Inspiring Futures Fund 2023–2024

The University of Suffolk Inspiring Futures Fund 2023/24 is open for applications.

All students can apply for a bursary of:

  • Up to £300 for UK Opportunities
  • Up to £400 for Overseas Opportunities e.g., United States of America (USA) and Asia
  • Up to £150 for Research projects/Training courses/Other — negotiable and must be relevant to your professional development. 

Students who have opted into the Build your Future opt-in scheme will have exclusive access to ring-fenced funding in the current scheme but still have to follow the above funds' allocation criteria. Build Your Future is for you if:

  • you have a disability or long-term health condition, including mental health
  • you are neurodivergent
  • you are care experienced or estranged from parents
  • your parents/carers did not go to university
  • you are from a home postcode area where participation in higher education is low 

The amount you apply for will depend on the individual circumstances.

Work Experience...

Will help you learn
Experimenting with different types of experiences will help you to get to know more about your likes, dislikes, values, priorities, and strengths as well as to learn more about different types of work to help you to make good decisions about your career. The more experiences you’ve had, the more learning and development that will happen as a result.

Is a safe place to experiment
You can invest your time volunteering or working in part-time roles and summer jobs as a chance to try new things and to road-test a career option.

Could be evidence of your passion
You can show that you are genuinely interested in that area of work. A great thing to put on your CV when you start to apply for graduate jobs.

Can help to get you connected
Work experience could put you next to the person that will put you in the right direction in terms of possible roles you can apply for.

Makes you more successful in applications and interviews
Applicants with work experience outperform those with no work experience. Employers will ask questions about your work experience, knowledge, and interest in the job. They are looking for clear examples and evidence of this.

We want to help you with the costs of undertaking your career-related work experience/other. This is why the Careers, Employability, and Enterprise Team has a dedicated fund that is open to most current University of Suffolk students:

  • part-time, full-time 
  • undergraduate and postgraduate (Masters)
  • classed as home or international 
  • studying in the following locations: Ipswich, East Coast College, Suffolk New College, and West Suffolk College

The scheme is not open to PhD students.

The scheme supports low or unpaid work experience opportunities that can be in the UK, overseas, or for research-related experiences (e.g., a Research project at the University or within an organisation that is undertaking research), for example, help to get to interviews, assessment centres, insight days or fund to access professional clothing. You may also want some help to fund a training course that is relevant to your personal and skills development and aligned with your career goals and future aspirations.

To apply you must complete the online application form and send it to, along with all of your supporting documents. A decision will be made on your suitability to receive the funds following the closing dates mentioned above.

Applications are assessed on a first come, first served basis and you must return your evidence and documents in a timely manner to avoid the risk of your requested funds being allocated to another student.

The University reserves the right to close the fund earlier if all funds are disbursed before the closing date.

Make a start with your application by reading the terms and conditions first, then fill in the online application form and submit your budget planner in support of your application.

Below you can find the processing times for incoming applications.

Opening Date Closing Date Panel Dates
18/09/2023 08/12/2023 TBC
02/01/2024 29/03/2024 TBC
15/04/2024 28/06/2024 TBC

The purpose of this section is to help you plan out a comprehensive budget for your work experience or other funds requested. There are two parts of the budget template: the budget costing overview and detailed budget evidence. Please ensure you use the budget template document to create your budget planner.

The table will allow you to identify individual costs associated with the work experience or other (e.g. accommodation costs, training course). The budget planner will allow you to provide evidence to support your budget figures (e.g. a screenshot from a website showing the accommodation cost). You should insert all the costs you will incur as a result of going on your work experience or internship opportunity in your application.

If your work experience is yet to be confirmed, please provide estimates of what the costs may be. You can re-confirm these costs at a later stage once finalised. For example, if you know the approximate location and length of the work experience, provide an estimate of costs based on this and include a note that is based on estimates only. These estimations will still need to be supported by evidence from your research into what the costs are likely to be.

If you will be receiving a salary for your work experience opportunity and/or allowances, you can still apply for an Inspiring Futures Fund to help you access it before your first salary is received. You must include the total salary and/or allowances you expect to receive. You may then apply for an Inspiring Futures Fund to contribute towards any remaining costs.

To provide evidence of the costs you include, you should provide supporting evidence by completing and submitting your budget planner (please ensure you add your name and student ID number to your budget planner). In addition to the evidence, you should also include any calculations within your budget planner to demonstrate how costs were identified. This is especially important when the evidence doesn’t directly match the figures entered. When submitting your budget planner please make sure it is clear what information we should be referring to and which cost it is relevant to. In the past students have included entire documents or provided website addresses with no accompanying evidence from them.

Where costs in your budget or supporting evidence are shown in a foreign currency, you must also provide a conversion demonstrating the costs in pounds sterling for each individual expense.

Failure to supply comprehensive budget information and evidence will have a detrimental effect on your application and may delay award of a payment.

Check out the links below and read more about students who have been awarded an Inspiring Futures Fund on their experience and how it support thier career aspirations.

  • “Having financial support from the bursary team of £150 towards the training enabled me to commit to a four-day week course” Hannah McCarthy
  • “No-one should miss out on ANY opportunities due to their socioeconomic status, disabilities, gender identity, race, or any other underrepresented background” Carrie-Anne Chapman
  • “Applying for the Inspiring Futures Fund could offer a fantastic opportunity to develop specific skills in a step towards your desired career” Scarlett Moloney
  • “It has changed my perspective of life and healthcare entirely. It has made me a better person by far, not only personally but professionally” Kara Wilkinson
  • "This residency was the best experience of both my academic career, and my personal life" Ellen Freeman