This Question and Answer document aims to support prospective applicants in preparing proposals for the 2016 Call. In the event of further queries from providers, this document will be updated, and new versions will be flagged by the appropriate date (date of revision = October 6 2016)
All questions on the Call should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Can a private college be included as partners in a proposal?
Yes. However a private college cannot be a lead partner(in terms of funding) in a proposal.
2. Can a proposal be submitted on paper?
No, all proposals must be submitted using the dedicated online facility which will be available through the National Forum website www.teachingandlearning.ie from the 8th September 2016.
3. Can a post or staff time be included in a funding proposal?
While a post or staff time may be included in the proposal, all implementation plans must ensure that institutions account for any staff time and posts in a way that stays within the current employment control framework that is in place across the sector.
4. Are there any restrictions on what types of expenditure can be included? Can software be bought?
Eligible expenditure can include direct costs incurred in advancing the agreed objectives of the project, but cannot include overheads. As indicated in the 'Call for Proposals', 'the Fund will not be allocated to the creation of physical capacity or to proposals that could reasonably be expected to be funded from other public funding sources, e.g. research funding agencies, core grant funding'.
5. Will the ability to attract matching funding from third parties or from the institution itself strengthen a proposal?
Matching funding is not a requirement, but if additional support from other sources can be secured, this is likely to be a way of strengthening the proposal, demonstrating commitment and ensuring value for funded investment.
6. Can proposals be in collaboration with institutions outside of the HEA regional clusters?
Yes , but the quality, strength and strategic purpose of the collaboration must be clear.
7. Can you be more specific please about what is meant by 'the creation of physical capacity’?
The refurbishment of facilities or the development of new facilities is not eligible for funding.
8 Can you have multiple views of the proposal when it is in development?
No, the system is not designed as a collaborative working space. Please read the Registration Guidelines (2016) for further information.
9. Does the funding support the purchase of items of equipment and if yes, how much (both in terms of individual items of expenditure and cumulatively)?
Yes, equipment that clearly supports the project proposal can be purchased. Equipment under 15K should be regarded as recurrent expenditure equipment above 15K as capital expenditure. There is currently no cumulative limit set.
10. Will proposers be able to see the explicit criteria which the international panel will be evaluating each proposal against?
The panel will be advised to gauge the proposal on the basis of the strength of the alignment with the criteria outlined in the call.
11. For Project Type 002 proposals what constitutes a discipline? For example, Engineering is a discipline - would each of the following also be regarded as a discipline in its own right - Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc?
In terms of discipline, yes, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering would constitute disciplines in their own right.
All proposals will be submitted through the online interface. Guidance is provided for each section in terms of length and focus.
12. Can projects from phase 1 apply for more funding?
No -these will be new projects but work completed by previous projects can and should be used to develop these new proposals where relevant.
13. If you set up a login last year is it still valid?
No the system will require everyone to re-register
14. What is the situation with pre-specified national projects?
These are not included in this call – only mentioned for information. These is a specific project that will be co-ordinated by the Forum. Further information on will be available shortly.
15. Is non-funded collaboration between institutions permitted?
16. Can technology providers come on board as (non-funded) collaborators?
17. Can we partner with an international institution ?
Yes- However the international partner cannot receive funding and the requirements for the particular number of partners (if appropriate) must be from national institutions.
18. Might there be advantages for proposers to build in a critical review from international experts before forwarding to the Forum?
This is up to those making the proposal. All those making submissions should be aware of related international developments.
19. Under proposals type 2 & 3, collaboration is encouraged, as it clearly is for type 1, but not if this involves only one additional partner. In the light of the build, for example, of the technological universities, is this precise exclusion warranted? If an institution can go alone, as is allowed under type 2 & 3, might it not be beneficial to have the facility to partner with one other?
The planning process considered it in some detail. The conclusion was that if projects are inter-institutional, the benefits and reach of the collaboration are likely to be demonstrably stronger with three or more institutions involved
20. My query relates to strand 2 of the call and the term 'academic unit'. My institution is already funded from 2015 as the lead institution within the Faculty of Education. Is it possible for another academic unit from within my institution i.e. an area within a department e.g. visual art or a department (as opposed to a Faculty) to apply for funding this year? In other words, is my institution precluded from applying under this strand in 2016?
The same unit cannot be involved in another bid this year if they are leading a 2015 funded project. A different unit within the same institution can submit a proposal, but the relevant institution will have to be very sure they can demonstrate that there is capacity within their institution to deliver on both projects in timely and sustainable ways.
21. Can the application be based on the development and implementation of a focused CPD strategy for an already identified need (in this case, Building Information Modelling and Education for Sustainability) or does it have to go through the process of identifying the needs first?
It has to go through the process of identifying the PD need. A key element of this type of project is learning from the process of designing and completing a professional development needs analysis and getting staff engagement.
22. Must the disciplinary unit from each collaborating partner be of the same discipline within each institution i.e. visual art? There are obvious disadvantages with this as we see it because many VA departments are rather small. Apart from that, the clustering of academic units doesn’t always mean that the disciplines therein share similar pedagogical approaches.
Yes the discipline units must be the same.
23. Related to an ‘academic unit working in partnership with associated support departments’ above: Can one department at the lead institution collaborate across another department within the same institution e.g. department of arts, department of media?
This refers to an academic unit working with support departments not with another academic unit in the same institution. (Academic unit is defined as any grouping currently recognised by the institution).
24. What is meant by associated support departments?
Libraries, IT Services, Access and Support, Teaching and Learning centres, learning support etc. as appropriate.
25. As we envisage potential across disciplines such as visual art, science and media for example, can the lead partner e.g. develop the discipline-specific pedagogies within multiple ‘fields of study’?
No the focus on this project type is on a single discipline/academic unit.
26. Can you define "open access" within the context of "Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund - Call for Proposals—Phase 3". Does this mean open to ALL or open to those within the collaborating institutions (strictly local remit)?
Open Access mean the outputs are available to all institutions not just those in the project
27. If the skills required to develop the project are within an institution, can the funding be used to buy out a colleague's time?
28. Is the focus on developing staff or resources to support staff development?
The clear focus must be on staff development (engagement, participation, development) not on the creation of new OERs. Course or material development should, as far as possible, repurpose and reuse existing material that is widely available rather than develop new materials/courses.
29. What is the maximum number of projects an institution can be involved in?
See figure from presentation(revised) below:
30. Regarding the requirement to meet the specific needs of all staff within an academic unit, can we work with different units or must they all be the same?
Collaboration must be within a single identified discipline across institutions.
31. Does the National Forum have a suggested daily rate for an academic developers/education consultant to work on a project?
No, applicants should go with sectoral norms.
32. On p.7 of the PDF 'call paper', it states "Proposals are welcome from a single institution or from a collaboration between similar discipline groups across institutions". However, on p.8, the criteria includes: "The involvement and active collaboration of at least three institutions in the proposal, where appropriate." Is a collaborative proposal viewed more positively than a single-institution proposal?
Collaboration is a key element of this call and is encouraged. Institutions who wish to submit an individual proposal should include a strong justification for this approach. Both the strength of the proposal and justification will be considered by the panel.
33. Does an institution have to justify why it did not involve other institutions?
See Q31 above.
34. If an institution decides not to collaborate on a proposal, will the "intra-institutional collaboration" (as mentioned on the application form) be weighted the same as collaboration in a multi-institution proposal, in the evaluation criteria?
See Q31 above.