Global Fund committee offers students a chance to get their international ideas to the forefront

With the start of a new academic year comes the addition of two new AMS representatives to UBC’s Global Fund committee. Comprised of UBC staff, members of the Global Lounge Network and AMS representatives, the committee is responsible for the monthly distribution of up to $2,000 of funding for student-led initiatives that have a global focus. 

“It is an allocation made by UBC and the AMS [to] fund projects that have an international engagement and/or intercultural understanding focus,” said Jeremiah Carag, current committee chair.

While projects vary in both discipline and scope, they must fulfill the mandates set out by the application criteria. Maintaining an international or intercultural focus, initiatives should also have the potential for a sustainable and long-term impact as well as involve collaboration and engagement across UBC faculties or programs. Preference is given to projects that make use of the Global Lounge, a campus resource centre that plays host to a wide array of internationally-focused events along with housing the Global Fund committee.

The projects should “celebrate different cultures and … bring them together,” said Carag. Past recipients of funding carried out projects ranging from internationally-themed dessert nights that donate their proceeds to charitable organizations, to the construction of inexpensive medical drill prototypes to be sent overseas.

A unique aspect of the Global Fund committee is the opportunity it offers students to get some experience in grant proposal writing. The overseeing committee cultivates a collaborative and supportive application process which encourages prospective applicants to open communication with committee members “before they even submit their proposal.” This is an approach that Carag believes to be a unique part of the fund.

“The way I explain this to potential applicants is that it’s like writing a paper in a way. It's better to consult with your professor first rather than just passing it in with your eyes closed and hoping for the best,” said Carag. “The problem too is I’ve found that a lot of projects are really promising, but a lot of students don’t have much experience in writing proposals, especially for funding.”

That is a problem that the Global Fund committee is prepared to tackle as they will be offering in-person meetings and project consultations.  

Application intake occurs monthly — one-time, unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to refine their ideas and reapply.