Imperial College London

How the President's Fund is helping Imperial students thrive


Students talking by turbine in the Royal School of Mines building

Generous donations to Imperial's President's Fund are transforming lives and helping students fulfill their potential.

From PhD students to world-leading sports facilities, unrestricted donations to the College through Where the need is greatest are helping our students succeed.

Funding PhD research

Many exceptional PhD students at the College are in part funded by gifts to Where the need is greatest and the President's Scholarship Fund. Below, four students describe their research and their experience of Imperial.


I am grateful for the generous support of the President’s Scholarship and the opportunities it has provided me. Miriam Aczel PhD Student, Centre for Environmental Policy

Fracking is controversial, with demonstrated impacts on the environment, human and animal health, climate change and human rights. Miriam Aczel’s PhD research analyses data on environmental and health impacts of fracking and proposes recommendations to bolster environmental and health protections, through a citizen-driven approach.

Miriam recently participated in the Imperial-Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme, following which she spent a month at Tsinghua University in Beijing, looking at public opinions towards fracking in China. She is currently a visiting researcher at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington DC.


Problems with interpersonal relationships are commonly affected after a brain trauma. Niall Bourke, a PhD student in Medicine, has been involved with the development of novel app-based behavioural assessments and application of new MRI techniques for patients with traumatic brain injury.

During his time as a scholar he has also taught MSc modules on neuroimaging analysis and organised several science public engagement events.


Imperial's an exciting place, characterised by diversity. It’s easy to have interesting conversations that inspire research. Mara Guerra PhD Student, Imperial College Business School

Mara Guerra is a PhD student at Imperial College Business School. Her research focuses on technology commercialisation and entrepreneurial decision-making.

She examines how prior experience of start-up teams affects key strategic decisions related to market choice and how they impact the process of scaling up.


Jiankang Deng is a PhD student working on unlocking the potential of real-world deep face recognition systems. He is helping his supervisor Dr Stefanos Zafeiriou in building a commercial face analysis system.

Jiankang says he would to donate funds to support the College in the future, given the opportunities he has had as a President’s scholar.

Upgraded sports facilities

It is a priority for the College to support students both inside and outside lectures and labs, and the wellbeing of our students is very important. That's why donations to the President’s funds have also supported the development of SW7, Imperial’s brand-new gym located on the ground floor of our flagship sports centre, Ethos, located on our South Kensington campus.SW7 logo

The space has been designed specifically for functional exercise, a type of training that attempts to help individuals perform the activities of daily life more easily.

The room will also be equipped with the latest MyZone technology, which monitors heart rate, calories and time exercising which are then converted into MyZone effort points (MEPs), with a focus on rewarding effort rather than fitness.

Smarter furniture

The College is always looking to support student priorities.

Recent feedback identified the need for more spaces to sit around campus. It is also important to the College to make the most of the space we have and use it effectively. The President’s funds have, therefore, contributed to buying and installing two- and three-seater sofas throughout our South Kensington Campus to create collaborative spaces to work and relax.

Growing our impact

Thank you to our donors who make work like this possible. To donate to Imperial to support work like this and much more, visit our Giving website.


George Hope

George Hope
Office of the President

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Student-experience, President, Sport, Campus-developments, Scholarships, International
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