Education for Sustainable Development Project: call for grant funding bids

News summary

The Higher Education Academy's Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Project invites applications for funding of up to 4K to develop capacity to better assist institutions and subject communities in their development of curricula and pedagogy to equip students with the skills and knowledge to live and work sustainably.

Call for grant funding bids

Sustainability is now recognised to be a key area of development for the education sector. In particular, the policy and practice context points to the need to consider how best to embed it into higher education learning and teaching strategies and curricula.

The Higher Education Academy is currently undertaking a programme of development activity and capacity building so as to better assist institutions and subject communities in their development of curricula and pedagogy to equip students with the skills and knowledge to live and work sustainably. This recognises the importance of increasing 'sustainability literacy' among students and the growing demand for sustainability skills among employers.

In order to help develop this capacity the Higher Education Academy 's Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Project invites applications for the funding of grants designed to:

  • encourage a culture in which innovative developments in the embedding of sustainable development in the curriculum are valued and acknowledged at a national level;
  • promote good practice in the embedding of sustainable development in the curriculum;
  • disseminate within the wider community innovative methods or materials originally developed for use within a single institution in the embedding of sustainable development in the curriculum.

The ESD Project is setting aside £40k for grants in this Tranche; the maximum funding for any single proposal will be £4k.

1. Guidelines

1.1 Key dates

Applications should be submitted by noon on July 14th 2006. Applicants will be informed by August 1st 2006. It is expected that projects will be completed by July 31st 2007.

1.2 Proposal form

Download: Proposal form (Word) | Proposal form (rich text format)

Proposals should be submitted on the proposal form and must be presented both in hard copy and electronically by email attachment. Electronic versions of the completed forms should be sent to your Subject Centre (Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies) ( and copied to Heather Witham, ESD Project Co-ordinator (

Only fully completed (electronic) proposal forms that reach the ESD Project Co-ordinator by the stated deadline will be eligible for consideration (we will accept a hard copy after the date, but this must be submitted to receive consideration).

Hard copies should be sent to:
Heather Witham,
The Economics Network
University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1HH.

1.3 Who can apply?

Any academic or group of academics involved in teaching at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level in the UK (either in an HE institution, or an FE institution delivering HE programmes) is eligible to apply through their Subject Centre. Subject Centres may also apply directly. Subject Centres should not expect to have more than one bid funded.

1.4 Budget

No overheads may be charged. The grants may be used to fund the following costs:

  • Travel and subsistence expenses
  • Administrative and technical assistance
  • Replacement teaching costs
  • Costs of consumable items
  • Costs arising from attendance at conferences where attendance is demonstrably an integral element of the project
  • Dissemination and evaluation costs

1.5 Selection criteria

Evidence of the following criteria will be sought in evaluating project bids:

  • Relevance of the project to the embedding of sustainable development in the curriculum
  • Proposal sets out clearly what the project is intended to achieve
  • Proposal is feasible and practical
  • Project or research methods to be used
  • Proposal takes account of the existing literature and practice elsewhere in the UK
  • Potential benefit to at least one academic discipline in the field of ESD
  • Outcomes and deliverables
  • Likely extent of take-up
  • Rationale for embedding the outcomes of the project in the appropriate subject communities
  • Dissemination
  • Clearly stated, cost effective, and appropriate dissemination plans
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Incorporates a system for monitoring and evaluating the progress and outcomes of the project
  • Costs and value for money
  • Justification for the funding requested
  • Any additional funding and resources provided (such as from the host department and/or institution)
  • Value for money

2. Selection process

Once proposals have been received by the Project Team, they will be checked for completeness and appropriateness for the criteria.

Proposals will then be ranked according to the criteria by the Project Planning Group. Members of the Planning Group will not be allowed to rank those bids from their own subject communities or from their own Subject Centre.

In the first instance, the best bid from each Subject Centre (including external bids submitted to it), as decided by the Project Planning Group, will be considered. If there are insufficient fundable bids presented, the second highest ranked bid from each Subject Centre will be considered. This process will continue until all funding is allocated, or there are no more fundable bids remaining.

Authors of unsuccessful proposals will be given feedback on why the project was not funded.

For successful proposals, the Project Team will draw up a Statement of Responsibilities to be signed by the grant holder, and the ESD Programme Manager.

3. Running projects

3.1 Responsibilities of grant holder

The grant holder will be responsible for carrying out the project in a timely and financially accountable manner, including completing deliverables and dissemination activities and full disclosure of the work to the Project Team. The intellectual property rights will normally remain with the grant holder, although they must credit the Higher Education Academy for assistance where relevant in any disseminated or published materials and allow full publication via print and electronic means of the final report.

3.2 Monitoring project progress

The ESD Project Co-ordinator will liaise with the grant holder on the progress of the project, and will monitor progress against plan and advise the grant holder as appropriate. The grant holder will be required to submit one interim progress reports to the Project Co-ordinator. Any disagreements between the grant holder and the Subject Centre will be referred to the Project Planning Group for arbitration.

3.3 Financial arrangements

The payment of monies will be made on a sub-contract basis from the University of Leeds from the ESD Project grant paid by the HE Academy. The expectation is that no payments will be made for overheads. Payment of grants will be made as follows:

  • One half of the agreed sum will be paid on the agreement of the statement of responsibilities.
  • The remaining half will be paid on completion of all deliverables of the project.
  • Any funds unspent at the end of the project will be retained by the PRS Subject Centre.
  • Funds must be claimed by invoice from the host institution.

Further reading

Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)