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The Bell, Abbott, and Barnes Funds provide assistance to undergraduate students in financial difficulties, and particularly to those suffering unexpected hardship. They provide grants of up to £2,000 per annum. There is one application deadline in the middle of each term: you should, well in advance, give full details of your financial situation to your Tutor who can apply on your behalf.


All registered undergraduate students, including clinical medical students (Home and Overseas), at the University of Cambridge are eligible, so long as they are in immediate need of help for financial hardship.

Students must be reading for one of the following degrees: B.A., Mus.B., B.Th., M.B. B. Chir., Vet M.B., or an integrated Master’s degree (M.Eng., M.Math., M.Sci.) taken as Part III of a Tripos.  Affiliated students (those who already have a degree from another University and are taking the Cambridge B.A. in two years rather than three) are also eligible.

Postgraduate students reading for the degree of Advanced Studies (M.A.St.) and Clinical medical students reading for an intercalated Ph.D. during the M.B. B. Chir are not eligible for the duration of the PhD and need to apply to the Postgraduate Hardship Fund. 

Students should have explored all loan options available to them before applying for financial support. 

How much support is available?

The Fund provides grants of up to £2,000 per annum to assist students with maintenance and rental costs. 

You could receive up to a maximum of £2,000 in one year, based on an assessment of your need, but most grants are in the range £100 to £1,000. It is possible to apply more than once in a single year, subject to the overall maximum of £2,000 per annum.

Some applicants receive ‘Exhibitions’. These are awarded occasionally to second and third year students facing ongoing financial difficulty, but only to those who have obtained excellent examination results so far. Once granted, an Exhibition is often renewed every year until the student has graduated.

How to apply

Applications can only be made by your Tutor, on your behalf. Contact your College Tutor for further information. The Awarders will rely on your Tutor’s assessment of your need, so you must ensure that you give as much information as possible to your Tutor, and that the details you give are accurate. If the Awarders require further information, they will ask your Tutor before making a decision. All the information you give will be treated confidentially.

Awards are made from the Bell, Abbott, and Barnes Funds once each term. The deadline for your Tutor to apply is the Division of Term, that is to say, 9th November, 13th February or 14th/21st May (the final date depending on when Easter falls). Late applications cannot be considered until the following term.

Your College Tutor will normally be informed of the outcome of your application within two weeks of the application deadline. Successful applicants should receive their award before the end of Full Term through their College account. 

Application form and guidance notes

You should not fill in the form yourself. Only your College Tutor should complete the form, so please contact them for more information. College Tutors should not edit the form electronically and change the layout.


Dr R.E. Hunt, Secretary to the Awarders of the Bell, Abbott, and Barnes Funds Senior Tutor’s Office, Christ’s College,