Sphere Programme Board – call for EDI pilot projects 21-22

November 5th, 2021

The opportunity to apply for Sphere funding for 2021-22 is now available. The funding supports a small number of strategic projects which contribute to delivering change in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the university.

These projects are activities or initiatives that deliver new actions, over and above the work that should be ‘business as usual’ to support EDI.

Details of previously funded projects are in the Report on Sphere Funded Projects in 2020-21.

Projects will generally be in the range of £100-500 and should contribute towards one or more of the EDI Priorities for 2021-22:

  • Support for staff with caring responsibilities (both parenting and carer)
  • Socio Economic
  • Faith and Religion
  • Neurodiversity

In addition, projects may also contribute towards actions in the Race Equality Charter (REC) Action Plan.

As part of the funding agreement, all projects will need to complete a project evaluation.

To apply for funding, please complete the Microsoft Form using the link below:

Projects will be reviewed by the Sphere Programme Board which will produce a ranked list of fundable projects. The ranked lists will be submitted by the Sphere Programme Board to the interim PVC for EDI for final approval.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be scored according to the following criteria:

  • Overall project innovation and case for support (score out of 5)
  • Match with EDI Priorities/REC Action Plan (score out of 5)
  • Impact measurement (score out of 5)
  • Value for money (score out of 2)
  • Sustainability (score out of 3)
  • Suitable for funding under scheme/not suitable for funding


The deadline for applications is midday on Friday 10 December 2021, with decisions to be communicated to successful applicants by mid-January. All funds must be spent by 1 July 2022.

Ineligible costs

The fund should be used for developing new ideas and initiatives and should not be used to fund anything which could be considered ‘business as usual’ or something which is required in order for us to fulfil our legal or regulatory obligations. Funding cannot be used for academic staff time buyout but may be used for supporting project activities, as long as the value of the award does not exceed £500 but matched funding may be considered if included as part of the application.

Measurement of impact and success

Applicants should consider:

  • How will the success of the activity be measured? This should not be onerous but be sufficient to demonstrate the activity’s impact. Popular and successful activities may be recommended for expansion.
  • Participation rates, students and staff where applicable, should be recorded.
  • If the funding is for a series of events, such as student societies, have participation rates been consistent or increasing?
  • Expressions of interest for further similar events may be recorded.
  • All applicants will be required to complete an evaluation impact form at the conclusion of the project and may be asked to participate in further communications activities to ensure that best practice is widely communicated.

For queries relating to funding under this scheme, please contact the Chair of the Sphere Programme Board, Professor Raheela Khan.

For more specific enquiries about your project or advice on submitting, please contact your EDI Co‑ordinator:

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