8 ways to increase your chances of a successful grant fund application

Ufi's VocTech Activate grant fund is now open and many people will be working hard to meet the closing date of 5pm on 31 January 2024.

We know there is fierce competition for any grant funding. So what can you do to improve your chances of success?

1. Do your research

We have published lots of guidance and information about our aims and what we are looking for. Read it carefully. It will answer many of your questions.

Details about the grant fund, how to apply and general FAQs are on our website. Explore our eligibility checker to see if the fund could be right for you.

You can also look at our strategy and delivery plan which set out our organisational objectives and how we are working to meet them.

If you are still struggling to find an answer you can email us at info@ufi.co.uk.

2. Attend a pre-application workshop

Applicants who attend one of our pre-application workshops are much more likely to be successful.

Our workshops provide an opportunity to find out more about the scope of this grant call. You will be able to take part in small group discussions with members of the Ufi team to ask any questions you might have.

"Very informative sessions providing clarity regarding what Ufi is looking to fund.”

"Extremely helpful - particularly the breakout sessions where we were able to ask questions about our specific bids."

Register your place here.

Ufi Cuppa

3. Adjust your mindset

Ufi’s Stage 1 application form is deliberately quite short, so think of your application as a hypothesis.

Give us a succinct explanation of the vocational learning issue you are intending to address and explain your idea for using technology to solve this. How will you test the idea and how will you know if is successful?

4. Tell us about the beneficiaries

You know your learners better than we do. We are interested in hearing about the real issues that they face and the tangible learning improvements that your project aims to provide.

Why don’t existing solutions work for them? What’s missing that your project will supply? Describe how you expect the project to produce tangible benefits to learners and employers and explain what those expected benefits are.

5. Think about how you will reach and retain your users

Tell us which organisations have agreed to take part in the development and testing of the idea.

Be clear about how many learners will be involved in user testing. Where are your testers coming from? How will they be involved? NB ‘build it and they will come’ might have worked for Kevin Costner but for this project you’ll need more concrete plans.

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6. Show us the evidence

You’ve got an idea for a project – but where’s the evidence that this is an issue to be solved? What information are you basing this on? What supports your idea that there is a demand from users for the product or approach that is proposed?

Tell us about any feedback from learners, providers or employers that might have been involved in testing or developing the proposal. In other words, explain what your hypothesis is based on.

7. Think it through

Use the word limits carefully to provide a clear and coherent description of the project. Many applicants tell us lots about themselves, their team and past track record - which is all important - but they don’t go on tell us enough about their proposed project.

We need to be able to see the purpose of the project, and how it meets the criteria for the funding call and matches Ufi’s mission.

8. This is your opportunity to pitch an idea to us

We really want to hear a clear and compelling case for the project. If you’ve got a good idea – then tell us about it.

Stage 1 is your opportunity to tell us who the learners are, how the new approach will provide effective learning and how learners will ultimately benefit. Use simple language to tell us what you intend and why - we don’t need acronym soup. If you are invited to Stage 2 there will be plenty of opportunity to provide more detail on how you intend to deliver.

VocTech Activate grant fund resources

  • VocTech Activate

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    Our test bed where the first spark of an idea can be scoped and tested in the supportive environment that Ufi funding provides. Grants of £30,000 to £60,000.

  • About the fund

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    Find out about the VocTech Activate Grant Fund.

  • Eligibility Checker

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    Check if you are likely to be eligible.

  • How to Apply

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    Instructions on how to apply.