A guide for applicants to the learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme

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1 A guide for applicants to the learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme August 2014

2 Contents Overview of the learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme 3 Important dates 3 Key information 4 Practice, policy or research? 4 Key themes 5 Key principles 5 Student engagement 5 Outputs of benefit beyond the host institution 5 The application form 6 Before you submit 10 Post-submission: what happens next? 10 Review and selection 10 If you are successful 11 If you are not successful 11 Our expectations during your funded project 11 Frequently asked questions 12 2

3 Overview of the learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme The Higher Education Academy s (HEA) learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme is a competitive programme that provides the opportunity to create innovative evidenceinformed practice. Funded projects must have the potential to generate impact across the discipline, institution and the sector beyond, and to build upon existing practice and pedagogic research. The projects could build on previous pedagogic work or seek to develop a new area of work entirely. This aim of this guidance is to describe the scheme in greater detail and to explain the application process more fully. Applications are invited from any Higher Education Institution (HEI) or College Based Higher Education Provider in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Applicants may request up to 40,000 per institution from the HEA. The hosting institution(s) will be expected to contribute matched funds towards the project, meaning your institution and your collaborative partners will provide funding that is equal to or greater than the amount you request from the HEA. Projects will run for 15 months, with a final impact report submitted in February The grant scheme invites proposals from individuals and teams within and across UK HEIs and UK College Based Higher Education Providers. The scheme encourages co-operation and collaboration between practitioners and employers to support the enhancement of learning and teaching in cyber security. Successful applications will demonstrate potential for impact across the wider sector. There should also be scope for long-term impact and project sustainability. Provision for dissemination and evaluation should be clearly defined. Important dates Description Date Call opens Wednesday 13 August 2014 Deadline for submissions 17 October 2014 Application review period October 2014 Selection panel meets 30 October 2014 Decisions communicated to applicants 31 October 2014 Projects commence 17 November st Interim progress/action plan report due 30 January nd Interim progress report due 31 August 2015 Projects officially conclude with final impact report 1 February 2016 Outputs and resources ready for delivery to the sector 26 February

4 Key information In order to be eligible for a learning and teaching in cyber security grant, the project lead must be employed by a UK HEI or College Based Higher Education Provider. Collaborations should comprise a minimum of two UK partners. However, the two partners may simply be separate departments within the same institution, thus facilitating a project that is interdisciplinary in outlook. The purpose and benefits of each partnership should be explained. You may collaborate with an overseas institution, but you must include at least two UK partners and the lead partner must be a UK institution. Alongside your application form, you will need to submit a letter of support from your head of faculty or another senior representative of your institution. This will guarantee the support of your institution to conduct the project if your application is successful. You will also need to provide statements of co-operation from all collaborating partners. Make sure that you have obtained these documents in good time before the closing date of 17 October Successful project teams will be expected to take part in an early project workshop, to be held in January 2015, where project leads will have the opportunity to discuss their plans and network with the other grant holders. A dissemination event should also be allowed for and will be held during 2014/15. Travel and accommodation expenses for these events, if required, should be accounted for in the budget section of your project proposal. It is expected that these events will take place in the Midlands. All successful applicants will be expected to submit progress reports during their projects. After project completion, successful applicants may be asked to mentor new project leaders or to review submissions to future HEA grant calls. Practice, policy or research? Academics today are no strangers to the pursuit of knowledge exchange or knowledge transfer. But where does the learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme sit in the tripartite model of knowledge transfer? Does the HEA hope to develop teaching practice, educational policy or pedagogic research? The learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme exists to enable the development of evidence-informed practice. Effective teaching practice should inform and be informed by the interrelated areas of research and policy, but the emphasis of this scheme is learning and teaching practice. We do not fund proposals that consist purely of research. Proposals should be practice-led rather than research-led. We will support small programmes of research because we understand that original research may be critical to the advancement of new practice. However, where research is a key feature of a proposal, it must be applied demonstrably to the development of learning and teaching practice. 4

5 Key themes The scheme has been designed to provide grants for innovative proposals from HEIs and College Based Higher Education Providers, preferably in partnership with industry, to improve learning and teaching in cyber security programmes and improve employability skills in graduates. Examples of potential employer engagement could include; collaborative course design/delivery; innovative methods of course delivery, e.g. through online learning/moocs etc.; offering entry-level professional qualifications in partnership with relevant vendors; industry placements for staff; student sponsorship/internships /work experience; raising the profile of cyber security learning and teaching. Key principles We expect all of the projects we support to adhere to two key principles. During the application process we give you the opportunity to make explicit how your project will engage students, and how the resources you produce will be of benefit beyond your own institution. It should be clear throughout your proposal that you are committed to meeting these two principles. Student engagement You must demonstrate throughout your proposal how your project will directly engage with students as active participants in the execution of the project. This may be as researchers, steering group members or evaluators. It is not enough to claim that engagement will occur because students are being taught this is regarded as passive engagement. Hamish Coates has developed a model with five dimensions of student engagement: active and collaborative learning; participation in challenging academic activities; formative communication with academic staff; involvement in enriching educational experiences; feeling legitimated and supported by university learning communities. Hamish Coates (2007), A model of online and general campus-based student engagement, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 32(2), Outputs of benefit beyond the host institution The outputs from your project must be available to the whole sector both during and after the lifecycle of the project. Proposed outputs should not only be accessible, but must also be relevant to and usable by the wider higher education community. Outputs must have a demonstrable impact on practice beyond the host institution. 5

6 In similar projects, successful applicants have gone on to develop such outputs as web resources, toolkits, handbooks, strategic manifestos, workshop sessions in addition to more traditionally academic outputs such as conference presentations and journal articles. If your proposal does not address these two key principles adequately throughout, your application will not be considered. The application form This is a step-by-step guide to completing the learning and teaching in cyber security grant application form which can be downloaded from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/fundingcall/learning-and-teaching-cyber-security. Please do not submit CVs with your proposal. Selection is based solely on the content of your application form. Key contact details In this section you should name the proposed project lead. This is the person who will take overall operational responsibility for the project. Use your institutional address rather than your residential address. Secondary contacts There is space in this section for you to list up to four secondary contacts. These will most likely be your key collaborative partners. These partners do not have to be HEIs or College Based Higher Education Providers. Project title This is the title by which your project will be referred in all communication with the sector should your proposal be successful. Abstract You should provide an abstract of no more than 100 words that summarises your proposed project, similar in style to an abstract that might appear at the head of a journal article. Key principles This is a crucial section of your application. In this section, you have the opportunity to make explicit how your project will engage students and how the resources you produce will be of benefit beyond your own institution. This should also, of course, be implicit in all other sections of your proposal. For more information on the key principles, please refer to the information on page 5. If your proposal does not address the two key principles adequately throughout, your application will not be considered. Project aims In no more than 500 words, you should outline what you hope to achieve and describe the rationale behind these ambitions. You should provide a strong case for your proposal to be funded, and state clearly the area of need that you are addressing. 6

7 When providing evidence of the potential value of your proposal to your institution and the wider HE sector, you may wish to cite some contemporary pedagogic research. You may cite up to five pieces in the Reference list section later in the application form. We have separated the reference list from all other sections so that these citations do not count against the word length restrictions. Intended impact In no more than 500 words, you should assess how your proposed work might influence practice or policy across the sector. Within your own institution(s) and elsewhere, how will your work directly improve the student learning experience? Methodology In no more than 1000 words, you should describe in detail the methods and activities that you will use during the course of your project. You should ensure that your methods relate directly to the aims you identified in the previous section. Timescales and key milestones should be made explicit. Remember that projects nominally begin on 17 November 2014 and run for 15 months. You will be expected to submit an interim report to the Academy by 30 January 2015 (this may well be an action plan at this stage), and a second interim report by 31 August A final report including impact evidence should be delivered no later than1 February Crucial to the success of these projects will be methods for evaluating success and impact. You should describe these methods in detail, and ensure that you have budgeted sufficient resources to evaluation activities. Performance metrics should consider: any increase in students applying and completing programmes in cyber security; increased student engagement and satisfaction in programmes in cyber security; increase in employment rates and skills; increase in employer satisfaction with graduate skills. An evaluator who is external to the applicant and the delivery team should be sought to assess whether the project has successfully met the stated aims. When describing your proposed methodology, you may again wish to cite some contemporary pedagogic research. You may cite up to five pieces in the Reference list section which follows this Methodology section. We have separated the reference list from all other sections so that these citations do not count against the word length restrictions. Reference list You may insert up to five references cited in the other substantive sections. You should use your preferred bibliographical style. Ethical issues When you are considering the ethical issues you might encounter in your project, we recommend that you read BERA s Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (2011), which is an open-access resource. 7

8 You must describe any ethical issues in full. Crucially, you should also explain how you will address these issues, and how you will overcome them. As a bare minimum, you may wish to consider how your project will meet the requirements of your own institution s ethics procedure. Dissemination In no more than 500 words, you should describe what the main outputs of your project will be. You might be aiming to develop teaching practice, for example, or you may be producing a hard-copy or online resource for other practitioners to use. Whatever your outputs, though, you will need a cogent strategy for disseminating them. You should consider a range of dissemination methods, both traditional (journal articles, conference presentations etc.) and non-traditional (interactive workshops, blogs and other online resources). It is important not to neglect communication of your project within your own institution, or your own internal opportunities for dissemination. Most importantly, you should select dissemination methods that are most likely to meet the needs of your target audiences, and this may require a partnership approach with statutory bodies or subject associations. The HEA promotes several potential dissemination opportunities, such as an annual conference, discipline-focused conferences, and a rolling programme of workshops and seminars. Finally, you should be aware that an effective dissemination strategy is central to securing the sustainability of your work beyond the immediate timeframe of your funded project. You may wish to address how your work might continue to develop once your project has ended. Budget In this section you should provide a full breakdown of costs, including support in kind. You must ensure that your budget represents value for money, and that your proposed work is realistic and achievable for the funding requested. The maximum funding available for any single project should not normally exceed 40k however an exceptional idea needing more funding could be considered (collaborative bids could be conferred multiple awards). There is no minimum amount that you may apply for: if your project can be delivered for significantly less than 40,000, we are still happy to receive your proposal. The primary concern here is one of scale these are major collaborative projects which will run for 15 months and produce outputs of tangible benefit to the sector. Funding may be requested for the following indicative components: release of time from teaching, research or administrative duties; administrative support costs; purchase of training or services; hospitality; travel and subsistence (but not for international travel); materials (e.g. production of posters and other outputs); impact evaluation; 8

9 attendance at dissemination events. Your institution is expected to make a contribution to your project through financial support in kind. For this reason, we recommend strongly that you develop your budget in partnership with your institution s finance or research office(s). Your institution s contribution must be equal to or greater than the amount you request from the HEA. Within the budget section of the application form, you must indicate clearly whether a component is to be funded by the HEA or as part of your institution s contribution. You might do this by grouping the components in a visually intuitive manner, or by highlighting components to be funded by the HEA in bold. Remember that reviewers will be able to view your budget breakdown and will be asked to comment upon it, so visual clarity is paramount. The HEA does not fund normal costs of course delivery, overheads (in a full economic costings model), contingency funds or international travel. If you require funding for any of these elements, this will need to be provided by your institution as part of their matched funding. Similarly, equipment funded by the HEA would need to be essential to the running of the project and not already routinely available for use. In the Description column, please provide as much detail as possible: for example, you should place each member of staff on a separate row, and specify clearly the number of days that they will work on the project. Finally, you should calculate the total requested from the HEA, the total institutional contribution, and the total cost of the project. Declaration Before submitting your application, you are asked to confirm that you understand a number of supplementary conditions. Most importantly, you are asked to confirm that you have read a generic version of the grant letter that will need to be signed by your institution should your project be funded. It is important that the grant letter is signed and returned to us promptly. We have made this generic version available in this way so that your institution is forewarned of our expectations. Letter of support You must provide letters of support, dated and on headed notepaper, from a senior representative of your own institution and, for collaborative projects, from each of your partners. This will guarantee the support of your institution and partners to conduct the project if your application is successful. This is an important detail, because although it is you who will lead the project, the funding contract is made between the HEA and your institution. You should attach these letters to your at the same time as you submit your completed application form. 9

10 Before you submit To ensure that you have met the basic requirements of the scheme, we have provided this checklist for you to work through before you submit your application. 1 Have you read the whole of this guidance document for the learning and teaching in cyber security grant applicants? 2 Have you fully explained how the key principle of active student engagement will be satisfied? 3 Have you fully explained how the key principle of benefit beyond your own institution will be satisfied? 4 Have you considered the ethical implications of your work, and taken steps to meet all of your institution s ethical requirements? 5 Have you understood what components the HEA will and will not fund? 6 Have you provided matched funding from your institution equal to or greater than the sum requested from the HEA? 7 Have you received a letter of support from a senior institutional signatory? 8 Have you read and can agree to the terms and conditions of funding? Post-submission: what happens next? Review and selection Using the information you have provided, we will enter your submission into the review phase. Your submission will be seen by at least two reviewers: one external peer reviewer and one HEA reviewer. Reviewers are asked to respond directly to each section of your submission, and will assess how well you have addressed each question on the application form. Responses are made both quantitatively and qualitatively. Our external peer reviewers are generally National Teaching Fellows, Fellows of the HEA, or recipients of recognised institutional pedagogic esteem. Reviewing will take place between 18 and 30 October Reviewer responses are then collated, and are presented to the selection panel. This specially-convened panel will meet on 30 October

11 If you are successful Your institution will be asked to sign a grant contract which will guarantee that your institution will deliver the project. The contract is between your institution and the HEA. It is therefore imperative that you read the sample grant letter and terms and conditions of funding before submitting your proposal to avoid delays in returning your contract when it is sent out. Signed contracts should be returned to the HEA within 30 days. Delays in signing the contract may have knock-on implications when you attempt to begin work on your project: the first grant instalment will not be paid until a signed contract is received. As part of your proposal submission, therefore, you are asked to declare that you have reviewed the content of the grant letter and terms and conditions of funding. Where contractual disputes cannot be resolved, the offer of funding is withdrawn and transferred to a project proposal on a reserve list assembled by the Selection Panel. When you are informed that your application has been successful, you will be asked to provide the name and address of your institutional signatory. If possible, this should be the appropriate officer within your research or finance office. If you are not successful The success rate for submissions to HEA grant schemes can range from 10 to 30 per cent. Unfortunately, this means that many excellent proposals are not funded. We pledge that we will communicate the decision of the selection panel promptly, and that we will provide you with advice based on trends that will have emerged during the review process. If your proposal is in the upper quartile of those not funded, you will receive more detailed, focused feedback. This may take some time to process, and we ask for your patience while we do so. Our expectations during your funded project Midway through your project, and towards the end, you will be expected to submit progress reports to the HEA. A form or template for these reports will be sent to you at the time. After project completion, successful applicants may be asked to mentor new project leaders or to review submissions to future HEA grant calls. 11

12 Frequently asked questions Can you give me more information on the type of projects you are looking for? The learning and teaching in cyber security grant scheme exists to enable the development of evidence-informed practice. Effective teaching practice should inform and be informed by the interrelated areas of research and policy, but the emphasis of this scheme is learning and teaching practice. We do not fund proposals that consist purely of research. Proposals should be practice-led rather than research-led. We will support small programmes of research because we understand that original research may be critical to the advancement of new practice. However, where research is a key feature of a proposal, it must be applied demonstrably to the development of learning and teaching practice. Do I need a formal statement of co-operation from my institution in order to apply? At this stage you will need a letter of support from your head of department or another senior representative of your institution to demonstrate that your proposal has the necessary institutional support. Do you require a statement of co-operation from all institutions involved, or from the lead institution only? A letter of support will be required from all partners. This is a requirement because it is judicious to establish partnership agreements. These agreements should outline responsibilities related to activities, dissemination and output requirements. The lead institution is ultimately responsible for the delivery of all reports and outputs. What is the maximum amount that I can apply for? The maximum funding available for any single project should not normally exceed 40k, however an exceptional idea needing more funding could be considered (collaborative bids can be conferred multiple awards). Must our institution match the full amount requested, or is there any leeway on this? Your matched funding must be equal to or greater than the amount requested from the HEA. Elements of the matched funding could be provided by several partners, not just the lead institution. How should the funding be distributed among the collaborating partners? Applicants should be clear on what funding will be allocated to whom within the project proposal. Funds should be allocated to create optimal benefit and value to the delivery of the project. You state that the funding covers a period of 15 months. Does the project have to run for the full 15 months? You should plan your project to cover the 15-month funded period plus a period of impact evaluation in 2015/16. We accept that there will be peaks and troughs of activity: you will doubtless require some lead-in time, and the final stages of the project may be focused upon producing resources and other planned outputs. We have made these projects 15 months in length so that there will be at least an entire academic year during which a significant teaching intervention can occur. 12

13 Can dissemination of the outcomes take place after the end of the funded period? Yes. Planning for dissemination should occur throughout your funded project, but the activities themselves may occur beyond the scope of the funded 15 months. Planning for ongoing dissemination will secure the sustainability of your work. Can more than one application be submitted from the same institution? We are happy to receive multiple applications from institutions. Can I apply for funding if my campus is based overseas? You are eligible as long as you are a member of staff at a UK HEI of College Based Higher Education Provider and the resources you produce will be of demonstrable use to other UK institutions. Can collaborative funding be awarded to existing collaborations, or is it for new collaborations only? Existing collaborating groups are welcome to apply. However, the funding will only be granted for new work, not for ongoing projects. Can those working in non-academic service areas apply? Project teams involving those in non-academic service areas are welcome to apply. You should bear in mind that the focus of your work should be on teaching practice and its impact upon the student experience. Do I need to include references to existing scholarship as part of my submission? Our focus in this scheme is the development of evidence-informed practice. The inclusion of references will therefore help us to come to a decision on whether your proposal is robust and founded upon existing evidence. A reference list also helps to demonstrate that you have researched your proposal thoroughly. The application form has a dedicated reference list section, in which you may insert up to five citations in your preferred bibliographic format. Can I apply for a grant if I teach at an FE college? You are eligible to apply for a grant however, your project must relate to the provision of higher education, and must involve the development of evidence-informed practice. Is it only HEIs that can apply for funding, or can other organisations such as charities also apply? Collaborative projects must be led by a UK HEI or College Based Higher Education Provider. Partners could include employers, charities, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) or subject associations. Private providers and overseas institutions may also be listed as partners by a lead institution. The relationship between the partners needs to be described clearly, as does the purpose and benefit of working with these partners. Can the matched funding from my institution or partners take the form of staff time and administrative support for the project? Yes, both of these are acceptable forms of institutional support, as long as they can be quantified clearly within your budget analysis. 13

14 Will the grant be paid directly to me? No, payments are not made to individuals. The contract is made between the HEA and your institution, and funds will be paid to your institution in three instalments throughout the project. Is it permissible to pay students to assist in small-scale research activities? Yes. If I need to hire a teaching space as part of my project, would this be classed as overheads? If the teaching space is outside of your own institution and essential to the success of your project you may request funding from the HEA. If the space is within your own institution then it must be considered an overhead and, as such, we would expect that your own institution would offer this amenity as part of their institutional support. Will the grant cover the cost of international flights? International travel cannot be funded. I understand that the grant cannot cover international travel, but would it cover subsistence costs while overseas? No. Could the hiring of a temporary research assistant be covered in administrative support costs? Yes. What do you actually mean by impact evaluation? Impact evaluation refers to any costs that you may incur through evaluating or assessing the success of your project against your stated aims. For projects in the collaborative scheme, this should be undertaken by an external evaluator of your choice, and the process of evaluation should be co-ordinated by you in partnership with your evaluator. Can funding be used to pay for work completed on days when I m not employed directly by my institution? This is a permitted use of funds, but you must make this absolutely clear in the budget section of the application form. What will happen if I need to take maternity, paternity or adoption leave during the course of my funded project? We are keen to work with you should you need to take maternity, paternity or adoption leave, but remember that the contract is made between the HEA and your institution. We suggest that in this event you discuss the matter with your institution as soon as possible. If I move institution prior to taking up my grant or during the course of the funded project, can I move the project with me? You should be aware that your project will rely upon personnel and other infrastructure at the institution that features in your proposal. You should consider very carefully whether the project can be transferred or adequately replicated at your new institution. 14

15 Contractually, this would be an issue for discussion between the two institutions, and we suggest that these discussions should commence at an early stage. You may need to take responsibility for leading these discussions. No transfer may take place without our approval. The transfer will not be approved if the receiving institution either was or is ineligible for HEA funding. When will the funds be paid? 25% of the funds will be released on receipt of each of the following; the signed and returned grant letter (November 2014); submission of the 1 st interim report (30 January 2015); submission of the 2 nd interim report (31 August 2015); submission of the final impact report (February 2016). Collaborative partners and industrial partners, is there a difference? When we refer to collaborative bids where two (or more) parties can bid for funding, it only applies to HEIs or College Based Higher Education Providers. We strongly encourage partnerships with industry however industry cannot apply for funding from the HEA. 15

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