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In 2011, The University of Cambridge established a new fund for international disabled students: The International Disabled Students' Fund (IDS Fund). Eligible offer holders and students of the University of Cambridge are able to apply to the fund for support in meeting the costs of academic-related disability support.

Support Available

The IDS Fund can help meet the costs of:

  • An independent Needs Assessment
  • Specialist equipment you need for studying, for example computer software or a digital voice recorder
  • Non-medical help, such as a note-taker or Specialist 1:1 study skills
  • Extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability


In order to be eligible for the IDS Fund, applicants must:

  • Be a current registered student or a confirmed offer holder at the University of Cambridge, and be classed as an 'international student' (EU or Non-EU) for fees purposes
  • Be ineligible for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • Be able to provide documentation of a diagnosed disability according to the Equality Act (2010)*, for example, a medical letter or specialist report
  • Agree to undergo an independent Needs Assessment, if required

*The Equality Act (2010) defines a 'disabled person' as 'someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.


  • The IDS Fund Panel will meet on a rolling basis to consider applications. Whilst there is no deadline for applications, we encourage students to apply as early as possible.
  • The DRC will acknowledge receipt of your application within 5 working days. Applications will be reviewed by the IDS Fund Panel, consisting of the DRC Manager and the student's Disability Adviser, to determine eligibility and whether there is a requirement for the applicant to attend a Needs Assessment.
  • Once eligibility has been confirmed, applicants will be notified of the result of their application by the DRC by email, within two weeks of the decision being made.
  • If the applicant requires a Needs Assessment, they will be informed of this by email and provided with contact details.
  • Once the Needs Assessment has been completed, the Needs Assessor will provide the applicant and the DRC Manager with a copy of the report indicating the recommended support requirements (e.g. equipment, human support).
  • The IDS Fund Panel will review the Needs Assessment Report and assess whether recommended support can be funded by the IDS Fund.
  • The decision will then be communicated by email to the applicant by their Disability Adviser, who will provide the applicant with details of how their support will be established.

Application Form

This application form is available in alternative formats on request, including Braille and large print. Please email if you require this application in an alternative format.


  • Please send your completed application and supporting evidence to The Disability Resource Centre, Keynes House, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA.
  • A translation of your supporting evidence or additional evidence may be requested by the IDS Fund Panel.
  • Please be as specific as possible as to your reasons for applying to the IDS Fund, to allow the fullest consideration of your application.
  • Information about other sources of funding approached will assist the IDS Fund Panel in allocating funds appropriately.
  • Your student Disability Adviser will be able to provide help with your application. Please contact the DRC for further information.
  • Applicants reserve the right to appeal any decision by the IDS Fund Panel. Appeals will be reviewed by the IDS Fund Appeal Panel, consisting of the DRC Office Manager, a member of the DRC Advisory Team (not the student's Disability Adviser), and an external adjudicator.