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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Higher education institutions may submit bids using the template at Annexes A and B by noon on Monday 6 November 2017.

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Higher Education Innovation Fund: Connecting Capability Fund – second round

1. This letter confirms the guidance for round two of the Higher Education Innovation Fund Connecting Capability Fund (CCF), and invites eligible higher education institutions (HEIs) to submit bids using the template at Annexes A and B by noon on Monday 6 November 2017.

2. On 19 April 2017, we published ‘Higher Education Innovation Funding: Connecting Capability Fund’ (HEFCE 2017/03), describing the policies and methods of allocation for the CCF, with up to £85 million to be allocated to competitive projects. It called for first round bids, for a total allocation of up to £20 million, and expressions of interest (EOIs) for the second round. We said that would we take account of advice from the CCF steering group, and any new priorities emerging from development of the government’s industrial strategy, in issuing guidance for second round CCF bids.

3. Following advice, we are now confirming that the CCF guidance for competitive bids set out in HEFCE 2017/03 will be used for round two in its entirety.

4. HEIs considering a round two bid should:

  1. Work from the guidance in HEFCE 2017/03.
  2. Consult our working CCF FAQs. We keep these updated with further clarifications of the published guidance. HEIs should note in particular the questions on the limits to the number of bids that any HEI can be involved in, which affect eligibility to participate in round two bidding.
  3. Apply by completing the templates at Annexes A and B.

5. We provided HEIs submitting EOIs for round two with feedback in August 2017. It is for HEIs to decide how they wish to address this feedback. HEIs may submit second round bids without having submitted an EOI. The CCF steering group has not been involved in the feedback process and will make recommendations to the HEFCE Board on second round awards based on information in the submitted bid templates only.

6. Up to £65 million is available for allocation in CCF round two. The HEFCE Board will make decisions on awards early in 2018. All CCF projects are intended to commence from April 2018.

7. Bids must be submitted on templates at Annexes A and B, and should be sent by email to, by noon on Monday 6 November 2017.

UK Research and Innovation: Research England funding

8. From 1 April 2018, HEFCE’s research and KE functions will transfer to Research England in UK Research and Innovation. This also applies to the funding set out in this letter, which comes from the science and research budget.

Further information

9. If you have any queries about this funding, contact Jo Allatt, tel 0117 931 7133, email, or Alice Frost, tel 0117 931 7101, email

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive

Date: 8 September 2017

Ref: Circular letter 34/2017

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Technology transfer, Research commercialisation, University-business links, Strategic planning, Regional economic development, Knowledge exchange

Enquiries should be directed to:

Jo Allatt, tel 0117 931 7133, email

Alice Frost, tel 0117 931 7101, email