Staff Financial Support Fund

The University recognises that there will be occasions when staff experience financial difficulty. Support may be available to you, whether you are facing a relatively small, discrete issue with your finances, or a major challenge to do with complex personal or domestic circumstances.

Who can apply?

The Staff Financial Support Fund is open to:

  • University employees;
  • retired University employees;
  • the dependants of University employees who have died in service; and
  • the dependants of retired University employees who have died.

University employees are those on University contracts of employment, where the employer is identified as the 'Chancellor, Master and Scholars of the University of Oxford'.

The Fund is not currently open to casual staff, TSS workers, or college-only employees.

How will I be assessed?

The Fund is offered to assist those facing unexpected pressures, where the applicant is (or is at risk of) finding themselves with unmanageable debt and/or severe financial difficulty and where support is not available elsewhere.

Reasons for an award may include:

  • Cost of living, particularly due to current high levels of inflation (eg an increase in essential outgoings);
  • One-off unexpected essential expenses (eg boiler breakdown or bereavement costs);
  • Unexpected reduction in household income (eg job loss or illness of a household member);
  • Change in personal circumstances (eg relationship breakdown, loss of accommodation)

This is not an exhaustive list; however, applications should clearly demonstrate the necessity for financial assistance. Grants or loans will not be awarded where financial difficulty cannot be demonstrated and requests over £5,000 would only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

What can I expect, if my application is successful?

If your application is successful, you may receive the full amount that you requested, or a lower amount, either as a grant, interest-free loan, or combination of the two. The board has discretion to determine whether a request for a grant is more appropriately met with an interest-free loan, or vice versa. 

It is your responsibility to explore any consequences this grant payment may have on existing claims, payments or benefits relating to you.

Grants are taxable and will appear on your payslip as income. If you receive a grant, this will be grossed up when processed by Finance to cover the tax, so you will still receive the amount stated in your outcome letter.

Loans are interest-free and are recovered from your salary in equal instalments. The repayment period is usually twelve months.  

Payment of grants shall be paid via Payroll alongside your monthly salary. Payment of loans will be made directly in to your bank account.



How do I apply?

Please ensure you have read the guidance to applicants before applying.

Current University staff members

University employees should complete the Staff Financial Support Fund application form. Your application is confidential and you do not need to go through your line manager.

Evidence of monthly expenditure and household income is not required. However, you should clearly set out the nature of the issue, including all relevant information in your application. Please attach any supporting documents (such as quotes for repair work, etc) to your application.

Decisions will be made by the Board of Management based on the information provided. Please note that applications will take a few weeks to process.

Retired University employees

Please contact Julia Powles, Pensioner Welfare Officer at, or by calling 01865 616203. Please note that applications will take a few weeks to process.


Please contact the HR Liaison Officer at for advice on next steps.

Financial advice and support

The Fund cannot provide emergency support and will not be able to meet all requests. All applicants are offered access to the University’s financial advice service via the Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme. In addition, all members of staff are encouraged to consider seeking financial help from alternative professional or debt advice charities. Please refer to the 'Useful links' shared on the right-hand menu.

Contact us

For further information, please contact the HR Liaison Officer at


Guidance to applicants (pdf)

Application form (Word doc)

Useful links

Health Assured (employee assistance programme)

MoneyHelper (backed by the UK Government)

Citizens Advice