Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Lots of Pots of Money - Surely Something Here To Bid For?

1. Money Advice Trust - Innovation Grants Programme 

Grants of between £1,000 and £30,000 are available to charitable organisations in the UK that provide free, independent, effective advice to clients on the strategies available to help them deal with their debts and financial circumstances.

Funding is available for work which will improve the quality and amount of money advice available in the UK, as well as work which creates resources and information which can be shared with other money advice agencies.

Projects must be innovative and look for new approaches to an old issue or the use of an established approach for new issues, needs or audiences.

The priority areas are as follows:

* Developing new information, resources and ways of delivering advice that can be shared with others, and replicated widely.
* Projects which combine money advice and financial capability for people who are usually excluded from society.
* Work which will assist those who are homeless or facing homelessness.

The deadline for applications is 11 July 2012.

2. Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service, is funding the second round of the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel, a programme designed to showcase local, sustainable travel initiatives in three European countries. In order to select the winning initiatives, Eurostar has partnered with the Ashden Awards, which operates the long running green energy initiative, the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy (GRANTfinder reference number UN4270).

The programme will promote sustainable travel initiatives in the UK, France and Belgium where Eurostar operates. It will recognise projects that are innovative, clear, measurable and proven. The award will include a prize fund worth £30,000 and a host of benefits aimed at raising awareness of the winning programme.

The prize will go towards promoting the best environmentally sustainable travel initiatives in local and rural areas or towns. Examples of eligible initiatives include cycling, walking or public transport.

Rural and urban businesses, NGOs, local authorities, not-for-profit groups, social enterprises, public sector organisations, schools and other educational establishments that are undertaking sustainable travel initiatives in the UK may apply. Applications can be made singly or jointly.

Winning projects will be chosen based on their innovative qualities, but will also have to be proven and measurable. Projects will need to have been up and running for at least a year.

The deadline for receipt of applications by Expressions of Interest is 30 October 2012.

3.Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards

The Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards aim to recognise and support social enterprises and Community Interest Companies in the UK that are working to grow their business and improve their local community but require additional financial assistance to help them realise their ideas.

Launched for the 2012 round today, the Development Awards have been split into segments to make sure a range of enterprises benefit:

* Segment A provides a prize of £50,000 to social enterprises with a turnover of £250,000 - £500,000.
* Segment B provides a prize of £30,000 to social enterprises with a turnover of £100,000 - £250,000.
* Segment C provides a prize of £15,000 to social enterprises with a turnover of less than £150,000.

In addition to the cash prize the winning social enterprises will have access to a range of other opportunities:

* Monitoring and evaluation support so the success of the business can be measured.
* Access to bespoke university training courses.
* Opportunity to have a three month intern working in the business to help implement growth plans.
* Networking with other Santander Social Enterprise Development Award winners.
* The chance to showcase the business and the community supported by hosting a Development Award visit.

The types of costs that relate to the following are eligible:

* Improving Social Inclusion
* Supporting Disadvantaged People
* Creating a Greener Environment

The Development Awards are targeted at established social enterprises in the UK with two or more years of trading, which have ambitions to develop their business but need a financial boost to help them realise their ideas.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 2 July 2012.

4. Innovation in Giving Fund

NESTA has launched the second "call for ideas" for the Innovation in Giving Fund.

The Innovation in Giving fund is focused on increasing giving and exchange of time, assets, skills, resources and money in England to achieve social goals and public benefit.

In the first instance, grants of up to £50,000 are available for proposals at any stage of development, from an early stage idea to something with a proven track record and the possibility of going to greater scale. There will also be an opportunity to secure further stages of funding, with additional awards to be made from autumn 2012.

Ideas and proposals are welcome from all sources and sectors and all types of organisations - communities, charities, social entrepreneurs, businesses, academia, public services or other organisations; however, funding will only be awarded for projects that have an identifiable public benefit related to the aims of the Fund.

In particular, in this round, NESTA is interested in the following:

* Harnessing the potential of collaborative and networked technologies.
* Platforms and mechanisms that promote reciprocity - such as the use of time credits, points systems or other complementary currencies.
* Making use of idling capacity - for example ideas that enable people or organisations to share, exchange and redistribute assets, skills and resources.
* Increasing the number of people that make donations to charity and stimulating new audiences.
* Improving the targeting of pro bono support from commercial organisations.

This is not an exhaustive list and proposals of all kinds are welcome that meet the objectives, core criteria and eligibility of the Fund.

To apply, organisations need to complete a short application form and publish a video of no more than three minutes which will then be published on Nesta's Innovation in Giving Vimeo channel. All the video pitches will be publicly available.

The deadline for submissions is 22 June 2012.

5. Community Impact Awards 

The newly-launched Community Impact Awards celebrate the difference housing associations in England are making by giving people opportunities and bringing communities together. Innovative projects that are changing lives in local areas across the country will be rewarded.

There are four separate award categories open in each region; each with its own criteria. Entrants will need to demonstrate how they meet these criteria and why they should win an award.

The categories and criteria are:

Category 1: Better Health

Entrants will need to demonstrate how their project has:

* Tackled health inequalities.
* Promoted independence amongst residents.
* Involved working with local and national partners to improve health and social care.

Category 2: Improving Neighbourhoods

Entrants will need to demonstrate how their project has:

* Brought new life to an area.
* Involved and supported residents to change the area in which they live.
* Improved communities and physical spaces.

Category 3: Building Futures

Entrants will need to demonstrate how their project has:

* Tackled worklessness and financial exclusion amongst residents.
* Provided opportunities for residents to gain vital skills.
* Unlocked the potential of residents and young people.

Category 4: Safer Streets

Entrants will need to demonstrate how their project has:

* Created innovative solutions to anti-social behaviour that challenge stereotypes.
* Supported and involved residents to prevent anti-social behaviour.
* Engaged with local partners to reduce the effects of anti-social behaviour.

The awards come in the form of an accolade to commemorate the winners' good work.

Full members and associate ALMO members of the National Housing Federation may enter. Other partners can help support an application but a Federation member or associate member must be the lead entrant.

The awards are made within the nine regions of England, namely: London, South East, East of England, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. Members and associate members can enter one project per region.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 23 July 2012 at 5pm.

6. Community Learning Innovation Fund

The Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) has now been launched. This Fund aims to support new and creative community learning opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged people, to encourage adults to take up, succeed and progress in learning.

CLIF will support projects that:

* Widen participation and transform people's destinies by supporting learning and progression in the broadest sense for adults, especially those who are most disadvantaged and least likely to participate in learning.
* Promote social renewal and develop stronger communities with more self-sufficient, connected and pro-active citizens.
* Maximise the benefit and impact of community learning on the social and economic well being of individuals, families and communities.
* Include effective strategies to ensure that the work and its impact can be sustained when project funding comes to an end.
* Align with the work of emerging Community Learning Trusts - a distinct but complementary initiative.

Grants of between £10,000 and £65,000 are available to any provider organisation, based in England, regardless of whether or not they currently receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency.

Bids are welcomed from public, private and third sector, organisations from all backgrounds including culture, heritage, sport, health, community regeneration, environment, arts and craft, broadcasting and technology.

The deadlines for applications are as follows:

* Applications for £50,000 and over: 28 June 2012 (noon).

· Applications for less than £50,000: 5 July 2012 (noon).

7. Inclusive Sport Fund (England)

The Inclusive Sport Fund has been set up by Sport England with the intention of producing a lasting community legacy from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, by growing sports participation by disabled people at grassroots level.

A total of £8 million of National Lottery Funding is available.

The Fund will invest in programmes designed to grow the number of disabled young people (age 14 and over) and adults that regularly play sport. Currently, only one in six disabled adults plays a sport regularly. Programmes should be innovative, scalable and replicable, and make it easier and more fun for disabled people to take part in sport and physical activity more often. In particular, Sport England will be looking for projects that provide:

Evidence of current insight into disabled people’s needs, expectations and motivations, as they relate to physical activity and sport.

Details of any previous successful activities that could be repeated or scaled-up with more investment.

Links to the disability sector with all of its expertise, experience and committed individuals.

Applications will be accepted from not-for-profit organisations such as sports clubs, voluntary and community organisations, local authorities, schools and colleges for revenue grants of £10,001 or more. Private companies may also apply if they can demonstrate that the project is for public good or a charitable purpose and there will be no financial gain.

Application forms will be available from 1 June 2012 with a deadline of 31 August 2012 for applications.

A series of workshops providing further information and support will be organised in June and July 2012

8. BUPA Foundation - Philip Poole-Wilson Seed Corn Fund (UK) 

The Philip Poole-Wilson Seed Corn Fund invites proposals for exploratory/pilot research projects in any of the Foundation’s areas of interest. These are:

· Surgery.

· Preventive medicine and epidemiology.

· Health information and communication between patients and health professionals.

· Health at work.

· Mental health of older people.

The grant awarded should be used to help an applicant develop their ideas, such as to support pilot work, or to bring together a team of people to work on a proposal.

Healthcare professionals involved in research or university-based researchers with an interest in health or social care, based in the UK may apply.

Each application must be made either by a researcher beginning their research career or, if a pilot project by an experienced researcher, must include such a researcher on the team and contribute meaningfully to his/her development and training.

High priority will be given to applications from young and/or new researchers who have not previously been funded.

A total of £200,000 is available each year and grants of up to £20,000 per proposal.

The deadline for Short Form applications is 6 July 2012.

9. Abertay Digital Prototype Grant Funding(UK) 

Abertay University’s business support office has launched a new round of the Abertay Digital Prototype Grant Funding programme. The aim of the programme is to foster economic growth, facilitate job creation, and improve skills development in the sector.

Grants of up to £25,000 are available for small companies (based anywhere in the UK) that are developing their own games or other forms of interactive digital content.

The grants can be used to develop prototypes of original intellectual property (IP), allowing companies to go on to seek further funding or investment to launch their product. As part of the programme's offering, studio space, equipment, and software will be available for companies to use while prototypes are being developed at Abertay University.

Games projects and other forms of interactive digital content, such as e-learning, visualisation, interactive exhibits, online film/broadcast media, or middleware can be supported.

Grants can be used for a range of expenditure identified within the project budget, primarily:

· Costs for a selected number of the applicant's development team.

· Part-time employment costs of a proportion of students or graduates selected as part of the student placement element.

· Additional costs, such as a contractor to fill a gap in the team.

The second 2012 round of the programme is now open with a deadline for the receipt of applications of 12pm on Wednesday 18 July 2012.

10. Panasonic Trust Fellowships (UK)

The objective of the Panasonic Trust Fellowships is to provide financial support to graduate engineers to enable them to undertake full-time Masters courses in subjects related to the environment and sustainability.

This strand of activity complements the existing Trust initiative that supports industrially employed engineers to undertake part-time modular Masters courses.

To be eligible for the award of a Panasonic Trust Fellowship, an applicant must:

· Be a UK citizen.

· Be qualified to degree level in engineering or a related discipline.

· Have membership, at any grade, of an engineering institution.

· Have some industrial experience. This may include experience gained during a sandwich course work placement, or through a 'year out' before commencing university.

· Not be in receipt of an EPSRC or other award to study the course.

Each Fellowship has a financial value of £8,000; £6,000 is paid upon registration with the remaining £2,000 payable upon successful graduation.

Applications should be submitted by the deadline 26 July 2012.

11. BBSRC - Industrial Case awards (UK)

Industrial CASE (Co-operative Awards in Science and Engineering) Studentships enable companies to take the lead in defining and setting up research projects with a HEI research organisation of their choice.

Participating companies must ensure that the placement incorporates wider business-related training for the student in areas such as:

· Project-management.

· Business strategy.

· Finance.

The applicant company must make a financial contribution to the studentships, including:

· An annual contribution, to a minimum of £1,400 per annum, payable to the participating HEI. The first payment should be made on the first day of the studentship and thereafter, each year on the same date.

· Expenses incurred as a result of the company based placement, for example, travel and accommodation.

· A payment to the participating student to the value of a minimum of £2,500 per annum.

Funds are intended to cover the costs of stipends, feeds and the incidental costs of research.

Support is available for companies to undertake research through part funding a postgraduate studentship which is carried out in collaboration with a Higher Education Institution (HEI) partner. Eligible companies should be registered for business and trading in the UK and have a UK research and/or manufacturing base. However, foreign-owned companies that are not registered in the UK may be considered but their assessment will be undertaken on a case by case basis. Proposals are particularly welcomed from SMEs.

The deadline for submissions for the 2012 round is 26 July 2012 (4pm).

12. BT Community Connections Awards

BT Community Connections is an award scheme which offers groups the chance to get online and help people discover the internet.

Recipients will receive 12 months’ free connection to BT Business Total Broadband Advance. As part of the award package, successful applicants are expected to conduct regular internet taster sessions and further training for members of the community.

Applications are welcomed from a diverse range of community organisations, charities, social enterprises and community interest companies that are based in the UK and have a BT business landline. Priority will be given to applications from community groups that operate in areas of deprivation. Previous award winners are eligible to apply.

The deadline for applications is 7 September 2012 (5.30pm).

13. Supporting Excellence in Initial Teacher Education in Further Education and Skills

Phase 2 projects

The interim report of the Independent Review of Professionalism, chaired by Lord Lingfield, was released at the end of March. The final report, which will consider professionalism more widely, will be published in the summer.

One of the main recommendations from the interim report is review of the FE and Skills teaching qualifications which will be led by LSIS.

In light of this review the second phase of LSIS funding for initial teacher education projects has been postponed pending the outcomes of the review.

More information about Supporting Excellence in Teacher Education in Further Education and Skills<>

14. Emerging Governance Models - Grant Funding opportunity

LSIS is pleased to invite bids from learning and skills provider organisations for grants to document case studies of emerging governance structures and thinking in response to New Challenges, New Chances.

These grants are available to all providers within the learning and skills sector. We are particularly interested in case studies from Colleges, Independent Training Providers and Adult and Community and the Third Sector.

These case studies are intended to be a tool and catalyst to support other governing bodies to review their own governance structures by understanding how some providers have approached this.

Please read the accompanying invitation and guidance, complete and return the application form to<> by 12:00 midday on Friday 29 June 2012.

Supporting documents:

* Emerging Governance Models - Guidance to bidders<>
* Emerging Governance Models - Application form<>

15. Stepping up in Sustainability: Leadership and Learning Fund 2012

LSIS is pleased to invite bids from learning and skills provider organisations to join the Stepping Up in Sustainability Leadership and Learning Fund 2012. The fund is designed to support the identification and embedding of effective approaches to sustainable development, and to share these approaches with other providers.

Bids, up to a maximum of £10,000, may be submitted by provider organisations working individually or in collaboration with others, but must be for activities that would have transferable learning and benefits for the wider sector rather than just an individual organisation. Bids should focus on one or more of the following topics:

* Leadership and capacity building
* Teaching, learning and curriculum
* Sustainability skills for growth - Future skills and responding to employer needs
* FE-HE partnership working on any of the three topics above

Applications can be made by completing the application form below and returning to<> by 12.00 midday on Friday 29th June 2012. Late applications cannot be considered.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read all of the supporting documents.

Supporting documents:

* Invitation: Stepping Up in Sustainability Fund 2012<>
* Application form: Stepping Up in Sustainability Fund 2012<>
* Frequently Asked Questions: Stepping Up in Sustainability Fund 2012<>
* Characteristics of successful bids to the Stepping Up in Sustainability Fund<>

Case studies from past funded projects can be found on the Excellence Gateway.

16. LSIS Leadership in Technology (LiT) grant based intervention

LSIS is inviting bids from learning providers for project grants of £6000 for technology based improvement activity. The grant is designed to support providers who identify a particular improvement need that can be tackled through the innovative use of technology. This should enable organisations to use technology to achieve measurable and/or clearly identifiable benefits. The scheme aims to take advantage of existing sector expertise and best practice through mentoring, coupled with support from a targeted LSIS Technology for Success workshop.

Applications for the LSIS Leadership in Technology (LiT) grant based intervention are to be made by completing all of the boxes on the accompanying form, including a breakdown of the total cost of the project. No additional documentation should be submitted with this bid unless specifically requested.

The completed application form should be e-mailed to<> titled ‘LSIS Leadership in Technology (LiT) grant based intervention’ by 12.00 noon on Monday 02 July 2012

Supporting documents:

* Guidance document - Leadership in Technology (LiT) grant based intervention<>
* Application form - Leadership in Technology (LiT) grant based intervention<>

17. LSIS Leadership with Technology: Regional Collaboration Fund

LSIS is inviting bids for project grants of up to £30,000 per consortium from groups of providers working collaboratively together to achieve a common goal through the use of technology. The focus may be on improving teaching and learning, management or governance across the group of providers.

Bids should demonstrate how the consortium will:

* work together/have worked together to identify the common goal;
* drive towards a step change in performance through the use of technology;
* pool existing expertise and effective practice to the benefit of all; and
* measure success.

Applications for the LSIS Leadership with Technology: Regional Collaboration Fund should be made by completing all of the boxes on the accompanying form, including a breakdown of the total cost of the project and an indicative estimate of the distribution of monies between members of the consortium. No additional documentation should be submitted with this bid unless specifically requested.

Bids must be submitted by email to<> by 5 pm on Monday 09 July 2012 and titled LSIS Leadership with Technology: Regional Collaboration Fund.

Supporting documents:

* Guidance document - LSIS Leadership with Technology: Regional Collaboration Fund<>
* Application form - LSIS Leadership with Technology: Regional Collaboration Fund<>

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Dunstable Departure

I finally have a date when I shall be free from the chains of Further Education college employment. From 30 June 2012 the daily trudge through traffic on the A5 south of Milton Keynes ends and I need no longer fear retribution for not including references to Equality Act strands in my lesson plans.

I shall continue with my role at Middlesex University but to have so much flexibility as to when I can meet current clients and potential new ones will be marvellous. In many ways, I wish I had retired from what was then Dunstable College several years ago as everything worthwhile that I have achieved recently has been completed in my own time - late evenings, weekends and stolen days here and there. Once, I felt that I could make a difference at College, when, as their ILT/E-learning Co-ordinator and seconded to the Learning & Skills Development Agency and its successors for a proportion of that time too, my days were spent helping staff not just at Dunstable but across the country. Those were great days and, especially through LSDA's Q Projects, where I was in a position to fund small projects for using technology in teaching, and with chances to speak to audiences at various agency gatherings, personally rewarding.

With a bit of luck I shall be able to pick up some of that type of work again although, with most funding sources drying up now, I guess it will have to be from persuading budget holders that spending a few hundred on yours truly will be beneficial.

There are many ideas that I'd like to launch but I know I can't do them all! Here's a flavour of where I may concentrate my initial efforts.

Staff ICT Skills Audit

Already being trialled by institutions here as well as in the States, I shall be working with colleagues to promote this simple way to discover who your ICT stars are and who needs a bit of extra help in this vital field.

On-line Surveys

Combining my skills in design and data analysis, I look forward to offering a complete service to those wanting to ask questions and get results - all on-line.

Web Tools

Staff development sessions on new and free tools and applications that can make a difference in course management and the learning experience.

Web Design

Sites that look good and do what people want them to do. Simply.


With huge picture files still causing trouble all over the place - from e-mail attachments and use on-line to those that are in desperate need of a bit of editing - some staff development sessions to explain everything ought to be fun and worthwhile for a wide range of people, and not just in education either, I suppose.


What's wrong with today's virtual learning environments (or MLEs as they may be termed in the States) is worthy of a separate article so I'll be brief here! Here, the UK Government gave institutions a pot of money years ago and they all rushed out and got WebCT, Blackboard, moodle or something similar. So what's happened since? Not a lot. Yes, most courses now have some material and links to resources on-line. Yes, management can now tick some boxes about using technology, show statistics about student usage. But, with a few exceptions, most provision of this sort has become stale, clunky and I have even heard students moaning about moodle, preferring tutors' individual sites and portals to materials. That global solution that the corporate VLE brought has limited value now as a student-programme interface. It's time for a change and I will simply love moving forward the thinking of anyone prepared to listen.

On-line courses

This could well be The Big Thing this decade. It's early days now and, for many institutions, the thought that they may not actually have students wandering around their wonderfully glamorous, glassy and smart premises that have cost taxpayers billions in a few years' time isn't one that does much for a Principal's ego, never mind career. I warn them all now, though: change is coming. Given the choice, at least a third of your students on full-time National Diploma-style programmes would prefer now to study at home in their own time and just attend a centre for tutorials, guidance and specific topic days on a few days a term. Once the others start to see the quality and range of qualifications that can be delivered on-line instead of in class then that proportion can only rise. They're only still enrolling because no-one has told them that there might be an alternative. That's because there isn't yet but I shall be doing my best to design and create one, or, more probably, promote what someone is bound to have ready first!

I may think of some other things to do but these ought to keep me occupied quite happily for a while after 1 July. I would, of course, also be delighted to hear from anyone who can make use of my time and skills!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Money for something old, something new, something, er.. Big Bang...

European Prize for Cultural Heritage - 10,000 Euros

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage (Europa Nostra Awards) celebrates excellence in cultural heritage conservation, ranging from the restoration of buildings and their adaptation to new uses, to urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, archaeological site interpretations, and care for art collections.

Each year, up to six prizes of €10,000, and up to 25 non-financial awards are given to architects, craftsmen, volunteers, schools, local communities, heritage owners and media.

Prizes are awarded in the following categories:

Category 1 - Conservation

Category 2 - Research

Category 3 - Dedicated Service by Individuals or Organisations

Category 4 - Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The deadline for submissions to the 2013 Awards is 1 October 2012.

Start-up Loans - up to £2,500 + support for young entrepreneurs in England 

The Government has announced the launch of a new £82.5 million student-loan style initiative for young entrepreneurs in England who are planning to start a new business.

Initial plans for the StartUp Loans scheme were first announced by the Government in the 2012 Budget. Based on the current student loan system, the scheme will enable young people who choose not to go to university to access low interest loans to help them start up a company.

Young entrepreneurs taking part in the initiative will be awarded a small amount of capital to help them get started. Loans of up to £2,500 per individual are available.

In addition to the loan, applicants will receive business support and mentoring and a free copy of the StartUp Loans Kit, which offers guidance on starting a business, together with more than £500 worth of offers on products, from business cards to websites, netbooks and work suits.

The scheme is open to 18-24 years-olds who are planning to start up a business enterprise in England. Applicants will need a "viable" business idea in order to qualify for support.

Applications may be submitted at any time.

LSIS funding for 'Big Bang Near Me' fairs - up to £10,000 

The aim of The Big Bang programme of events is to engage, inspire and motivate learners to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

LSIS is now offering funding to enable FE and skills providers to plan, deliver and evaluate their own Big Bang fair during 2012-13. The events should offer a valuable CPD opportunity for staff, and inspiration for current and future learners, all centred on STEM subjects. This will involve working in partnership with employers in local STEM-related industries and other organisations.

There is a maximum grant available for Raising awareness of STEM opportunities with learners through 'Big Bang Near Me' fairs of up to £10,000 per project. The Big Bang team will provide an online toolkit and telephone support.

Applications can be made by completing the attached form and sending by email to by midnight on Monday 11th June 2012.