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Director’s Fund for Social Innovation Projects

The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation acts as a platform for research and engagement with social innovators, academia and policy in UK and across the world. Its primary focus is to understand, promote, and engage with social innovators and create and support social ventures and projects.

The Social Innovation Project Fund has been set up to support students at Cambridge Judge Business School to engage with social ventures and other socially innovative organisations that would not otherwise be able to pay the students’ costs. The Centre is grateful to alumni, Advisory Board members and other supporters whose gifts have made this project fund possible.

Any questions about this fund or the application process should be directed to

Any questions about sourcing projects and drafting a proposal should be directed to your Programme Manager.

Grants of up to £500 are available to support student projects or work placements with social ventures.

  • Projects can be for course credit (e.g. MBA consulting projects) but this is not required.
  • The grant can be used to subsidise travel or subsistence.
  • Up to 20 grants of no more than £500 will be awarded, but a team of up to five students can apply together for a grant of up to £2,500.
  • Projects should be no longer than three months.

These grants are intended for project work, i.e. consulting projects, internships, work placements and similar can all be considered. Projects should be centred around the host’s requirements, and should make a contribution to the social impact of the host organisation. The fund is not intended to support research or fieldwork, nor is it intended to support a student’s own social venture idea.

The funds can be used to support projects with any social venture or socially innovative organisations in the private, public or third sector. We interpret ‘social venture’ in the broadest sense, to include social enterprises, charities, not-for-profits, community groups and social impact fund activities. The funds are intended to enable projects to happen that would otherwise be unaffordable for the host organisation or student.

  • Open to any Cambridge Judge Business School student on a degree or diploma programme.
  • The project must enable the host organisation to create real, scalable, lasting social impact.
  • Students and/or Programme Managers should have started discussions with a host organisation before applying for a grant.
  • Applications must be received and approved before the project commences (please allow four weeks for this process).

Applications for the Social Innovation Project Fund are open year-round and there are no hard deadlines. The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation (CCSI) will review proposals and make funding decisions on a rolling basis. Applicants should identify additional sources of funding to cover all expected costs, either from the host organisation, from other grants, or from their own resources.

To apply for a grant:

  • Prepare a brief proposal (two pages max) addressing the funding criteria and submit this via your Programme Manager to the CCSI team.
  • Programme contacts
  • The CCSI team will review applications and make decisions as they are received.
  • The amount awarded will vary depending on demonstrated need.
  • If successful, funding will be awarded after the student provides evidence of expenditure.

All funding decisions are at the discretion of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation. The selection criteria include:

Purpose: the applicant’s interest in and goals for undertaking a social innovation project placement.

Social impact: contribution and social impact they feel they can make to the host organisation.

Career goals: alignment of the project with the applicant’s career goals or demonstrated interest in the sector, region or product or service involved in the placement.

Skills: alignment of the applicant’s skills and previous experience with the social venture’s requirements.

Interest in social innovation: evidence of interest in social entrepreneurship, extra-curricular activities, previous achievements or a commitment to gain experience in and contribute to a social venture.