Our warmest thank you to everyone who has already donated. Our total in the Covid-19 Recovery Fund is now over £290,000* with just a couple more days to reach our target of £300,000. The fund will support students, researchers and new graduates who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Read below for more information.

In recent months, our University community has faced some of its toughest challenges in living memory. An indiscriminate global pandemic has bruised and wounded us – our staff, our students, and our alumni and friends – leaving scars that only time and our strong Durham community spirit can heal.

Discover our scholars' experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So many of us, so many of you, have fought on the frontlines with unsurpassable courage and care, ultimately to save lives and protect all of our loved ones. We are deeply proud of every single one of our number who have played their part in this global effort.

As we turn to the future and consider how we will recover from the impact of this situation, we renew our mission to ‘Inspire the Extraordinary’ – something I know we achieve when I look into the eyes of every Durham graduate I have the privilege to meet.

We anticipate a challenging year ahead: a year for which we are prepared but also one in which we need your friendship and your support more than ever.

For this Chancellor’s Appeal, I am establishing the Covid-19 Recovery Fund and asking you – if you are able – to please consider helping us to provide urgent financial assistance to members of our community who need it most.

All of the funds we raise will support four initiatives:Grad photo Covid Appeal 400

  • To provide bursaries to financially-disadvantaged students whose families and finances have been hit hardest by Coronavirus – many of whom have lost family members to this virus – to ensure they can begin or continue their studies and not miss out on any single aspect of their education;
  • To provide keyworkers and the children of NHS and other global frontline service workers in need of financial support with the help they need to make the transition into University life as smooth as possible;
  • To provide research grants to researchers working in key Covid-19 recovery fields, renewing society and economy in many creative areas;
  • To provide career development grants for Class of 2020 graduates who will enter perhaps the most turbulent graduate jobs market in a generation.

We can’t shield our students from the uncertainty we all face at the moment, but for those most affected, with your help, we can allow them to start or continue their Durham journey or to soften their landing as they join our alumni community.

We know there are so many calls on your time and your generosity but please, if you can, consider making a donation to support our recovery. Thank you all in advance for your characteristic warmth and support.

Sir Tom Sig-Crop

Sir Thomas Allen CBE


*The 2020 Chancellor’s Appeal: Covid-19 Recovery Fund is supported by three funding elements:

  1. a legacy donation to the University which has been allocated to launch the Appeal Fund;
  2. the allocation of previously-donated ‘Student Opportunities Fund’ donations with purposes consistent with the aims of this Appeal Fund;
  3. new donations received since the Appeal Fund launch.

Commitments of c.£220K were allocated from funding sources 1 and 2, above, before the Appeal was launched. A full breakdown of donations will be included upon closure of this initial Appeal period in order to thank all benefactors for their contributions to this Fund.

Funds will be allocated at the discretion of the Scholarships and Student Funding Office, providing grants of between £250 and £2000 subject to student need. Awards will be made on a competitive basis following student application.

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