Stage 1 applications

Stage 1 applications


The aim of the first stage is to determine whether a project is eligible. It is important that you read the information about what we fund via the programme area links to the left before submitting an application. We respond to all enquiries, whether or not we are able to invite a full (stage 2) application.

Stage 1 applications are submitted online, via the link to the right.

Information required

Information that we need at this stage includes a brief description of the project, including the total cost, the current funding shortfall and the proposed timetable. While match funding is required at Stage 2, it need not be in place at the time of a Stage 1 application (though there will need to be a clear fund raising plan). We do not require match funding for projects where the total cost is below £50,000.

It is important that the application comes with the full backing of the institution and a cover letter signed by the Chief Executive, Vice Chancellor or equivalent should accompany the submission (there is the opportunity to attach this document during the online application process). To see the list of questions asked at Stage 1, click on the relevant link at the bottom of this page.

Statutory, audited accounts for the past two years should also be submitted with the online application (in SORP format). We undertake a financial appraisal of all applications, and you may be asked by our Finance Director to respond to specific queries. Please note it is important that the accounts provided relate to the ongoing underlying operating activities of the organisation itself, and not a related fundraising arm or charity. If relevant, however, you should submit these in addition.


Stage 1 applications are accepted throughout the year. If your intention is to apply to the Spring funding round (Stage 2 deadline in March and funding decision in June), you should submit a Stage 1 application no later than 5 January. 

For the Autumn funding round (Stage 2 deadline in September and funding decision in December), your Stage 1 application should reach us no later than 1 July.

Please note that there may be a cap on the number of applications that are invited for each funding round and it is therefore advisable to submit your application well in advance of the Stage 1 deadline dates. Applications received before the Stage 1 deadline may be deferred until a later funding round if the current one is over-subscribed.

Stage 1 applications from mainstream secondary schools and sixth form colleges follow a slightly different process, and further details may be found on the Secondary Education page. The deadlines for submission are 10 January (to be considered in the Spring funding round, with a decision in June) and 10 June (for the Autumn funding round, with a decision in December). 

Online application questions (Stage 1)

Science & Medicine

Arts & Humanities

Health & Disability

Secondary Education


Click below for our online
stage 1 application form

Please ensure you have first read the relevant programme section and general advice on applying, via the menus to the left.