Student Project Grant: 2019 recipients

We are delighted to announce the winners of the SRS Student Project Grant for 2019.

The Social Responsibility and Sustainability Student Project Grant, delivered in collaboration with Edinburgh University Students’ Association, provides funding of £500 for University students to develop and implement projects and initiatives that will promote sustainability awareness within the University. Following completion of the project, recipients report back via a written report and a poster. 

2019/20 Recipients


The Hearty Squirrel Cooperative: Education, Outreach and Community Building 

The Hearty Squirrel Cooperative are a volunteer- and student-run food cooperative on campus, selling organic dried goods and seasonal vegetables, bread and eggs every Thursday from Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre. Their community-driven approach to food sustainability aims to make affordable and healthy accessible to all. They are planning to create educational material such as zines and recipes to spread knowledge on how to cook with local, seasonal vegetables in Scotland and a guide on how to set up food cooperatives within universities to help grow the food co-op movement.

YIKES podcast logo

The YIKES Podcast 

The YIKES podcast is hosted by student Mikaela Loach and fellow climate acivist, Joanna Becker, and focuses on intersectionality, system chance and how we, as individuals, can work to address the climate and refugee crisis. After having presence in activist spaces, they wanted to create something that would make activism more accessible and share the stories that might not make it to the mainstream media. 

Find their first episodes on Spotify now and follow them on Instagram.

MedAid - Sustainability in Medicine 

MedAid is a student-run society that collects unwanted medical equipment from hospitals and members from the public throughout the UK. Throughout the year, our volunteers collect unwanted equipment which is then dispatched amongst healthcare settings that need it the most, from communities in Gambia to Peru. MedAid want to collaborate with other societies to attend conferences, conduct workshops and organise events to spread awareness about MedAid and its role in promoting sustainability in medicine and inspire students to pursue a passion for global health and to make healthcare more accessible globally. 


NetZero aims to empower people to become more conscious about their consumer decisions and help them make a local-level environmental impact. This will be achieved by creating a Fintech application that allows people to estimate their total carbon footprint by tracking their purchases with Open Banking. It will then utilise machine learning applied to a corporate emissions database to let users estimate their daily carbon footprint. Consumers will gain an increased awareness of their carbon emissions via a ‘carbon limit’ and notifications if they exceed their daily allowance. Furthermore, they will be given the opportunity to periodically donate their total carbon footprint to a UN sustainability fund.

Prosper Social Finance Returning Analyst Programme 

Prosper Social Finance is the UK’s first student-run socially responsible investment fund. Created 18 months ago, they have trained over 60 students to become analysts in the basics of impact investment. They will be running financial literacy programmes alongside Edinburgh Women’s Aid as part of their support to help women rebuild their lives and increase the social impact students can have in the Edinburgh community by increasing financial literacy. Programmes will be targeted to individuals who have traditionally not had access to financial help or may never have had any financial responsibilities. 

Sixteen Minutes Sustainability Environmental and Climate Change Vodcast 

This vodcast aims to produce content which focuses on the policies and activities directly related to actions on climate change, with an edge. Hear from leading environmental experts on their opinions on various topics in just 16 minutes! Covering topics such as 'What achieving the Paris Agreement target really means?' - be sure to tune in!

Designing My Happy City: Community Garden 

This project is a combination of a workshop and a gardening activity, aiming of this project is to encourage community gardening, promote citizens designing their cities, boost happiness and participants' connection to nature. The project is in collaboration with Gracemount Community Garden and will help create a community network.

Terra Nova Hackathon 

This is a 24 hour programming competition that challenges teams of students to address one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals using Earth observation data. The Hackathon aims to develop students' practical experience of using satellite data to solve current real world issues. In addition, the event is intended to help to bridge the skill gap between industry professionals and students and to encourage those interested in programming to consider careers within the space industry. The event is intended to act as an introduction to satellite data applications, showing the many positive ways in which this data can be used to promote sustainability, such as monitoring CO2 levels in the atmosphere, tracking the change in mass of the polar ice caps, and observing mass deforestation. 

If you would like more information on any of these projects, or to be put in touch with the organisers, please contact Rachel Chisholm.


Rachel Chisholm

Project Coordinator: Student Engagement and Events

Contact details


  • Rachel joined the department in 2017 and is responsible for coordinating and delivering the Department's student experience projects and events outreach.
    Prior to this, Rachel worked as Project Manager on an EU funded ecosystem services project. Rachel was also the facilitator for the University of Edinburgh’s Global Environment & Society Academy and played a central role in transforming the Academy’s strategy into action via outreach activities across academic and student communities.