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Lord Rootes Fund

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Apply for up to £3,000 to turn your idea into a reality!

The Lord Rootes Fund is an opportunity for current Warwick students to fund a self-development project or venture to encourage creativity, innovation, and positive impact. Since its conception in 1967, the fund has supported over 1,500 students and over 600 different projects covering innovation and enterprise, personal challenges, the arts and culture, and campus and community initiatives.

The Lord Rootes Fund has two funding tracks, Develop Yourself, for projects focusing primarily on personal development and challenges, and Develop Your Idea, which allows students to obtain proof of concept funding for a budding business venture or social enterprise. Both tracks should aspire to have a positive impact on the wider Warwick community and beyond.

What can I apply for?

While all projects should focus on your personal development, there are two tracks that you can apply for.

Develop Yourself – these projects focus primarily on personal development, challenges, and exploration. Examples of a Develop Yourself project may include:

    • Documentary or Short Film
    • Photography Exhibition
    • Performance, Arts, or Cultural Initiatives
    • Educational or Outreach Activities

Develop Your Idea – these projects are focussed on providing proof of concept funding for budding ventures or social enterprises that have a positive impact on society. Examples of a Develop Your Idea project may include:

    • Conducting market research for a potential business idea
    • Testing an early-stage prototype with potential users
    • Running a short-term campaign to test whether your ideas is viable, scalable, and sustainable

If you are unsure whether your project would be eligible for funding please schedule a Lord Rootes Fund 1:1 via our Innovation Community PlatformLink opens in a new window.

How do I apply?

  • Register and create a profile on our Innovation Community PlatformLink opens in a new window (please note, we will not be able to consider your application if you do not have an account).
  • Click on the Opportunities tab at the top of the page once you are signed into the platform
  • Follow the link to the Lord Rootes application form and submit your application

Please indicate on your application form which track you are applying for.

Next Application Deadline is Friday 31st May 2024

What is the application timeline?

The Lord Rootes Fund is open every term with three interview windows where your application will be considered.

To apply, you will need to submit an application by Week 6 Friday. If you miss this deadline, your application will be automatically rolled over to the future Committee meeting.

Once you've submitted your application, Warwick Enterprise will check the application for completeness before scheduling an interview. All interviews will be scheduled for Week 8 of the semester.

After the interview week, the Lord Rootes Fund Committee will meet to approve or withhold funding. You'll be informed of the decision by the end of Week 10.

If your application is approved, you'll receive 80% of the funding and will have 12 months to complete your project. You will receive the remaining 20% upon submission of a reflection.

If your application is withheld, Warwick Enterprise will work with you to continue developing your idea.

Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply for the Lord Rootes Fund?

Students who are full-time or part-time students at Warwick, undergraduate or postgraduate, on a course of at least one year, are eligible to apply. Students who are about to graduate are still eligible for the fund. See Fund Regulations for further information.

Can I apply as a team?

Team submissions are accepted. If you are working as a team, please submit only one application form and include the contact details of all team members.

How much funding would I receive?

Students are eligible to receive between £100 and £3,000. Students will receive 80% of the funding if they are successful, and will receive the remaining 20% upon submission of an impact report. Students are strongly encouraged to apply only for the minimum level of funding they need to carry out the project. A full financial breakdown is required as part of the application process. See Writing a Report and Fund Regulations.

What should I expect from the application form?

The application form is your first opportunity to share your ideas. Students are required to provide a project overview, details on their project, a financial breakdown, and a video proposal.

What should I expect from the quality check?

The quality check is in place to ensure that the application meets the required criteria. This includes ensuring that all aspects of the application are completed to a sufficient standard and ensuring that funding the project does not expose the Lord Rootes Fund or the University of Warwick to any harm or reputational risk. The quality check is carried out by members of the Warwick Enterprise team.

What should I expect from the interview?

The interview is the opportunity for you to present your idea to members of the Lord Rootes Fund Committee. You will be invited to discuss your idea, followed by questions and answers from the committee. During your interview, you should seek to answer the following questions: who are you and what do you want to do? How will your project or venture impact you and the wider community? How do you plan on using the funding?

What should I expect from the reflection?

The reflection is the opportunity to share your learnings. It is the chance to not only reflect on your experience but also to inspire the next generation of applicants. You will be expected to complete a reflection how your project went, and what you learned from the project, and to share advice for further applicants.

What support is available?
Lord Rootes Fund 1:1 Support

Warwick Enterprise offers numerous opportunities to help students with their application process. Info sessions are held every semester online in Weeks 2, 4, and 6, as well as Weekly Office Hours in Weeks 1-6. You are also able to book a Lord Rootes Fund 1:1 directly through our Innovation Community Platform.Link opens in a new window

Warwick Enterprise Pathway Programme

The Warwick Enterprise Pathway Programme offers six individual sessions that equip you with the tools, skills, and knowledge to develop a viable concept. The sessions run from Week 2 to Week 7 and have been specifically designed to fit alongside the Lord Rootes Fund application timeline.

Startup Sherpas

Join a digital programme where you can start your own start-up. A 25-minute-a-day programme to take you through the process of how to turn your idea into a start-up. This is a great opportunity to learn best-in-class innovation and entrepreneurship methods. Learn about yourself, your ideas and what you want to contribute to the world. Develop skills that will help you stand out in any career you choose.

Who was Lord Rootes?

Lord Rootes was a noted Coventry motor manufacturer and the innovative Chairman of the Promotion Committee which founded the University of Warwick. Lord Rootes’ untimely death in 1964 prevented him being installed as the University's first Chancellor. To commemorate Lord Rootes' commitment to innovation and enterprise and to the University of Warwick, distributors of Rootes Group products generously contributed to a fund to encourage student enterprise and effort, supporting imaginative projects by groups and individual students.

Start Your Application Today!Link opens in a new window

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