Financial Resources Outside of UFB

The mission of UFB is to support financially to the greatest extent possible given limited resources every eligible student group (Category II, Category III, and service groups) to meet its goals based on its needs. As UFB has limited funding, it cannot fund every request in full from eligible or non-eligible parties. However, here is a list of some resources across campus that provide funding (in the form of grants, fellowships, scholarly awards, etc), whether it is for group or individual ventures that could serve as an alternate form of funding. Some of these include funding opportunities that are outside of the realm of student activities.


Last revised: 2018-01-09

Potential Funding Sources

  • New Initiatives Fund (studentactivities.ucs@gmail.com)
    • The New Initiatives Fund is run through the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS) and is funding for new student ideas and initiatives. Category I and II groups, as well as new student initiatives are eligible to apply. The application is open once in the fall and once in the spring.
  • Brown Arts Initiative Student Grants
    • The Student Grant Program supports undergraduate or graduate student projects involved in the study, critique, or production of the creative arts. Grants are offered once per semester for fundsavailable during the current semester.
    • The Brown Arts Initiative Student Grants Program provides funding to Brown students in support of projects that involve the production, study and/or critique of the creative arts. Any currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student in good academic standing may apply for BAI student funding. Students who have received past funding for a project may not apply for additional funding for the same project. For example, an undergraduate making a feature length film may apply for support only once for the film; however, that same student may apply for funding for a different project.
    • Grants of up to $1,000 are awarded each semester for projects that take place during the current or next semester.
  • Brown Venture Launch Fund
    • The Brown Venture Launch Fund (BVLF) supports student entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to new ventures. At the earliest stages, BVLF provides seed money, as this is a difficult point to secure money from investors. This is a joint venture involving the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown Entrepreneurship Program, and the Social Innovation Initiative. “The fund offers promising ventures the opportunity to apply for three levels of progressively increasing funding using a gated award system. At the first level funding and support will be used to test assumptions or prove hypotheses embedded within venture plans. The second and third stages of funding will be used to bring products and services to market and assist ventures in achieving scale and impact.” Applicants should have a clear understanding of a plan for this project and a readiness to implement action steps.
  • Explore Grant
    • Explore serve the Brown community by encouraging student entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new ventures. It is a collaborative project of the Social Innovation Initiative, the Brown Entrepreneurship Program, and the Office of the Dean of the College. These grants provide seed money (up to $500) for new, promising ventures at the earliest stages when funding is so difficult to secure from investors. They also offer these ventures the opportunity to apply for three levels of progressively increasing funding using a gated award system.
  • Social Innovation Fellowship
    • The Social Innovation Fellowship is an award-winning program that provides 15-20 students with $4,000 to build a social venture over the summer, supported by a year of intensive skills training, complementary coursework, and a community of social entrepreneurs offering mentorship and critique.
  • Expand Grant
    • Expand Grants serve the Brown community by encouraging student entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new ventures. It is a collaborative project of the Social Innovation Initiative, the Brown Entrepreneurship Program, and the Office of the Dean of the College. The purpose of Expand Grants are to support the continuation and/or expansion of testing, implementing or achieving critical milestones that will allow the project to reach a new level of impact and sustainability. Students may apply for as many Expand Grants as they need to develop their venture during their time at Brown, with a maximum of $2,500 granted per venture.
  • Embark Fellowship
    • The Embark Fellowship supports graduating students seeking to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures as full-time endeavors post-graduation. The mission of the Embark Fellowship is three-fold: Encourage students to see entrepreneurship as a viable career option, create support structures to help ventures gain traction after graduation, and build a connected alumni community to support new graduates in field. The goal of Embark is to support one commercial and two social ventures each year that present the most compelling case for potential impact after graduation. Embark provides fellows with financial resources, structure, coaching, professional services, and connections with a network of alumni and local innovators necessary for recent grads to pursue their venture full time after graduation. Our goal is to advance Embark ventures within one year to the point of raising their own sustainable funding.  We provide fellows with direct funding combined with opportunities for fundraising that are sufficient for fellows to pursue their venture as a full-time vocation — approximately $35,000 for individuals and $50,000 for teams.
  • Departments
    • This document has additional sources of funding from departments and organizations. It was last updated in 2011, so this may not reflect current funding sources, but it can be a good starting point in researching funding.
  • Approved Undergraduate Scholarly Award Opportunities
    • This is a list of some undergraduate scholarly awards that students can apply to. Some of these involve receiving funding.
  • BrownConnect Linking Internships and Knowledge (LINK)
    • BrownConnect LINK awards financial assistance to students pursuing unpaid or low-paying summer internships. Students must apply for or secure an internship that is unpaid or that pays $1,000 or less before applying for funds. International students are eligible to apply, but may be subjected to tax withdrawals if their nation of citizenship does not have treaty benefits with the US—please see the Brown payroll office with questions about this.
  • Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA)
    • Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards (UTRAs) support Brown students collaborating with Brown faculty on research and teaching projects during the summer or the academic year. Named for the dean who launched the program in the 1980s, UTRAs provide students with valuable academic experience that prepares them for graduate study and that contributes directly to course development at Brown.