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Introducing the Student Societies Climate Fund


Please note this blog post is now out of date. If you would like to apply for the Student Societies Climate Fund in the 2023/2024 academic year, please see this post:


Cambridge Zero is pleased to introduce the Student Societies Climate Fund: a termly funding call for all student societies and JCR/MCRs at the University of Cambridge to apply for a share of £1000, available termly, to fund climate-related initiatives, projects and events.  

There is no lower limit for funding bids and societies may apply for up to the full amount. 

Deadlines to apply, for: 

  • Easter Term 2023 (Tue 25 Apr – Fri 16 Jun) - Deadline: Monday 13 March 2023 

  • Michaelmas Term 2023 (Tues 3 Oct – Fri 1 Dec) - Deadline: Monday 3 July 2023 

Societies should either be official University societies and registered with the Cambridge Students’ Union and Junior Proctor Office, or projects that have an official affiliation with a College J/MCR, College Student Association, or Cambridge Students' Union. 

The fund is open for funding projects, events, initiatives, and the purchase of equipment. We are open to innovative and experimental approaches. Projects seeking funding should aim to directly accelerate a transition to a zero-carbon world or support education that will enable this transition. Particularly attractive applications can demonstrate an impact on climate education, decarbonisation, greenhouse gas mitigation and/or sustainable enhancements to the student community. 

This fund aims to catalyse new projects, initiatives and events, not to fund the implementation of ongoing work. 

To apply for funding, societies must develop a short proposal. Please send submissions to This will be assessed using the Evaluation Criteria (see below). If a society has a proposal that will exceed the £1000 limit, please get in touch with to discuss the proposal and whether there are alternative opportunities for seeking funding, for example, with the Cambridge SU Ethical Affairs Campaign.  


Terms of funding: 

  • You must include demonstratable, specific reasons/examples of how the funds will be used. For example, providing a budget including cost quotes.  

  • Funds cannot be used as payment for labour; funds can be used for purchase of equipment, items, prizes, travel etc. 

  • Innovative and experimental approaches are encouraged, but projects that are not explicitly innovative but can demonstrate clear impacts will still be considered.  

  • Other avenues of funding must first have been explored before making an application to the Student Society Climate Fund. 

  • Apply by the advertised deadline for the following term. 


If you are successful in your application for funding, groups will be expected to: 

  • Use the Cambridge Zero logo on their promotional materials 
  • Provide regular updates to the Cambridge Zero team on progress of the project 

  • Provide a short impact report after the project is complete 


Proposal Content 

Word limits: see submission form 

  • Description of Project 

  • Proposed date(s)/time(s) of the project (if not confirmed, please provide provisional date of time) 

  • Envisaged impact of the project and how impact will be measured, including an explanation of the potential for climate education, decarbonisation, greenhouse gas mitigation and/or sustainable enhancements to the student community. 

  • Why these funds are necessary for the project and how they will support it, including a breakdown of the proposed costs. 

  • Other avenues of funding explored. 

  • Any collaborations in your project. 

Submit your application for funding via this form


Receiving Funds (if submission is successful) 

For speed of transfer of funds to societies, funds can be provided using an Expense Claim method in the first instance. This will involve incurring the relevant costs, providing receipts and making an Expense Claim. If the society is unable to underwrite this expense before funds are received from Cambridge Zero, please select the appropriate checkbox in your submission and we will provide you with an Expense Advance form if your submission is successful. Expense Advances will not be penalised but will likely incur a delay due to administrative requirements. Please account for this in any project/event/proposal planning. 

Any questions, please email: with the heading 'Student Societies Climate Fund'. 


Evaluation Criteria 

  • Feasibility of Implementation Plan - 6 points 
  • Potential routes to emissions mitigation AND/OR potential for social or educational impact - 6 points 
  • Evidence of innovation AND/OR collaboration - 6 points 
  • Evidence of other funding avenues explored - 3 points 
  • Budget (including evidence of costings) - 3 points 

TOTAL (out of 24): 


Relevant criteria above will be scored between 1 to 6, where 1 is low and 6 is high:  

6 - Significant potential, is compelling, relevant, specific and very convincing  

5 – Shows potential, is relevant, specific and convincing  

4 - Shows potential and relevance, but not entirely convincing or specific  

3 - Some potential but has missing information and unsupported statements  

2 – Limited potential, inaccuracies in parts and in need of more specificity  

1 - Unconvincing, contradictory information, and missing critical information  


Maximum score is 24. 



Examples of previously funded projects: