Parent Organization: *LEAD Center*

The Student Opportunity Fund has closed for the Spring 2017 semester as the program has allocated all of the funds for the academic year.  


Welcome to the home page of the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF).  SOF provides funds to registered student organizations for on-campus co-curricular events and activities & to individual students for educational focused experiences like conferences and professional meetings.  


The SOF is designed to provide support for events/activities, both co-curricular and educational, for Cal students.

  • SOF supports programs that foster a greater sense of campus community and that are conducive to free intellectual exchange.
  • SOF encourages more interaction and educational experiences for students outside of the classroom, such as visiting speakers, forums on topics of general interest, and special campus panel discussions.  

 SOF will take funding requests starting on 1/3/17 for the Spring 2017 semester.

About the Fund

Requests for SOF funds are submitted through the application on the forms tab and are funded on a rolling basis only during the academic year (no deadlines).

Requests for both Co-Curricular and Educational Opportunities must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event/activity – no exceptions.

1. Co-Curricular Opportunities (on-campus student events and publications)

This fund provides monetary support to collaborative events/activities planned by and for Cal students. Programs should reflect a commitment to a cause or promote a sense of community at Cal. One of the objectives of this fund is to support programs that foster a greater sense of campus community that is conducive to free intellectual exchange; advance knowledge, such as visiting speakers, forums on topics of general interest; and support the initial creation of a student publication. Additionally, this fund is designed to encourage increased interaction outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to craft proposals that will provide opportunities for Cal students to gain valuable leadership experience and knowledge. 

Funding requests are encouraged to demonstrate:

  • Collaboration among multiple student groups 
  • Unique opportunity or experience for its participants 
  • Promotion of an issue/cause relevant to Cal students 
  • Significant contribution to the student body 
  • A broad view of cultural experiences and knowledge 

Who can apply for these funds?

All registered student organizations are encouraged to apply.

NOTE: For any on-campus event or activity, your organization will need to work with a LEAD Center advisor. Please visit the LEAD Center site to become more familiar with event planning guidelines and restrictions

2. Educational Opportunities (off-campus domestic travel)

This fund provides support for student access to educational experiences "beyond the classroom," such as to professional meetings, research conferences, and academic competitions. 

Funding requests are encouraged to demonstrate:

  • Potential for the advancement of research or the promotion of academic success
  • Orientation toward academic or professional development
  • Direct relationship to the individual's declared major, field of study, or current course load
  • Support of a UC faculty member

Who can apply for these funds?

All registered students are encouraged to apply.

Note: For any event/activity that conflicts with your course schedule, you will need to review the campus guidelines related to missing classes and fulfilling academic requirements. 

General Guidelines

To be considered for funding, the project must:

  • Demonstrate clarity of goals and thoroughness of planning.
  • Adhere to University policies, campus regulations, and established procedures
  • Provide detailed budget to support the event/activity
  • Include information on attempts for additional and/or alternative funding
  • Establish measures to prevent exclusion or alienation of any community
  • Co-curricular events/activities must be sponsored by a registered student organization

If funding is granted, all paperwork associated with the expenses/reimbursements must be submitted within three (3) weeks following the event or funds will be forfeited.  

You can visit the LEAD Center at 432 Eshleman Hall, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday-Friday, or contact them at (510) 642-5171 or at lead@berkeley.edu.



Funds will not be awarded for:

  • Summer events/activities (events/activities taking place outside of the academic year).
  • Graduations.
  • Proposals submitted less than two weeks before the event/activity.
  • Co-curricular events and/or educational opportunities that have occurred prior to the submission of the SOF request (no retroactive applications will be accepted).
  • Stipends or salaries.
  • Purchase, replace or repair of equipment.
  • International travel (SOF does not fund any costs - travel expenses, event costs, registration, meals, lodging, conferences, etc. - associated with international travel.  International travel is defined as travel outside of the United States.)  
  • Political events/activities unless all sides of an issue are presented.
  • Religious services.
  • Off campus events/activities (excludes educational opportunities).
  • Activities where alcohol is served.
  • On-going operating expenses.
  • Academic course operation expenses, including texts and readers. SOF will not provide funding for expenses related to academic courses.
  • Projects designed to raise funds for off-campus agencies. SOF will not provide funding for events/activities/projects in which revenue is being given to a non-campus entity or nonprofit organization.
  • Food and lodging associated with domestic travel.
  • Graduate school tours.

Please note:

  • SOF will provide funding support to publications only once, and not on an on-going basis.
  • Payment checks for honoraria are paid once the event/activity is completed and all required paperwork has been properly submitted.
  • On campus planned conferences should be submitted as co-curricular versus educational opportunity.


Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) FAQ

Who can submit proposals?
Either registered students or registered student groups.

I notice that there are two categories for funding. Can one project qualify as both an Educational and a Co-curricular event/activity?

Where can I pick up a funding request? 
All funding requests must be submitted through the application on the forms tab.

When are funding requests due? 
Funding requests are accepted on a rolling basis during the academic year but must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event/activity. 

Can I submit a funding request after an event/activity has passed?
No, retroactive funding requests are accepted. Project proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the activity/event.

Can I revise a proposal once it has been submitted?
Yes, unless the proposal is already under review.

When will we be notified of the selection committee's decision? 
The selection committee reviews funding requests as they are submitted. If you have fully completed your funding request, you will be notified by e-mail of the committee's decision within two weeks of submitting a funding request.

How much can I receive? 
Due to limited funds, the maximum amount for Co-curricular Opportunity is $2,500. The maximum amount for the Educational Opportunity is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for groups of students. 

How does the funding work?
If your proposal is successful, you will receive an email from the Student Opportunity Fund Committee acknowledging your award. That email will tell you how much you have been awarded and the steps that you must follow in order to obtain the funds.

Can I apply for funding for an event/activity that will be held next academic year? 

Can a registered student group apply for more than one event/activity in an academic year? 
Yes, but please understand that funds are limited and previous requests will be taken into consideration when approving subsequent requests. SOF is not intended to be the sole funding source for your event or organization. 

Do I need to have insurance for my event/activity? What about Security? 
Yes, the advisors in LEAD Center can provide guidance on insurance and security requirements for campus events/activities.

Do I need to be a Registered Student Organization (RSO) in order to receive funding from the SOF? 
Yes. If your group is not currently an RSO please go to lead.berkeley.edu to learn how to become one.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Please email sof@lists.berkeley.edu

We are happy to be able to offer our support to your efforts.


Additional Funding Options

Here's some additional funding resources to help with co-curricular events/activities.  

For educational opportunities, check with your department, the ASUC Academic Opportunity Fund, the Graduate Assembly Travel Award, and crowdfunding your trip.  

Address LEAD Center
432 Eshleman Hall