Guidance on submitting a successful bid Call for projects in the areas of curriculum delivery, assessment and course advertising Sarah DaviesProgramme Manager, JISC
Key facts • There are three separate calls in the circular, each with its own evaluation criteria and structure for proposals • These are your main guides on what to include • Projects range in size from £10k - £200k: different levels of commitment are required • Curriculum design (call I) and assessment demonstrators (call II) are ten-page bids; course description & discovery bids are only six pages. • All calls share the same deadline: 12.00 noon on 1 August, but have different submission email addresses • You may submit a bid to each call – but make it clear which is which!
The things we always say • Read the documentation carefully, especially the circular itself (JISC Circular 08/08: Full text) • That includes information on what we’re looking for, what we expect projects to do, what we want in bids, and how the bids will be assessed. • Be honest with yourself about whether your good idea fits squarely with what we’re looking for • If you’re not sure, get in touch
Who can bid? • HE institutions in England and Wales • FE institutions in England with more than 400 HE FTEs. • For English institutions, the proposed project should concentrate on HE provision • All FE Colleges in England (including those with fewer than 400 FTEs) may bid against funds for two projects to be provided by Becta under Call I • Call II (Assessment Demonstrators) is limited to institutions/organisations not having led those original toolkit/demonstrator projects being the focus of the proposed demonstrator project. • Single institutions or consortia • Only the lead partner has to meet the criteria above
Workplan • Outline work plan – what will you do? • Mix of narrative and tables/diagram is usually clearest • Project management arrangements are key • Include risk assessment • How do the activities lead to the deliverables? • It’s amazing how unclear these can be – make sure it’s understandable and unambiguous to someone outside the planning team • Watch out for terms like ‘framework’, ‘system’ or ‘tools’
Workplan • Who will work on the project? • Individuals and roles if possible; roles if not • How does their role on the project link to their day job? • Who will be involved in project management? • Cover roles across the institution, as required by call • Have you got a high-level champion, and how will they be engaged in practice? • Who will be participating in programme activities, and how many days? • Clearly identify where you need to recruit
Engagement with the community / relevance & transferability • How will you work your stakeholders? • Include any existing user needs analysis • How will you disseminate your findings? • Be realistic and targeted • How will you evaluate the innovations? (Check call for where this information needs to go) • See information in Call I para 42 and the link there for general information on evaluation in the e-learning programme • Where relevant, try to demonstrate rather than simply state a willingness to work with the support project • eg by suggesting areas in which you’d like their input • But if not, stating it is better than nothing! • For Call I, there is a commitment from these projects to share the findings of the initial baselining exercise with the support project
Budget and value for money • Be as clear as you can on who and what the funds are paying for • Make sure there is some link between the budget, workplan, and staff working on the project • Is there enough time allocated for project management? • Don’t ask for significant funds for the purchase of hardware and software • Cost the bid with TRAC full economic costing (HEIs) or your usual cost model (non-HEIs) • Request JISC funding for a proportion of this • Stay within the budget • Make an institutional contribution in line with the benefits you institution will derive from the project • But don’t bankrupt yourself – must be feasible
Previous experience of the project team • Ensure you provide a brief summary of the experience of your proposed team in the main text of the bid • Project management, curriculum design • Back it up with further information (brief CVs etc) in the appendices • Previous projects successfully delivered don’t have to be external, but it’s helpful to give an idea of scale and how these are similar or different to the proposed work • What role did the team members have in any projects cited? • If the bid is from a consortium: • Need supporting letters from the partners • Need to demonstrate that the issues of working together have been thought through: who’s doing what? • Make it clear why this partnership makes sense for this project • How will new or less experienced partners be supported?
Tips and suggestions • Get early buy-in from senior management • Ask someone from outside the bidding team to review the bid: • Is it clear what you’re planning to do and deliver? • Score against the evaluation criteria and provide feedback • Check you’ve included everything requested in the structure of proposals, including things you don’t have a good answer for. • Check you’ve addressed all the evaluation criteria, adjusting wording if necessary to help evaluators pick out relevant sections. • Evaluators are only human – good, clear layout and signposting helps • Don’t quote back chunks of text from JISC: demonstrate your own understanding • If you’re planning to build on previous work, say how, and how the new work differs
Some final ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s • Check the checklist at paragraph 133 (page 31) • Don’t put any key information beyond the page limit (10 for Calls I and II, 6 for Call III) • Information which should be in the main body and is in an appendix will be disregarded • The most commonly misplaced bits of information are the budget, summary of previous experience, and fit with institutional strategies • Check over the page layout of your bid once you’ve converted it to PDF – things can jump over onto a new page • Make sure you submit your bid to the correct email address • Submit your bid well in advance of the deadline. Late bids (even a matter of minutes) will not be accepted • Any files exceeding 10Mb are likely to be returned by the mail server
Further information • Contact Georgia Slade for enquiries about the bid submission process: • firstname.lastname@example.org, 0117 9317385 • For all other enquiries, contact: • Call I Transforming Curriculum Delivery Through Technology - Lisa Gray email@example.com, 0117 331 0774 or 07769 911 264. • Call II Assessment demonstrators - Myles Danson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07796 336 319 • Call III Course description and discovery - Sarah Davies, email@example.com, 0117 331 0773 or 07785 518 564