Widening participation grants

Two students on campus

In 2011, The University of Sydney launched an internal grant program designed to address our strategic goals for ensuring that we attract promising students from a variety of backgrounds and that they experience an inclusive and diverse learning environment while studying at Sydney.

The grant program also helps us increase our research activity into social inclusion and exclusion in Australia, and support University staff in becoming leaders and champions of social inclusion programs at the University.

The initiative is funded by the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, and managed as a partnership between the Social Inclusion Unit and the Institute for Teaching and Learning. It is supported by the Widening Participation Scholars network, a group of academic and general staff involved in social inclusion.

2013 Widening Participation Grants

For projects running from 2013 to 2014, up to $320,000 is available in the following categories:

Flagship projects

Projects of up to $50,000 each can be funded in this category. Projects will be either multi-Faculty or cross-disciplinary (if in a large Faculty). Projects should build on/expand existing good practice within the University, and be genuinely collaborative. There is an emphasis on the sustainability of project outcomes. The projects must include a component of schools/community engagement, and be linked to a Faculty or Division strategic goal (e.g. low SES enrolment targets). NB. If any of the applicants are participating in a current Widening Participation grant, they must show evidence of progress towards achieving outcomes. Applicants are encouraged to work with the SIU and ITL to develop their applications.

Duration: up to 18 months
Flagship projects application form

Selection Criteria and Application Guidelines
Selection Criteria Application Guidelines
The project addresses a strategic challenge/issue and there is rationale for the proposed approach that draws on previous/existing work. Challenge: Describe the challenge or need that will be addressed. Explain why this is important. Link to the Faculty/Division strategic goal. Explain what is currently known about the challenge. What is the specific aim of the project? How will the project build on, enhance or replicate prior work?
A convincing action/solution is articulated. If research-based, then a clear and appropriate research methodology consistent with the scale of the research question, including identification of partners or data sources, and data collection and analysis strategies Solution: Describe how the challenge will be addressed. What is your action/solution? What is your project design? Provide an argument for why this method/approach will be effective.
The project plan, timeline and budget are realistic and achievable across the two phases of the timeline. The Faculty or Division may also commit resources to the project. All funds allocated for phase one of the project must be spent 30 November  2013. Funds for phase two must be spent by 30 November 2014. Funds cannot be rolled over, they are subject to external  rant funding and reporting requirements. Outline the project plan, timeline and rationale for the budget. What outcomes and deliverable products are expected? Outline the resources that the Faculty or Division will commit to the project (may be in-kind).
There are arrangements proposed to ensure rigorous evaluation, dissemination and sustainability of project outcomes. Include a plan for long-term sustainability.

Evaluation, dissemination and sustainability:

Describe how you will evaluate whether the project succeeded in addressing the strategic challenge. If successful, is there a plan for the Faculty/Division to sustain the project's outcomes/activities? Who are the key audiences interested in this project? How will you disseminate findings to those audiences?

The application meets the submission requirements.

Project is either multi-Faculty or cross-disciplinary.

Project builds on/expands existing good practice within the university.

Applicants who are participating in a current Widening Participation grant have shown evidence of progress towards achieving outcomes.

Submitted via online form.

Letters of support/signed off by department heads to show support for the project and support for the time commitments of all team members.

New partnerships with schools discussed with the SIU.

Projects have an undergraduate focus.

Implementation projects

Undergraduate projects of up to $20,000 each can be funded in this category. The funding is for the adoption or implementation of existing good practice in a new context (for example implementing a previously funded initiative in a new faculty or a new course). These projects can take place within a single Faculty, discipline or large unit of study. NB. If any of the applicants are participating in a current Widening Participation grant, they must show evidence of progress towards achieving outcomes.

Duration: up to 18 months
Implementation projects application form

Selection Criteria and Application Guidelines
Selection Criteria Application Guidelines
The project addresses a strategic challenge/issue and there is rationale for the proposed approach that draws on previous/existing work. Challenge: Describe the challenge or need that will be addressed. Explain why the challenge is important. Explain what is currently known about the challenge and the ability of the strategy to assess it.
A convincing action/solution is articulated. Convincing evidence from previous evaluation of the strategy is presented and a convincing case is made for why it will work in the new context. Solution: Describe how the demonstrated strategy from another context that will address the challenge. Provide an argument for why this approach/method will be effective. Explain how the project builds on, enhances or replicates prior work.
The project plan, timeline and budget are realistic and achievable across the two phases of the timeline. All funds allocated for phase one of the project must be spent 30 November  2013. Funds for phase two must be spent by 30 November 2014. Funds cannot be rolled over, they are subject to external  rant funding and reporting requirements. Outline the project plan, timeline and rationale for the budget. What outcomes and deliverable products are expected?
There are arrangements proposed to ensure rigorous evaluation, dissemination and sustainability of project outcomes.

Evaluation, dissemination and sustainability:

Describe how you will evaluate whether the project succeeded in addressing the strategic challenge. If successful, is there a plan for the Faculty/Division to sustain the project's outcomes/activities? Who are the key audiences interested in this project? How will you disseminate findings to those audiences?

The application meets the submission requirements.

Applicants who are participating in a current Widening Participation grant have shown evidence of progress towards achieving outcomes.

Submitted via online form.

Letters of support/signed off by department heads to show support for the project and support for the time commitments of all team members.

New partnerships with schools discussed with the SIU.

Projects have an undergraduate focus.

Dissemination funds

There is some funding available for team members from Widening Participation projects to present project outcomes at conferences. Please contact Mary Teague for further information.

Project themes

Flagship projects must address the first theme and may also address themes two, three or four. Implementation projects should address themes one, two and/or four:

  1. Community Engagement for Widening Participation Partnerships:
    Support for Faculties or Divisions in the introduction of new or expansion of existing partnership activities with schools or communities with a goal of widening participation. Successful proposals will include intentional, curriculum-based strategies (such as self-learning) to engage university students and staff in activities designed to raise aspirations, improve academic preparation, raise awareness of course choices, or increase familiarity with higher education culture, or similar objectives. These activities may be conducted in urban, suburban or rural locations, and/or focus on specific populations such as indigenous communities.
  2. Inclusive Curriculum Renewal:
    Support for implementation and integration of inclusive teaching strategies into curricula and teaching. Examples include (but are not limited to) implementing strategies to create more inclusive classroom environments, learning about students as learners, developing inclusive assessment strategies, peer mentoring or peer assessment, group learning strategies, student led and negotiated curricula design, peer and other forms of collaborative learning.
  3. Research on Inclusion/Exclusion:
    Research on topics such as community contexts and issues that affect the educational progession of young people in disadvantaged circumstances; issues of inclusion/exclusion in the context of university teaching and currculum; and evaluation research on university/community strategies intended to widen participation in higher education.
  4. Wingara Mura Priority Area:
    Projects aligned with local implementation plan that also meet Widening Participation grant criteria.

For information or feedback about your application please contact or once you have been notified about the outcome of your submission.