Catalyst Fund

The Catalyst Fund enables HEFCE to deliver our strategic aims for higher education (HE) across research, teaching and knowledge exchange. 

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 at a time of changes to funding and regulation. 

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

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

Aims of the fund

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

  • To support 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
  • To manage transition - this strand is used in exceptional circumstances to protect students and sustain important activities, minimising any unintended consequences of the change in finance arrangements in HE.

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 focussed 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 'managing transition'. Appllications 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 26 February 2014

Share this: