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The Student Council deleted the words ‘project grants’ from the Student Life Codex. The replacing term is ‘project funds’. So don’t worry, support for innovative projects is still possible. Even more, the budget is raised to €10.000.
In fact the great success of this budget line was the reason for reforming it. It was created to support innovative projects from non-recognised student societies and individual students. Functionally recognised associations or provisionally recognised societies were also beneficiaries.
Since its origin in 2010 this budget had grown already from €3000 till €7750. But this year it was exceptionally successful. After the first deadline more than half of the budget was allowed already, with three deadlines to follow. Apart from that, a slight difference between ‘subsidy’ and ‘sponsoring’ caused a lot of misunderstanding. Thus, a reform of the rules and another raise of the budget had to be considered.
What exactly will change?
Requests for sponsoring are no longer possible. But the Student Council can decide autonomously to grant a larger amount to some high-esteemed projects. Starting from next academic year there will only be two deadlines to submit requests for project funds for activities in the following semester. The dates for these deadlines are easy to remember for those involved in the VUB student life: 20/11 (Saint V.) and 1 April (Beer pilgrimage to Brielle). Starting this new system implies however one extra ordinary deadline on 1/10/2018 for projects planned in the first semester of 2018-19.
There are some important conditions to obtain project funds: they may not pursue profit, need to be well motivated and correctly budgeted. A Grants Advisory Committee will judge all applications based on predefined and marked criteria. After that it will advise the Student Council to grant (or not) subsidies varying from €150, €300 or €500. If project funds are allowed the applicant will have to prove that in all promotion and communication the support from the Student Council is mentioned. Pay-off will only follow after completion of the project and delivery of a financial report.
The aim of the project funds budget is to support new projects which
- expand the range of leisure and entertainment opportunities and educational activities available to VUB students
- are innovative and ambitious in nature
- promote the appeal of the VUB and/or of Brussel as a college city
- enhance the wellbeing of students and improve their connectivity above existing networks
These new rules will be integrated in the next review of the Student Life Codex, but you can check them already in detail and find the application form and financial template on the students portal site.
Obviously these project funds are rather small amounts of what one would call seed money. Those dreaming of bigger projects in Brussels (up to €5000) could turn to the Flemish Community Council, but unfortunately they only communicate in Dutch. Come and visit the student information desk in building D and they will help you find out how to make bigger ambitions true.