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The Proctors' and Marshal's Office


What is the role of the Societies Syndicate and its Technical Committee?

  1. The Societies Syndicate gives financial assistance to University clubs and societies that are registered with the Proctors’ Office. Please note that grant are not normally awarded to societies that do not charge a membership fee, and will never cover the cost of refreshments.
  2. Sports clubs registered with the Sports Service should apply to the Sports Committee.
  3. The Syndicate's annual income is derived from the University and from the Colleges’ Levies Panel. An Annual Report is distributed to these bodies detailing that year's allocation of funds to societies. 
  4. Applications are usually assessed by the Technical Committee of the Syndicate, which consists of twelve Junior Members of the University with experience of running University societies, as well as a sabbatical officer of the University of Cambridge Students’ Union and two registered students appointed by the College delegates who serve on the University of Cambridge Students' Union Council. The Technical Committee is chaired by the Junior Proctor, and may make grants of up to about £1,500 and guarantees against loss of up to £3,000, without reference to the Syndicate.

Financial assistance types

(a)          Launch grants

  • Normally £200 or less.
  • Intended to cover the start-up costs of a new society.
  • Applicants should detail what the grant will be spent on (eg, publicity, first meeting, stall at the Societies Fair).

(b)          One-off grants

Capital equipment purchase

  • Granted when a society wishes to purchase an item of lasting and continuing benefit to the society, and it is not feasible for them to purchase it themselves.
  • Where equipment is income-generating, the society will be expected to cover operational and replacement costs itself.
  • Applicants should provide details of the life expectancy of every item to be purchased and a description of how the items are to be stored and maintained.
  • Ideally, more than one quote for every item to be purchased should be provided.

Travel expenses

  • Awarded to provide assistance with a society’s exceptional expenditure on travel.
  • These will not usually be given for one-off travel, or for travel to (for example) competitions or to musical and dramatic performances; these costs are expected to be met by members directly or from the society’s other income.
  • Applicants must show that the expenditure is both integral to and an inherent part of their primary activities, but that the costs cannot be met from subscriptions or other income. 

      Special activities

  • Granted for events outside the normal activities of the society which are not feasibly self-financing.
  • Applicants may instead wish to apply for a guarantee against loss.
  • Applicants should provide full financial information for the event, including itemised income and expenditure

(c)           Ongoing grants

  • Awarded to support ongoing general expenses which are not feasibly self-financing.
  • Applicants must provide details of the expenditure (including duration) and reasons why the costs cannot be met from subscriptions or other income.

 (d)         Guarantees against loss

  • Given on events, such as musical or theatrical productions, or on an issue of a publication (normally the first).
  • Guarantees are only given to cover losses owing to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Payment will only be made when the audited accounts of the events concerned are received.
  • Accounts must be received within 3 months of the events ending.
  • Applicants must submit applications well in advance of the event.
  • Applicants should budget to break-even without assuming that a guarantee will be granted, and where feasible should build a contingency into the budget (without assuming that a guarantee will be granted).

NB: The Syndicate is not normally prepared to make loans, which may impose an unjustified burden of repayment on the original borrowers' successors in office.


How to qualify for assistance from the Societies Syndicate:

A society should:

  • as a matter of general principle, be self-financing and meet its day-to-day expenditure, including social events, travel expenses and the cost of speaker meetings, etc. from subscriptions and/or other contributions from members, or from other sources of revenue. Consequently, grants are not typically awarded to cover running costs, and will never cover the cost of refreshments. They will also not normally be awarded to societies that do not charge a membership fee.
  • be able to demonstrate that membership is open in principle and in practice to all resident members of the University, irrespective of political, religious or social considerations. When making an application for assistance, societies should state their aim (as given in their constitution). Under current legislation, the Societies Syndicate cannot support a political campaign unless the issue directly affects students as students.
  • be registered, or in the process of registering, with the Junior Proctor. It is advisable for a society to check that it is registered before applying. The list of registered societies is held by the Clerk to the Proctors at The Old Schools, Cambridge CB2 1TN (phone (3)33314). Societies wishing to register should also apply to this office.
  • complete an application form (see the bottom of this page) including a financial statement which should be filled in with the society's accounts, information regarding current numbers of members and of subscription rates, and a lucid statement of the need for assistance and a clear outline of what exactly is required. Forward this form to the Senior Treasurer for approval. The Senior Treasurer will then forward this to the Societies Syndicate secretariat.
  • provide its Senior Treasurer and the Societies Syndicate secretariat with a copy of its bank statement, so that funding if granted can be transferred quickly and efficiently. Societies applying without a bank account will be advised to set one up as soon as possible. The University is not able to transfer funds to the accounts of members of a society.


The Societies Syndicate Technical Committee meets once each term. The dates for meetings in 2021-2022 (together with those of meetings of the full Syndicate) are as follows.


Technical Committee:


Application submission deadline

Meeting date


Friday 29 September 2023

Monday 9 October 2023


Friday 26 January 2024

Monday 5 February 2024


Friday 19 April 2024 Tuesday 30 April 2024


 Please contact 


Societies Syndicate:


Application submission deadline

Meeting date


Thursday 16 November 2023

Thursday 23 November 2023


Thursday 29 February 2024

Thursday 7 March 2024

Third Thursday 16 May 2024 Thursday 23 May 2024


Please contact 


Applications must be made on the correct form and submitted electronically 7 days before the next scheduled meeting. Applications received after the submission deadline will not be reviewed until the next meeting.

Applications must be typed and sent by email to the Senior Treasurer for approval before onward transmission by email, direct from the Senior Treasurer, to the Secretary of the Societies Syndicate:

Applicants will sometimes be required to contact a Junior Member of the Technical Committee to discuss their application. The member will report back to the Technical Committee which will decide whether or not to make a grant. Societies will be advised in writing by the Secretary, whom they should contact to follow up their application.

  1. Cambridge Students' Union provides a wide range of facilities in their offices at 3rd Floor University Centre, Granta Place, Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RU, that clubs and societies can take advantage of. These include: room booking, hire of the SU Lounge, colour photocopying, printing, email and web services and more. You can read more here -
  2. Cambridge SU also provides a Clubs and Societies Directory (, which is a free platform for clubs and societies to advertise themselves on and a central hub of information on all Cambridge clubs and societies. Clubs and societies that use the directory are also able to take advantage of the SU's Event Listings to promote their events to a wider audience of students ( The SU also organises the annual Freshers' Fair in October (, which over 300 clubs and societies and 18,000 students attend each year. For information about any of these services please enquire at the SU Reception (tel. 01223 333313) or visit for more information.