Student Partnership Agreement Small Project funding

Funding of up to £1000 for projects that involve meaningful collaboration between University of Edinburgh staff and students.

Funding is available for projects that enhance the student experience and where students and staff work in partnership throughout. We particularly welcome projects that focus on the priority themes from the Student Partnership Agreement.

The funding call for 2023-24 is now closed. Applicants will be informed of the panel's decisions by mid-November 2023.

Find out more about the Student Partnership Agreement

Small projects must involve meaningful collaboration between staff and students.


  • Projects must involve both students and staff as named collaborators on the application.
  • Projects must involve both students and staff in the work of the project.
  • Projects should have the potential to make a measurable impact on the student experience.
  • We expect projects to include some form of evaluation of activities within the timeframe of the project.

  • Consideration should be given to how successful activity could be sustained in future years.  
  • Projects are particularly welcome that focus on one of the Student Partnership Agreement key priorities listed below, but projects focused on other work that will enhance the student experience will be considered.
  • Although there is a specific priority area of equality, diversity and inclusion, we expect all projects to include information to highlight how they will be inclusive in their project approach.
  • We look favourably on collaboration between Schools and between Schools and Support Departments. But please note this is not a condition of funding.

Priorities for 2023-24

  • Community, wellbeing and supporting transitions

Supporting staff and students to collaboratively develop and enhance resilient communities across years, across degree formats, and across the University overall. Developing communities that promote a sense of wellbeing, belonging and mattering through the Student Support Model as well as more broadly. Supporting students as they move to the University, from semester to semester, from year to year, as well as beyond the University and preparing for professional working life. Supporting students through the cost-of-living crisis.

  • Transforming curriculum and engagement with learning and teaching

Recognising the power of learning, teaching, and assessment to transform the student experience. Encouraging meaningful student and staff engagement with learning and teaching. University-wide curriculum transformation and making the Edinburgh Student Vision a reality, and effectively communicating this work to students and staff. Developing students who are: disciplinary experts; ready to thrive in a changing world; and highly employable. Experiential learning; international dimensions of curriculum; global and local engagement; student-staff co-creation of assessment, teaching and learning, decolonising the curriculum; exploring new technologies; online, in-person, and hybrid experiences of teaching and learning.

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion

Ensuring we work in partnership to promote a University community where all are welcome, respected and nurtured. Making intentional efforts to meet the needs of our diverse community of students and staff, and acknowledging intersectionality. Recognising we may need to change the way we practice to ensure some individuals and groups, who have traditionally been systemically excluded, feel welcome and are enabled to engage.

Useful information to help you formulate your project

Many previous project holders have spoken about the benefits of receiving some dedicated funding to support student-staff partnership projects. Staff and student colleagues appreciate the support to enhance areas of practice that they are already interested in. The following are a few ideas for possible projects you might consider

  • Setting up a coffee and cake gathering with staff and students to build community  and enhance student-staff relationships;
  • Students and staff co-creating experiential learning projects;
  • Inviting students and staff to discuss student feedback in the School and collaborating to develop actions to address the feedback;
  • Co-creating assessment within a course and evaluating the initiative;
  • Students and staff from e.g. second year, designing a resource to welcome new students to second year drawing on the new third year students’ experience of what they wished they had known before they started second year;
  • Staff and students designing, undertaking, and analysing a survey of student views about what enhances their likelihood of engaging with in-person learning and teaching / or another aspect of learning, teaching, assessment / or the wider student experience.

Please also see the list of previous projects and Teaching Matters blogs below which may also provide ideas of what is possible.

If you are a student with a great idea for a project and you don’t know which staff to approach to collaborate on a project, please feel free to contact us at and we will try to help you make appropriate connections.

Guidance on applying for funding

You may find it helpful to watch this recording of Cathy Bovill explaining information about Applying for Student Partnership Agreement funding (28 mins).

Media Hopper Video - Applying for Student Partnership Agreement funding (28 mins)

Please read the following guidance note before applying.

SPA funding guidance (32.71 KB / DOCX)


Please note you will need to upload a completed copy of a Costing Information Sheet as part of the application form.

SPA costing information sheet (21.33 KB / DOCX)


Previous SPA funded projects

You can read about many of the projects funded through the Student Partnership Agreement Funding on the University’s Teaching Matters blog: Student Partnership Agreement Teaching Matters blog


2020-2021 - Please note there were no projects funded during this year.



Booklet celebrating 2017-18 funded project outcomes:

Project team accepting award trophy
Apple and Professor Cathy Bovill, Co-Director, IAD attended the sparqs’ awards ceremony on 5 October, 2023 (pictured with Eve Lewis - Director, sparqs)

2023 Student Engagement Award for a Student Partnership Agreement-Funded project

A Student Partnership Agreement-funded project – Institute for Molecular Plant Science Sports Day, run by the IMPS Outreach Team and led by Apple Chew, PhD student, has won the the sparqs’ 2023 Student Engagement Awards in the category ‘A new initiative in partnership’. 70 members of the IMPS community attended the IMPS Sports Day in June 2022: a diverse mixture of summer undergraduate students, PhD and Masters students, research assistants, principal investigators, postdoctoral researchers, technical staff, and others, including family members. And this sports day was no ordinary sports day: it included games that required technical skills of a scientist, such as pipetting accuracy, speed PPE dressing, speed calculation and many more.

You can read more about the initiative on Apple’s Teaching Matters blog post:

Community building with the IMPS Sports Day.

More information

If you would like further information, please contact