Top 10 tips to increase your chance of a successful application

VocTech Challenge Impact Network + Grant Fund

Applications are now open for Ufi's VocTech Challenge Impact Network + Grant Fund.

With the deadline set for 5 PM on 8 July, 2024, many will be gearing up to submit their applications.

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

Explore our top 10 tips.

1. Explore the background to the grant call

The VocTech Challenge Impact Network + Grant Fund forms part of our VocTech Challenge: Skills for an Economy in Transition, a multi-year programme of work and funding. Understanding how the challenge programme has shaped the grant fund will help your application.

2. Ensure you understand the scope

The VocTech Impact Network + Challenge call has a very clear scope and 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, grant fund criteria and FAQs specific to this grant call are all available on our website.  You can also look at our introduction to the VocTech Challenge Impact Network which sets out our ambition for an active, expert-led, two-year programme designed to create connections, share knowledge, test assumptions and accelerate adoption and deployment. Be sure to demonstrate your commitment to getting involved.

If you are still struggling to find an answer you can email us at

3. Use our Eligibility Checker

Our eligibility checker acts as an early indicator of whether your project could be eligible for the VocTech Challenge Impact Network + Grant Fund. By working through the questions and exploring the feedback to your answers you will gain a better understanding of what we are looking for, and whether your project is a good fit.

4. 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.

Register your place.

If you haven’t been able to attend a pre-application workshop, fear not! You can watch a recording of the presentation here.

5. 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 aspect of the Challenge 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 it is successful?

6. 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 doesn’t the existing system 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.

7. Explain who is involved in your project team and the benefits they will bring

Be clear about how your project will benefit at least 1,000 learners over the course of the project. Which organisations are involved? Where are your learners coming from? Who is leading your tech development? How will your project connect learners to jobs?

8. Show us the evidence

Your technology will be already developed - at least to a working MVP – but where’s the evidence that your approach is relevant and can be replicated at scale? 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? How do you know you’re not duplicating what is already there?

Tell us about any feedback from learners, providers or employers that are involved in the proposal. Explain what your hypothesis is based on.

9. 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 to 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.

10. 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 what your project is about: who the learners are, how the new approach will provide effective learning, be an improvement to the existing system and how learners will ultimately benefit. Use simple language to explain your intentions 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.

Interested in joining the VocTech Challenge Impact Network + Grant Fund?

Explore the grant fund landing page.