What is the bursary?

The Opportunity Bursary fund, supported by JP Morgan Chase, will make available grants of between £3500 and £5000, to support with accessing opportunities which boosemployability. Each year around 35 students will be awarded this bursary. Launched in 2021, and currently in our pilot year, this bursary is aimed at giving Sutton Trust alumni the opportunity to benefit from experiences and opportunities outside of their studies, to help them build skills and help them become more employable. 

Students should apply with a proposal of how they would use the funds e.g. internship, activity or volunteering. As well as a funding proposal, entries will be measured against social mobility criteria, to assess those who would benefit the most from the funding. For examples of what you could use the funds for, please see our applicant guidance document. 

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

Applicants must be Sutton Trust Alumni (those who’ve completed one of our programmes), OR alumni who’ve completed the Aspiring Professionals Programme by JPMorgan Chase and  the Social Mobility Foundation.

Applicants must also be: 

  • Have completed at least one year of undergraduate study, so enrolled onto a course (UG or PG) in the academic year 2021/22.
  • Have at least one full year left of study (can include recent graduates who will be going into postgraduate programmes)
  • Be based in the UK and studying at a UK university (please note the funds will be issued in GBP to a UK bank account)

How will successful candidates be selected?

How will successful candidates be selected?

There will be a range of the following criteria used to do an initial sift and identify the top 200 applicants: 

  • Social mobility scoring data – based on the existing information The Sutton Trust collects for its pre-18 programmes.* 
  • Ethnicity data – we’ve committed to a minimum of 60% of our applicants being from a Black or minority ethnic background, with at least 30% being Black students.  
  • Household income.

Once these applicants have been identified, we will then use external application readers to score the funding proposals, based on identifying what skills and goals are the desired outcome of the activity that the funds would enable. We’ll be looking at whether the application is clear and focused on achieving these goals, and whether the employability or experience of the student would be enhanced by this.  

*For non-Sutton Trust students applying who’ve completed the JP Morgan programme with the Social Mobility Foundation, you will be required to complete the same questions our Sutton Trust alumni complete at their original point of programme entry – such as information on free school meal eligibility, post-code, and whether their parents have attended Higher Education.  

According to our research


of employers say that life skills are more important than academic qualifications.


of grads said university did not give them the necessary skills for the jobs they wanted.

1 in 5

working-class grads could not afford to undertake a work placement.


Applications are currently closed.

You can use the form below to register your interest for next year.

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