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HR in HE Community Challenge Grants

Theme: Strengthening universities

Opening date: 21 June

Closing date: 15 August at 10:00 UTC

Applications are open for the second round of the Human Resources in Higher Education (HR in HE) Community Challenge Grants.

HR professionals continue to play a vital role in supporting university leaders, staff and students to navigate the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as exploring future ways of working and learning.

In light of this, the ACU introduced the HR in HE Community Challenge Grants in 2021. The grants aim to support university HR practitioners in the ever-changing world of work by encouraging collaboration and promoting the sharing of good practice.

The grants can be used to support a diverse range of virtual or in-person projects, workshops, or events, such as:

  • Creating and delivering relevant training and development for HR practitioners
  • Co-creating approaches/policies on HR issues, such as workforce planning, inclusion, mental health, international recruitment
  • Co-creating HR processes
  • Delivering webinars on pressing issues for HR practitioners
  • Research projects
  • Benchmarking of good HR practice across the Commonwealth

Who can apply?

 The grants are available to staff at ACU member universities working in the area of human resources.

 We encourage applicants to collaborate with other ACU member universities to promote further Commonwealth partnerships, but this is not essential.

What does the grant include?

Please request the amount needed for your project.

A total budget of GBP 10,000 is available for this grant scheme. This can be allocated as a number of smaller or larger grants.

The grants are available to help meet the costs of organising projects that promote the essential work of HR and the aims of the HR in HE Community. Institutions who might be willing to match or provide additional funds will be looked upon favourably, but this is not essential.

Reporting and sharing of outputs

Grantees are required to submit a short interim report halfway through their project and a comprehensive final report within one month of completing their project.

Any outputs (for example training videos, webinar recordings, tool-kits, papers, research reports) developed through the grants should be shared with the HR in HE Community, in order to increase the impact of your project.

Application requirements

To apply, you will need to:

  • Provide an outline of the project, an action plan and a budget. You should include details of what the project involves and how it will address the aims of the HR in HE Community and benefit its members. The project action plan is requested for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months.
  • Submit a letter of support from the Executive Head or other senior member of your institution to verify their support of your proposed project.
  • Attach the project lead’s CV.

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria (with equal weighting):

  • Project goals and feasibility
  • Impact and outputs
  • Experience and skills of the project lead and institutional support
  • Alignment to the HR in HE Community’s aims

Read the ACU Challenge Grants application guidance

How to apply

If you already have a MyACU account, you can access the grant application form here.

If you do not already have an account, please ensure that you first register for a MyACU account here and then follow the instructions in the registration email to log in to the system before accessing the application form.

Closing date: 15 August at 10:00 UTC.

More information

Please email if you require any information not provided here.

Apply for a HR in HE Community Challenge Grant

About the HR in HE Community

The HR in HE Community is a forum for all staff working in HR, from the most experienced professionals to those looking to increase, expand or develop their institution’s HR function. The community provides a space for colleagues from across the Commonwealth to share their knowledge, experience and good practice, showcase ideas, and discover potential avenues for collaboration. Members can also keep up-to-date with the latest trends and opportunities and promote the work of their team and university.

Join the Community

More information

To find out more, email

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Theme: Strengthening universities