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Call for Bids: ESD and Interdisciplinarity Small Grants

Date posted: 04/01/2010

The Higher Education Academy’s ESD Project is pleased to announce the following funding opportunity.

There is growing pressure and expectation on the higher education (HE) sector to respond to the sustainability challenge and consider how best to embed sustainable development into policies and practices, not least in learning and teaching and curricula. To that end, the Higher Education Academy’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Project is continuing to support a programme of development activity and capacity building so as to better assist institutions and subject communities in their development of curricula and pedagogy that will allow students to develop 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.

The Higher Education Academy’s ESD Project invites applications for the funding of small grants designed to develop small-scale work in the area of interdisciplinarity. Whilst the growing sustainability agenda is giving rise to interdisciplinary research in HEIs, interdisciplinary teaching and learning is less developed, indicating a gap between interest on the one hand, and slow progress on the other – often related to existing boundaries and barriers pertaining in institutions. This funding is designed to encourage bidders to develop collaborative activities that can research, inform, and build on the interdisciplinary nature of ESD and explore its potential for curriculum innovation and renewal. It is expected that the bids will be curriculum and pedagogy focused.
Bids from more than one academic discipline are mandatory.

The ESD Project is setting aside £25k for grants in this Tranche; the maximum funding for any single proposal will be £5k.

As background, prospective applicants are encouraged to see:
Ryan, A and Brooks, C (2007), ESD Interdisciplinary Discussion Series, Higher Education Academy:

Blake J, Sterling S and Kagawa, F (2009) Getting It Together: Interdisciplinarity and Sustainability in the Higher Education Institution, Occasional Paper 3, Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth:

Key dates

There will be a two-stage process whereby expressions of interest of not more than 250 words are invited by noon on Monday, 18 January 2010, and applicants will be informed of the outcome by Wednesday, 27 January 2010.
Expressions of interest should be sent by email to:
Successful bidders will then be invited to submit full applications by Monday 8 March 2010. Applicants will be informed by Friday 9 April 2010. It is expected that projects will be completed by 24 June 2011.

The full call and application information is available to download from: