Alumni Services

Research and community impact

Promoting new initiatives in teaching, research and student experience that help local, national and international communities.

Through your support, the University is able to award small grants to students and staff wanting to launch a project, conduct a piece of research or explore a new initiative in teaching.

From an opera for children performed by students in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, to providing access to clean water in the driest parts of the world using fog catchers, these Innovation Initiative Grants (IIGs) not only help local and international communities, but they can also help improve and save lives.

 IIGs are possible only through the generosity of our supporters. Please consider a gift today to help continue this valuable area of the Edinburgh Fund. 

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Your gift in action

Signpost to Tanzania 

A linguistics student is set to produce one of the world’s first descriptive studies of Tanzanian sign language thanks to the generosity of Edinburgh alumni.

During her third year at  University, one of Eilidh Simpson's courses was Sign Language Linguistics, run by Dr Michael Ramsammy, which explored topics including the history and acquisition of different sign languages. Inspired by Dr Ramsammy’s enthusiasm in the subject she decided to apply for an IIG to travel to Dar es Salaam in eastern Tanzania to study the sign language used there.

Eilidh hopes that by determining some of the default word orders and main phonological features of the language, her study will help those wishing to learn as well as increase communication and interaction between the hearing and deaf communities in Tanzania. She also hopes that her study will progress the understanding of all African sign languages.