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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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FAQs for ‘Catalyst Fund: Tackling hate crime and online harassment on campus’ call

The deadline for applications for the second round has now passed.

See the list of successful projects in round 2

1. How many bids can be submitted?

Universities and colleges can be involved in a maximum of two bids – one each as a single institution and one in a collaboration with other universities and colleges.

Single-institution bids can involve other key partners, such as the institution’s students’ union.

2. Can projects be collaborative?

Yes. We particularly welcome projects delivered with other higher education institutions, further education colleges, or external partners (for instance the police, local authorities or relevant voluntary organisations), students’ unions and other key external partners working in the priority areas.

3. Can further education colleges bid for funding?

HEFCE-funded further education colleges can submit bids to support higher education activity only.

4. Can matched funding be in kind or cash?

Our strong preference is for direct cash investment, to show evidence of clear commitment to project aims and objectives, and risk-sharing.

Support in kind is acceptable, but bids should clearly demonstrate the value and additionality of this type of investment.

5. Will you accept bids without matched funding or with less than 1:1 matched funding?

No, we will not accept bids which have not met the 1:1 matched funding criteria.

Additionally, if bids are unclear on matched funding they are very unlikely to be successful.

6. Is there a minimum level of funding?

No. Funding requests should be based on the needs of the project, up to the maximum amount from HEFCE of £50,000.

7. What is the difference between matched funding and funding contributed by partners?

Matched funding reflects the institution’s contribution to the project, as part of shared commitment and risk sharing, and should be at 1:1 for this call.

Funding contributions from partners could include funding from charities, local enterprise partnerships or other such organisations and funding bodies.

8. In what circumstances might capital funding be provided?

Owing to the objectives of the call and the sums of money on offer our strong preference is to provide revenue funding (which can be used for digital infrastructure). Capital investment is highly unlikely to be available and will only be considered in exceptional circumstances when a bid is of the highest quality.

9. Is there a maximum amount of funding or number of projects that will be funded?

There are currently no formal restrictions on how much of the Catalyst Fund budget will be spent on the call, and therefore no set limit on how many projects will be funded. We are seeking high-quality proposals providing additional activity to address the priority areas set out in the call documents. The budget will be reviewed as applications are received and assessed, in line with Catalyst funding already committed as well as other bids and calls in the pipeline.

10. Can HEFCE support proposals from institutions in other parts of the UK or overseas?

The lead institution must be HEFCE-funded, but other partners do not have to be. Proposals will need to clearly demonstrate what all partners will contribute to the project to support English higher education, and there may be activities and learning in other parts of the UK and overseas that can be developed and enhanced through this call.

Mission groups and other sector bodies can be partners in proposals but the project lead must be a HEFCE-funded higher education provider. Bids will be assessed on merit and therefore proposals will need to demonstrate clearly what all partners will contribute to the project, the value of their involvement and how the collaborations will work successfully to support English higher education, and to indicate how they will robustly monitor and evaluate activity.

11. Do I need to submit letters of support from partners?

Letters of support are not essential but where projects involve partners, demonstration of their clear commitment and funding contributions will greatly strengthen proposals.

12. Can bids support mental health issues?

We will consider bids with relevant support of safeguarding activity for mental health issues for vulnerable students. However, the focus of bids should be on the key objectives identified in the call documents and the Universities UK report.

13. Our institution was successful in the recent ‘Catalyst Fund: Safeguarding students’ call. Can I apply for funding from this call as well?

Yes. We will consider projects from institutions that are managing funded projects under the ‘Catalyst Fund: Safeguarding students’ call launched in December 2016 (HEFCE Circular letter 36/2016). Applications for entirely new projects which meet the objectives of the ‘Catalyst Fund: Tackling hate crime and online harassment on campus’ call (HEFCE Circular letter 20/2017) are welcomed.

If the application relates to a project already funded under the ‘Safeguarding students’ call, it must significantly build on, extend or add activity to that project and meet the objectives of this call.

14. My bid has exceeded the page limit. What are the consequences?

While due regard will be given to all applications submitted in the timeframe, HEFCE reserves the right not to read any text beyond the set limit.

15. Will you accept applications after the deadline?

Any applications received after the deadline of noon on 31 July 2017 will be identified as late submissions. We reserve the right not to consider late bids, to comply with the call documentation and to be fair to all bidders.

16. What does the call mean for potential Catalyst Fund projects in other priority areas?

Funding remains available for high-quality proposals in other priority areas. Please discuss any further ideas with your Regional Consultant in the first instance.

17. When will successful projects receive funding?

Payment months are detailed in HEFCE Circular letter 20/2017, and will be confirmed in award letters for successful projects.

All funding should be spent by December 2018. Any concerns regarding underspending should be flagged to the Catalyst Fund team as soon as possible, once funded projects have started.

18. What monitoring requirements will be involved?

The interim project monitoring report will focus on progress against key objectives, financial accountability and risk management. The end-of-project report will also seek information on the learning and key outcomes derived from the project.

As indicated in the call, all funded projects should be willing to be involved in evaluation and dissemination activities undertaken by HEFCE. This may for example involve being interviewed, providing case studies, or being involved in dissemination events.

19. How will institutions be informed of outcomes?

We will inform institutions whether they have been successful in September 2017. We will agree award letters with successful bidders.

20. I have contacted HEFCE with a query on the call and not yet received a response. Is there a problem?

We respond to all queries as quickly as possible. The Catalyst Fund email inbox is checked at least twice daily and queries passed to the relevant member of staff.

Should you have any difficulties in contacting a specific member of staff, contact HEFCE customer services on 0117 931 7317.

Page last updated 12 September 2017

Enquiries should be directed to: