the meeting is asked to then forward the applications to the Development and Alumni Relations Office. Applications to be submitted by 5pm on Monday 17th December 2018.
  • Lancaster University Students' Union Applications:  All Lancaster University Students' Union applications (e.g. an application from a student sports group, society or JCR) need to be sent to the Students' Union Activities Manager.  The applications will then be approved and signed by the Students' Union Chief Executive and President who then forward the applications to the Alumni & Development Office.  Lancaster University Students' Union holds a meeting prior to the application deadline date to prioritise applications. In the case of more than five applications being submitted to Lancaster University Students' Union, the top five applications for consideration will be forwarded, according to Lancaster University Students' Union's priorities for funding. Applications to be submitted to the Activities Manager by Midnight on Sunday 1st December 2018

Following authorisation, your Faculty Dean, College Principals’ Chair, Lancaster University Student's Union Chief Executive or President will forward your application to the Development and Alumni Relations Office for the 10th January 2019 deadline.

 Other applications:

Please forward to the Alumni & Development Office by 5pm on Thursday 10th January 2019.


What types of project will be considered for funding?

 When funds are raised donors are asked to support by donating money in an unrestricted way so it may be used at the University’s discretion on areas where need is greatest.

Therefore, the Disbursement Committee considers applications and gives funds according to the greatest need and can demonstrate high priority within the University’s strategic plan.  

At each round of funding it is also expected that certain activities should be funded to fulfil donors’ intentions at point of making a gift.  Many donors are motivated by the sense of 'giving back' to their university.  Often they want to support their own department, college, student club etc.  To ensure that these interests are reflected and we are able to report on spend within these areas it is expected at each disbursement that a proportion of grants made should cover the following activities:

  • Projects working to improve the student experience, such as funding for student clubs and societies. 
  • College-based projects.
  • Projects working to increase academic resources and excellence, including, for example, books, equipment, incentives to attract and keep the best research students etc.

Please consider that if you are applying for furniture, fixtures or fittings it should be co-ordinated with Estate Management in terms of strategic planning.  If this is the case, please indicate that the relevant discussions have taken place within the application.

Please note that leverage, in the form of evidence of additional funding from external sources, is welcomed.

In addition, preference will be given to projects or activities that:

  • Offer the widest possible benefit, i.e. to the University as a whole or to a large constituency within the University.
  • Meet a clearly expressed student, academic or overall university need/policy.
  • Enhance the University’s activities and/or reputation more widely.
  • Offer long-term benefit or added value.  Pump-priming grant applications are welcomed.
  • Require one-off funding.  We also welcome projects by PhD students which will leverage their research activities.  See this previous successful example by a PhD student in 2012 'So you want to be an environmental scientist?'
  • Are considered to be of interest to the donors in terms of reporting back on how their donations have been spent.  (When you make your application, please bear in mind that the grant money available is money donated by individuals to the University, as explained above.  We have a commitment to report back to our donors to inform them how their money has been spent.  To this end, the Friends Programme Disbursement Committee will discuss the appeal and interest of each application to the donor base in the decision-making process.)

Please note:  any research project applications should be peer reviewed at faculty level, before being submitted to the Development and Alumni Relations Office.


What types of project will not be considered for funding?

  • Research projects which have not been submitted for other sources of funding.
  • Retrospective funding will not be considered.
  • Applications from individuals (academic, Professional Services or student) seeking support for tuition, other course fees, personal maintenance costs, or for replacement staff costs for sabbatical or other leave.
  • Projects that, in the view of the reviewing authority or the committee, may be controversial or have the potential to attract negative publicity for the University.
  • Projects requesting funding for teaching that would usually be covered via course fees.
  • Building repairs or repairs to fabric that should be covered by Facilities Management. 
  • Please note that we do not fund catering costs and these should not be included in applications.
  • Applications for hardship funds.  The Friends Programme is committed on an ongoing basis to support the central hardship fund administered by Student Based Services.
  • Projects that provide support for students or staff which should be provided from core University funds and form part of core services will not be considered.
  • Applications looking to fund projects linked to widening participation must evidence engagement with the WPCG.


What size of grant is available?

The Board will award grants of up to £10,000. Under exceptional circumstances larger grants may be made at the Board’s discretion.  Most grants awarded will be between £2,000 - £5,000.  In the past the grants awarded have ranged from £300 up to the maximum grant of £10,000. The number of projects funded will be determined by the funds available at the time of the meeting.

  • Please ensure you provide a clearly explained budget with your application
  • Not all funding may be given for travel and accommodation


Can I get help with my application?

 Yes, members of the Development and Alumni Relations team are able to give you feedback on your application, giving you the opportunity to make amendments to your bid before the deadline in December.

 For more information, please contact Caroline Costello, 01524 594056. 


How will I know if my application has been successful?

You will be advised of the outcome of your application by email or post by no later than Monday 4th February 2019.


What follow-up activity is required for successful applications?

After notification of a grant award you will need to supply the Development and Alumni Relations Office with the relevant details for the payment arrangements (e.g. providing a University finance code for the payment of the grant).  Grants that are not committed within 6 months of an award being made will no longer be available unless a prior arrangement has been made with the Development and Alumni Relations Office.

On occasion the Friends Programme Disbursement Committee may request that certain conditions are met before the grant is made.

A requirement of the process for all applicants is to provide a report for the Friends Programme Disbursement Committee on progress of the project and confirmation of how the grant has been spent.  Reports for successful applications in January 2019 will be required within 6 months of the grant being made.

Failure to provide a report and failure to meet any conditions the grant has been made under may preclude any subsequent grants to the grant holder, and to any collaborators/co-grant holders.


Contact us for more information

Call Caroline Costello on 01524 594056 x94056 or click to email below.

Email us to find out more