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Faculty of Science and Engineering

Faculty of Science and Engineering Better World Initiatives 2024

Our Better World Initiatives 2024 offer annual funding to enable staff and students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering to apply for targeted funding for projects that focus on priorities in environmental sustainability, engagement (civic, public and schools outreach) and equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (SREDIA).

Themes for project funding will seek to enable staff or students to create, develop or extend projects that inform thinking and practice to enable more people in the Faculty to make a bigger difference to our people, our region or our earth.

Make a difference

Funded opportunities have been created, aimed to inspire our Faculty community to explore new ideas or accelerate existing projects. Funding is open to all staff and students (individuals or groups).

There are two routes for the Better World initiatives:

  • Better World grants. A grant of up to £1000 to bring new ideas or initiatives to life, which directly relate to one or more of the FSE SREDIA annual priorities

Better World grants

Opportunities to inspire our Faculty community to explore new ideas or accelerate existing projects, which directly relate to one or more of the FSE SREDIA annual priorities.

Staff and students can apply for a grant of up to £1000.

Funding costs can include, but are not limited to the folowing:

  • Resources (e.g. online and printed material), including payment for support to help create new material
  • Implementation costs (e.g. project consumables)
  • Subsistence and travel (travel should be the most sustainable transport for the journey and alternative means of meeting such as Teams / Zoom should be considered)
  • Venue and/or equipment hire
  • Visitor/speaker fees and expenses (suggested maximum of £250 per speaker)
  • Refreshment costs
  • Photography and filming (and editing) costs.

Costs cannot include requests for IT equipment or other items that would normally be requested through School or Institute equipment and resources budgets.

  • A call will be made annually to invite individuals or teams to respond to a specific priority in the SREDIA strategy. This may lead to the creation or extension of existing activity by staff or students. The specific calls are identified by the SREDIA Leadership Team for the theme areas:
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA)
    • Engagement (public, civic or outreach).

The calls for the academic year 2023-24 are defined below.

Environmental Sustainability Better World strategic project

We are looking for members of our staff and student community to help us drive our Environmental Sustainability priorities for 2024/25, therefore welcome applications to help the Faculty: 

  • Contribute to the success of University sustainability targets including those relating to LEAF (or equivalent) accreditation in laboratories and single use plastics in alignment with agreed strategies and action plans.
  • Co-ordinate the reduction of FSE's environmental impacts through: reducing scope 3 carbon emissions; enhancing responsible procurement and managing life cycle of materials.

The total fund available is £5000 and we anticipate this being allocated to one large project, however we are open to applications that are requesting less than this if they address these priorities.

Applications will be assessed against:

  1. Contribution to UoM sustainability.
  2. Ability to measure improvements delivered through the project.
  3. The viability of the project based on the funding requested.

All other criteria and rules of the Better World Initiatives will apply.

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) Better World strategic project

We are looking for members of our staff and student community to help us drive our EDIA priorities for 2024/25 and are therefore putting out a call for people (individuals or teams) to explicitly address either:

  • Producing training, resources or support to staff or students to accelerate our progress towards a more inclusive culture that challenges exclusionary or discriminatory practices and fosters a sense of belonging for all.


  • Facilitate FSE staff or student voice regarding EDIA by setting up or partnering with existing University Staff / Student Networks to run self-governing / sustaining EDIA community networks in the Faculty.  Applicants for this pot would be expected have lived experience of the group they were looking to set up, and would need to run at least one event this academic year.  We would also expect that this group could become a sounding board for the Faculty to be able to understand community voices and feed into the work of the EDIA team in the Faculty / Schools.

Projects will be assessed on an individual basis and will need to directly address either of the priorities listed here.

The total fund available is £5000.  For the most impactful project, this could potentially be allocated to one application. However we anticipate funding a number of projects to address these needs.

All other criteria and rules of the Better World Initiatives will apply.

Engagement Better World strategic project

We are looking for members of our staff and student community to help us drive our Engagement priorities for 2024/25 and are therefore welcome applications to deliver projects that enable meaningful engagement with the public, community partners, civic groups, or other external partners to deliver a positive impact at a local or national level.

We are particularly interested in initiatives that focus on these areas:

  1. Aim to promote engineering careers and study to (pre-16) girls (Athena Swan priority area).
  2. Projects engaging priority audiences outside of a school or family setting, such as youth and sports groups.
  3. Links to other SREDIA priority areas (EDIA/ES).

Projects will be assessed on an individual basis and will need to directly address either of the priorities listed here.

The total fund available is £5000.  For a particularly impactful project, this could potentially be allocated to one application, however we welcome applications for smaller amounts and will consider funding a number of projects to address this priority.

Applications will be assessed against:

  • The output / impact that is trying to be achieved
  • The impact and reach appropriate to the level of funding
  • If the initiative is feasible within the timescale and budget
  • Whether the initiative is engaging a priority audience (either widening participation, under-represented in the undergraduate population, under-served community, or low science capital).

All other criteria and rules of the Better World Initiatives will apply.


Better World Grants

  • Applications open: February 2024
  • Application deadline: 2 May 2024
  • Application reviewed: every two months at the SREDIA Leadership Team Meetings towards the end of:
    • March
    • May

Due to University financial management rules, money allocated needs to be paid into a University account code and spent within the financial year (e.g. by 31 July). If your project would require spending after 31 July 2024 please contact us prior to application so that we can discuss options with you.

Better World strategic projects

For academic year 2023-24 the timelines are the same as for Better World grants. We anticipate that the calls for 2024-25 will be released in May with a deadline for applications towards the end of June. Applicants will be informed of the outcomes in July so that work can start on delivery over the next academic year.


These are open calls for applications from any member of staff (professional services, technical, research and academic) or student(s) (undergraduate and postgraduate) from the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

  • Beneficiaries of any funded project should predominantly be in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. If the project is to support staff or students, deliver training or provide a service: the majority of the recipients, attendees or service users should be in the Faculty.
  • We encourage applicants to collaborate with others who are working in similar areas, across Schools / Departments or disciplines (including outside of the Faculty). Where such a relationship enables the better realisation of the initiative’s aims and impact, then we may encourage you to make contact with other groups that we are aware of to do this. We will prioritise funding for projects that are collaborative.
  • We encourage interdisciplinary projects and suggest that additional match funding is sought by individuals in other Faculties to support such engagement.
  • The funding will only be available to projects that are not able to be funded through existing School or Department budgets.

Assessment criteria

The SREDIA team encourage the following ways of working:

  • Ambitious
  • Collaborative
  • Embedded
  • Evidenced
  • informed
  • Pro-active

We expect applicants to also embrace these values that will be used to assess applications as described below.


The proposed initiative should be innovative and creative in its aims, planning, delivery and/or outcome. It should clearly outline how it links to and takes forward an objective within the SREDIA priorities.


Where possible, your project should draw skills, experience and knowledge from a breadth of people. This may mean working across teams, departments or groups. Clearly define in your project proposal how you have considered working collaboratively and the value this will bring.

Embedded practice / principles or shared learning

For projects that will not be ongoing or sustained, we would look to fund projects as long as learning is shared or its practice benefits future work.

For projects that are sustained or have the potential to be scaled up, describe how this would be funded in the future as Better World Grants are not intended to be used for the same projects with the same outcomes year on year.

Evidence informed

Your application should demonstrate that you are addressing a need that is known in the Faculty or sector, or solving a problem that has been recognised within a Department. Also describe how you will gauge the impact of your initiative and how this will be measured.


The proposed initiative should address one of the SREDIA priority areas and you will need to explain why this initiative is a suitable response.

Funding requests will need to be based on realistic costs and where additional funding is required, we will expect this to have been identified and ideally secured.

You will need to explain how your initiative will be delivered within the cost and time constraints.

Expectations of successful applicants

Successful applicants are expected to meet the following requirements:

  • Provide a project update halfway through the project to share progress.
  • Complete a simple ‘end of project’ report to demonstrate how you have made a difference. Summarising the initiative, outcomes, impact the initiative had, learning and expenditure. This report could then form the basis of your entry into the next University or Faculty Social Responsibility Awards.
  • Showcase your project's work. For example, at the Better World Celebration event; on social media; a hub post; or as a case study for Social Responsibility reporting.
  • Work with the Social Responsibility team to enable them to capture imagery of your working project and represent your project with images in their future Social Responsibility Reports, webpages and other media. You wil be provided with a copy of these images for your own purposes.
  • Return any non-spent funds, giving notice by 30 June 2024 and returning to us by 31 July 2024.

Please note: All projects must be delivered by the successful applicants and there is no operational support available. However, information, guidance and advice can be provided around event organisation, such as: publicity, registration, organising filming or photography.

Application process

Better World Grants

This application is by initial expression of interest and open for applications up to 2 May 2024. Subject to review of the application against the strategy, applicants will then be asked to complete a full application form. If you are unable to complete the expression of interest form online, please email us for a paper copy.

Apply online

Application form >>

Better World strategic call

Applications are to be made via an application form. If you are unable to complete the form online, please email us for a paper copy.

Student Applicants

Please note that all student applications need a staff 'sponsor' and access to an account for the money to be transferred to. This person must be named on the application form and should be asked in advance of submitting the application, the sponsor will be asked to confirm that they will take responsibility for ensuring that the funds are spent in line with the University financial regulations i.e. using University approved suppliers etc.

This structure is in place to best support student projects and allow for a contact for elements such as finance, equipment and support on the initiative itself.

If you have any questions, please email the Social Responsibility team.

Further information

If you would like to discuss any ideas or have any queries please email the Social Responsibility team.

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