The Exploration Board meets twice a year to consider proposals for student expeditions, and administers funds to assist with expedition costs. Expeditions must be adventurous in nature, commensurate with the ability level of the group undertaking them. They provide opportunities to live and work with other people, including those from different cultural backgrounds. They must involve self organisation and preparation but could include participating in an activity with other groups such as a remote race/rally or extra-curricular field-based scientific study, especially where this facilitates access to a restricted area. All expeditions supported by the Board are extra-curricular, are not for degree credit and can articulate how they are different from a holiday.

Participants should aim to develop self-reliance, outdoor skills and experience such that they can impart this to or inspire other students. Expeditions that involve scientific study will be supported only where the above criteria are met in addition to the research, and should expect to additionally attract academic funding.
Applications are welcomed across the full spectrum of adventurous activities, involving any methods of travel. When considering proposals the Board will consider the following criteria, in no particular order:
  • Adventurous activities undertaken
  • Achievability of the expedition objectives
  • Interaction with local communities
  • Self-organisation required
  • Safety
  • Remoteness and exploration
  • Skills to be developed or enhanced by the group
  • Scientific Study

The Board will look favourably on expedition proposals which aim to minimise their environmental impact.


Submit your proposal

Submit your proposal

Every student expedition that wishes to use the College’s name must submit detailed proposals including a budget, itinerary, training schedule, risk assessment to the Exploration Board.

Every expedition is normally questioned on their submission on three occasions, twice by the full Board and lastly by the officers of the Board in the summer just prior to the departure of the expedition.

The Board will give approval only if it is satisfied with the planning and preparation and readiness of the students and the viability of the proposals. Approval usually involves making a grant towards the costs of the expedition of between £250 and £750 per student, in addition to providing a loan of any of the Board's equipment (including a satallite phone if required), as well as financial contributions to insurance and first aid training costs.

Students in receipt of a grant from the Board have to make a contribution (funded personally or via other funding sources) equal to the grant provided by the Board, generally capped at £500, and are responsible for raising the balance of the costs of the Expedition. 

Expeditions will primarily comprise current Imperial College students but the Board may approve the inclusion of students from other universities, former Imperial students and other appropriate persons. Expeditions will sometimes include College staff, but the expedition must primarily be student oriented.

The Board reports regularly to the Provost's Board.

Application information

Dates of meetings

The Board meets twice a year to consider proposals submitted to it and decisions to recognise expeditions as official College ventures are usually made at a meeting held in the autumn term.

In many cases recognition carries with it a grant towards the cost (most expeditions also receive support in the form of money or equipment from sources outside the College). A variety of equipment is held for loan to approved expeditions and the Board accepts responsibility for adequately insuring the personnel and equipment for these expeditions.

Please note: Proposals for expeditions must reach the Secretary as follows.

  • 17.00 Wednesday 17 November 2021 for the December 2021 meeting
  • 17.00 Wednesday 16 February 2022 for the March 2022 meeting

The next few meetings will take place at 14.00 on:

  • Wednesday 01 December 2021
  • Wednesday 02 March 2022

Board equipment list


  • 1 Mountain Hardwear Annapurna
  • 1 Outdoor Designs Summit Extreme
  • 1 Terra Nova Ultra Quasar
  • 1 Hilleberg Keron 4GT
  • 2 x MSR Hubba Bubba NX
  • 1 Z packs tent
  • GeerTop sheet
  • Spare Pegs and extra-large pegs


  • 3 Primus Omni fuel stoves
  • 2 Camping Gaz (Butane)

Other assorted equipment

  • 1 Katadyn pocket water filter
  • 2 Water bladders
  • Anker Power Port Solar Pack
  • Cook sets (pots and pans)
  • Garmin GPSMAP64s
  • 2 Garmin etrex Vista HCX
  • 3 Garmin GPS 45
  • 3 Clarke Power puller, (ratchet devices to pull jeeps out of mud etc.)
  • 2 50-litre Drums (Used previously to carry food supplies and/or equipment)
  • 4 Mallets
  • 2 Hatchets
  • 1 Saw
  • Oxfam Delagua Portable water testing kit
  • 2 Avalanche Transceivers – Ortovox M2
  • 2 Avalanche probes
  • 4 Snow Shovels
  • 2 Fold dry bags
  • Nickonos V camera with Morris Aqua F6-TTL underwater electronic flash
  • 3 Satellite phones 

Sources of funding

Once the Exploration Board has granted full approval to a student expedition, a financial grant will normally be made by the Board.

This will usually facilitate application to other potential sources some of which are listed here:

Other potential sources of funds and support will be industry, firms supplying expedition equipment, BBC, Newspapers and Radio Stations local to expedition participants' home towns, former schools of expedition participants.