Applying for funding

The FETL grant programme is aimed at organisations operating in the field of UK further education and skills. It provides grant funding of up to £100,000 per project for new research into the leadership of thinking in FE.

  • Who is it for?

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    An organisation (or consortium of organisations) with a track record of deveoping thinking in FE, skills and related fields. This includes independent training providers, third sector organisations, adult and community learning providers, colleges (further education, land-based, and sixth form) and policy and leadership organisations.

  • What is eligible for funding?

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    Proposals should add depth and value to the current knowledge base in the sector and the system, by developing new knowledge on leading thinking in the FE and skills sector and system. FETL focuses on the leadership of thinking rather than leadership of doing and projects that consider the future of FE rather than current issues are preferred. Applications should focus on new ways of knowing. This may be:

    • academic and practitioner based research;
    • fresh, innovative and visionary ideas developed in think pieces or through strategic seminars;
    • projects which build the body of knowledge for the sector.

    Projects generally run for around one year.

  • What is not eligible for funding?

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    FETL does not deliver improvement services to the sector; training events or service delivery will not be funded.

    We do not fund capital expenditure or the purchasing of equipment.

    While applicants can learn from international best practice, we don’t fund projects of this nature projects unless the ultimate focus and priority is clearly for the benefit of learners in the UK.

  • What type of projects have you previously awarded a grant?

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    FETL’s has funded two rounds of grants. The first of these was comprised of five awards, the second two awards. These projects have been approved for funding and are in various stages of completion.

    The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), which represents more than 670 UK vocational training providers, has been funded to investigate the impact of new leaders on the leadership of thinking in FE and skills. It has been working closely with the 157 Group of colleges in delivering this project.

    Coleg Gwent has been working with all the other further education colleges in Wales to look at the impact of austerity measures on provision, and in particular the role of governors in fostering a culture of enterprise and innovation.

    The East Midlands Further Education Council (EMFEC), a membership organisation of 26 FE, land-based and sixth-form colleges in the East Midlands of England, received funding to develop new models of leadership through innovative governance.

    The University of Hull was funded to deliver ‘Leadership for Learning: Ethical Practice’, a project aiming to develop a practical understanding of behaviours and approaches adopted by ethical leaders in FE.

    Working Well, a private-sector company that specialises in organisational development, has worked with FETL to develop a series of strategic seminars and think pieces that focus on how psychoanalysis and systems theory can contribute to the leadership of thinking in UK FE and skills.

    Association of Colleges (AoC) has been funded to conduct a research project entitled ‘Leadership in a world of change’. The AoC proposed working alongside the University of Oxford to investigate and explore the impact of government devolution and localism proposals on further education and skills.

    Policy Connect has been researching ‘How innovation is led in further education and skills across the UK’, organising a nationwide series of seminars on innovation across the sector and how this can help to overcome key current and future challenges.

  • How do I apply for a grant?

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    Online applications are now closed.

    When making an application, please ensure that when you save your application, you take note of and save the link given to you. You need this link in order to access your application. If you save and resume your application more than once, you will need the newest link to access your updated application. Please note that we do not have access to applications until they have been submitted.

  • How do I apply for a fellowship?

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    Applications for Fellowships are now open. 

    Apply here

    Please ensure you have read the guidance and terms of funding before applying. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your application.