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BAME Awarding Gap Fund

The BAME Awarding Gap Fund will provide intervention projects up to £25,000 each, over a three-year period.

The BAME Awarding Gap Fund has been established to provide annual funding for intervention projects aimed at the elimination of awarding gaps between UK domiciled Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and White undergraduate students.

The Office of the Vice Provost of Education and Student Experience (OVPESE) has contributed £250k to establish the Fund as part of a project to address the disparities in outcomes and experience of undergraduate BAME and white students at UCL.

We are currently accepting applications until Tuesday 1 March 2022.

Want to find out more or discuss your idea? Join a Q&A session:

Potential projects

Staff can bid for up to £25,000 per project over a three-year period, which can be used to buy out staff-time or fund student internships to implement interventions. The funding could also be put towards capital costs (i.e. equipment) or use of external experts (i.e. to deliver training), where these approaches can be shown to be scalable and student-centred.

Potential projects might focus on:

You might find it useful to consult this edition of the Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Chance Vol. 7, No.1 (2021), for examples of 'Enriching BAME staff-student partnerships in higher education'. 

More examples of project case studies are available in the Universities UK (2019) #ClosingtheGap report and Kingston University.

Application process

Applications for funding will be assessed against eight criteria.

  1. Measurable outcomes focused on closing the awarding gap (UK domiciled students), e.g. student marks, survey satisfaction scores (for example, NSS or UCL Student Experience Survey), number of academic reps, engagement with online activities etc.
  2. Clear rationale behind the project, using research or evidence to support the project and its approach.
  3. Intervention focussed: Projects should focus on intervention and evaluation of interventions, rather than research.
  4. Potential for scalability beyond the programme.
  5. Student-centred, consults with students and seeks to embed material change for the benefit of students.
  6. Forward UCL’s commitments, e.g. the strategic aims of UCL 2034 and UCL’s Access and Participation Plan 2020/21-2024/25
  7. Align with the themes in the BAME Awarding Gap Staff Toolkit
  8. Impact: potential to make a significant impact on large cohorts and effect long-term change.

Funding cannot be used to create new staff posts and no more than 10% of funding can be allocated to research costs.

A proposal form and guidance documents with detailed information on these criteria will be released shortly.

Support on offer

Successful projects can expect to receive access to the following support and networks:

  • Meetings to discuss project progress
  • Q&A sessions
  • Support to collect relevant programme and/or module(s) data
  • An invitation to join an online platform to share ideas, experiences and best practice with colleagues working on projects across the institution.

Contacts

For any questions, please contact Sukhi Bath, Head of Student Success Projects and Co-Lead BAME Awarding project or Parama Chaudhury (Chair of the BAME Awarding Gap Fund).  

    Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

    Can an application be made that spans multiple programmes? 

     Yes, so long as it meets the other criteria and the relationship between the programmes is made clear. 

    Can a department apply more than once provided the total is under £25,000

    There is no specific limit on the number of applications. However, one of the assessment criteria is impact; our guidance is that larger, longer-term projects are more likely to have greater impact and are, therefore, preferable.

    Is the funding for £25,000 per year or £25,000 over three years? 

    Projects can bid for a maximum pot of 25k per project to be spread over the three years. 

    Will projects be accepted from central professional services?

    We welcome collaborative projects. Professional services colleagues would need to be working within a programme or multiple programmes to apply for the funding and the application would come from the department that you're working with. Colleagues may also wish to explore collaborative projects with the Students' Union UCL. 

    If you are interested in exploring how Careers Extra might collaborate with your academic project, please contact Penny Longman, Senior Careers Consultant: p.longman@ucl.ac.uk

    Will there be resource to extract student data to help with the monitoring of the project's success?

    Support with extracting student data will be part of the support offered to projects. 

    Is there any funding for student led projects? 

    Yes, UCL ChangeMakers is collaborating with the BAME Awarding Gap project and Students’ Union UCL to offer specific funding and support for student projects which will further this commitment.

    The BAME Awarding Gap project is providing project funding of up to £400 for project to address the awarding gap; student stipends of £150 per student; and guidance from the project team. Find out more about the BAME Awarding Gap Changemakers funding. 

    Programme amendments could take a couple of years to get passed; what is your advice on how to implement large scale projects that show impact within the 3-year timeframe? 

    We suggest that applicants factor in regulations into the project plan and proposal. Depending on the type of amendment required, it might be possible for some changes to be fast-tracked, however, this should not be relied upon exclusively. See the BAME Awarding Gap Fund guidance [Word doc] for further information. 

    This project and funding are focused on the awarding gap at undergraduate level. Is there any appetite to look at PGT awarding gap? 

    There is an appetite to look at PGT gap but the current project funding is focused on the UG level in line with our external target to reduce the awarding gap there. This funding is intended to find solutions that work at UCL and will be used as a driver to find other funding for developing and applying solutions to other levels. 

    Where can I find information about the BAME Awarding Gap and UCL's efforts to close the gap? 

    Analysis of UCL data shows that there is a small but statistically significant discrepancy in the rate of good (2:1/1) degrees achieved by Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students compared with white students, despite entering UCL with the same high entry qualifications.

    While UCL students, whether white or BAME, tend to perform well above national benchmarks, this discrepancy, known as an awarding gap, has been longstanding across the sector. 

    BAME Awarding Gap project team is working with Deans and faculty leads to analyse faculty-specific data and introduce a toolkit of interventions to close the awarding gap between UK domiciled BAME and White undergraduate students.

    The outcomes of this project will also feed into the broader initiative preparing UCL’s application to renew our Race Charter status.

    Find out more about the UCL BAME Awarding Gap Project.

    Where can I find awarding gap data for my programme? 

    Statistical awarding gap data at programme level can be found in Tableau in the 2019/20 UG ASER dashboard. 

    Use this form to request access to Tableau dashboards.