Empowering Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

The Higher Education and the SDGs Network Grants support collaborative projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These grants are available to professional and academic staff at ACU member universities, focusing on key themes such as engagement, research, and teaching. Projects funded by these grants have ranged from energy-saving initiatives in Fijian schools to programs promoting women’s economic empowerment.

Empowering Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants
Empowering Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

Higher education plays a crucial role in advancing sustainable development by fostering innovation and knowledge dissemination. The SDGs Challenge Grants aim to encourage initiatives aligned with the SDGs, providing opportunities for institutions and individuals worldwide to contribute to these global goals. Researchers, faculty members, students, NGOs, and community-based organizations are eligible to apply for these grants, promoting global collaboration and diverse perspectives in addressing sustainability challenges.

Deadline of Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

The deadline to submit proposals for the SDGs Challenge Grants is May 3, 2024.

Benefits of Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

Four grants, each amounting to £2,500, are available for applicants.

Area of Focus for Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

They welcome proposals for:

  • Collaboration in virtual exchanges, teaching, or professional practices to support Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in contingency planning.
  • Virtual fellowships, comparative analyses, and capacity building for research management and uptake.
  • Integration of sustainable development into operational practices.
  • Sharing SDG learning materials and content.
  • Development of research strategies focused on SDGs.
  • Co-creation of impactful research, community engagement, and partnerships for achieving the goals.

Eligibility and Requirements of Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

Applicants need to provide the following information in the application form:

  • Project outline and detailed timeline, covering:
  • Project details and objectives.
  • How the project aligns with the themes of the Higher Education and the SDGs Network.
  • The project timeline should be between 6 to 12 months.
  • Letter of support from the Executive Head or equivalent, or another senior member of the applicant’s institution, showing:
  • Endorsement for the proposed program of work.
  • Ways they will support the project.
  • This letter also serves as a reference for the project lead.
  • CV of the project lead.
  • Project goals and feasibility.
  • Expected impact and outputs.
  • Experience and skills of the project lead and institutional support.
  • Alignment with the themes of the ACU Higher Education and the SDGs Network.
  • Collaboration details.

How to Apply of Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

If you already have a MyACU account, you can access the grant application form directly (https://crm.acu.ac.uk/user/login?destination=/higher-education-and-sdgs-challenge-grants-2022).

If you don’t have a MyACU account yet, please register for one (https://crm.acu.ac.uk/user/register) first. After registering, follow the instructions in the email you receive to log in to the system. Then, you can access the application form (https://crm.acu.ac.uk/user/login?destination=/higher-education-and-sdgs-challenge-grants-2022).

Tips for Successful Application of Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

Grantees must submit a short interim report halfway through their project and a comprehensive final report within one month after project completion. Additionally, any outputs developed (e.g., toolkits or papers) should be shared with the Higher Education and the SDGs Network, and the wider ACU network, to increase accessibility.

For more information, visit the official website of the SDGs Challenge Grants at [https://www.acu.ac.uk/funding-opportunities/for-university-staff/grants/higher-education-and-the-sdgs-challenge-grants/].


The SDGs Challenge Grants provide a valuable opportunity for higher education institutions and individuals to contribute meaningfully to sustainable development efforts worldwide. By aligning projects with the Sustainable Development Goals, fostering collaboration, and promoting innovation, these grants play a vital role in advancing global efforts towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the guidelines, prepare thorough proposals, and leverage strategic partnerships to enhance the chances of success in securing funding and making a lasting impact.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can individuals apply for the SDGs Challenge Grants, or is it limited to institutions?

Both individuals (researchers, students, etc.) and institutions (universities, NGOs, etc.) can apply for the grants as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Are there specific regions or countries prioritized for funding under the SDGs Challenge Grants?

No, the grants are open to applicants from all countries, promoting global collaboration and diversity in addressing sustainable development challenges.



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