Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) HR in HE Community Challenge Grants 2021 (Up to £8,000)

Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) HR in HE Community Challenge Grants 2021 (Up to £8,000)

Deadline: August 8, 2021

Applications for the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) HR in HE Community Challenge Grants 2021 are now open. The HR in HE Community Challenge Grants are awarded to staff at member universities working in the area of human resources to promote the sharing of best practice and collaboration.

The grants can be used for a diverse range of projects, workshops, and events, including virtual collaboration, such as:

  • Delivering relevant training and development for HR practitioners;
  • Creating approaches/policies on HR issues, e.g. workforce planning, inclusion, mental health, international recruitment, etc;
  • Creating HR processes;
  • Delivering webinars on pressing issues for HR practitioners;
  • Research projects;
  • Benchmarking of good HR practice across the Commonwealth.


A total of GBP 8,000 is available. This may be allocated in a number of ways:

  • A number of small grants, e.g. 3-4 grants of up to GBP 2,000 allocated to 3-4 institutions each undertaking a specific project.
  • A larger grant, e.g. a grant of up to GBP 8,000 allocated to an institution to undertake a specific project.

Institutions who might be willing to match or provide additional funds will be looked upon favourably, but this is not essential. Due to the COVID-19 related travel restrictions, this grant cannot be used to fund travel.


  • Grants are available for HR practitioners at ACU member universities to help meet the costs of organising projects that promote the essential work of HR and the aims of the HR in HE Community.
  • Universities are encouraged to collaborate on projects with one or more ACU member university, if this will achieve a more valuable outcome, but this is not essential.

Requirements for grant holders

  • Grantees are required to submit a short interim report halfway through their project and a comprehensive final report within one month after completing their project.
  • Additionally, the outputs (e.g. training videos, webinars, toolkits, papers, research reports, etc.) developed through the grants are to be made available to be shared with the HR in HE Community and the wider ACU network, in order to increase impact.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be accessed on the following criteria:

  • Impact and outputs
  • Alignment to the HR in HE Community’s priorities and aims
  • Experience and skills of the project lead and institutional support
  • How the project will support the institution via the people agenda to respond to challenges and opportunities relating to a pandemic
  • Project goals and feasibility


You will need to supply an outline of the project and an action plan, including details of what the project involves and how it will address the HR in HE Community’s aims. The project action plan is requested for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months.

You will also be asked to submit a letter of support from the Executive Head or equivalent of your institution to verify their support of your proposed project. Applications open on Monday 5 July and close on Sunday 8 August 23:59 UTC.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit ACU Grants.