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Catalyst Fund

The fund commits up to £45 million in annual funding. This money aims to drive innovation in the HE sector, enhance excellence and efficiency in HE, and support innovative solutions.

Funded projects will normally be collaborative, bringing together support from other partners including business, universities and colleges, and other public agencies.

There is normally no deadline for submitting proposals. We consider proposals at any time, and have an ongoing application and approval process.

On occasion we also announce calls for proposals in response to specific policy priorities. 

Police Knowledge Fund

We are using the Catalyst Fund to support a joint initiative between HEFCE, the College of Policing and the Home Office.

The Police Knowledge Fund will help higher education and the police work together. It will develop the skillsets of frontline officers, particularly in the areas of evidence-based knowledge and problem solving. 

Fourteen bids have been awarded a total of £10 million through the fund.

See more about the Police Knowledge Fund and the projects

Aims of the Catalyst Fund

The fund has two goals, both focused on delivering the public and collective student interests in HE:

  • Supporting objectives - to promote and enhance activities that address key policy priorities where an innovation could lead to a step-change in achievement and efficiency widely across HE. Current policy objectives are set out in the Catalyst Fund strategic themes.
  • Strategic response - this strand is used in exceptional circumstances to protect students and sustain important activities.

Who can apply and how to apply

All higher education institutions (HEIs) can apply directly to the fund.

Further education colleges (FECs) can apply to support projects focused specifically on activities related to the provision of prescribed courses of HE.

Under current legislation we are unable to fund alternative providers of HE. So these providers are not eligible to apply.

To submit a proposal, institutions should contact their HEFCE institutional team in the first instance.

The fund has two strands that correspond to its aims: 'supporting objectives' or 'strategic response'. Applications should be made through one of these strands.

When ready, institutions should submit formal proposals via their institutional team, following the guidance and information provided in the bid pack.

Page last updated 11 May 2016