What is the bursary?

The Opportunity Bursary fund, supported by JP Morgan Chase, will make available grants of between £2500 and £5000, to support with accessing opportunities which boost employability. Each year around 50 students will be awarded this bursary. Launched in 2021, 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. Scroll down to find the link to apply.

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

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

Applicants must also:  

  • Have completed at least one year of undergraduate study 
  • Be enrolled onto a course (UG or PG) in the academic year that the bursary is issued 
  • 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?

We will use the following criteria to sift applications and identify the 200 most eligible 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. We’ll be looking at whether the application is clear and focused on achieving specific goals and skills, and whether the employability or experience of the student would be enhanced by this.  

*For Aspiring Professionals Programme alumni, 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 your 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 for the 2023/2024 programme have now closed. You can register your interest to be notified when applications are opening for 2024/25.


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