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Resources on writing successful JISC bids (updated)

Christina Smart
Last modified 01 Jul, 2008
Published 01 Jul, 2008
It’s that time of year again – bid writing time. Given the number of JISC calls for proposals that are out at the moment I thought I’d update an article I published last year with some links to resources on how to write a good bid.

Current Calls

There are a number of JISC funding calls in the e-learning area at the moment. Current calls include:

In addition to these calls new calls are being issued all the time on the JISC web site. Further information about other JISC funding opportunities as well as a roadmap for future funding can be found at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities.aspx

JISC advice

The JISC has a number of resources for people putting together bids. The bid guide takes readers through the process that JISC uses to call for, mark and fund bids. This process is also summarised in a presentation by Alice Colban from JISC. Sarah Davies gave a talk about writing bids at the Community briefing event in May for the Curriculum Design call:http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningcapital/curricdesigncallbiddingprocess.ppt. Although this call is now closed this presentation gives bid writers some good pointers about what the bid markers are looking for.

For those people putting together a proposal for the curriculum delivery call the "resources from the Community briefing also include a section on the differences between the two calls as well as a useful summary of the questions asked at the event.

A briefing day for the Curriculum delivery call was held on the 24th June and resources and questions from the event can be found at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/curriculumdeliverymeeting

JISC Infonet resources

When writing a proposal it is important to be aware of previous work in the area, to check that your proposal will be breaking new ground. JISC Infonet have a number of infokits which provide a useful way into previous work in a number of areas. Also, the Project Management, Risk Management and Information Management infokits can help with thinking through project infrastructure.

It is also worth remembering that JISC has a comprehensive range of national infrastructure services which may have synergy with your proposal. The full list of JISC Services is at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/services.aspx.

ALT workshops

The ALT run a very popular workshop on Bidding and Winning. The workshop ran this year in May and is worth looking out for on next year's programme.

Analysis of bids from previous calls

In some cases the JISC have asked external advisers to analyse bid submitted under previous calls to provide feedback on some of the common mistakes that people submitting bids make.

Bid writers will find Mark Stiles analysis http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningcapital/feedback_he_in_fe_bids.pdf of the 2007 HE in FE bids very useful. Here is some of the advice Mark has to offer:

  • Scope of the proposal: "It is vital that bids state what the project would actually do (and NOT do)."
  • Proposed budgets: "Bids need to provide realistic costing of dissemination, evaluation and partnership working"
  • Plans for dissemination: "Bids must make it clear how effective dissemination will be carried out, with particular focus on disseminating to the appropriate communities."
  • Project management: "Bids should demonstrate solid project management staffing in sufficient quantity".
  • Partnerships: "Bids should demonstrate that partnerships exist because mutual and/or shared benefits would arise from the proposed work."

Further advice can be found in Neil Witt's analysis of the 2007 Learner Experiences of e-Learning bids for the JISC (Analysis of Strand A bids) (Analysis of Strand B bids). Readers will be interested to note how many of the successful bids had missed out key bits of information. Like Mark, Neil stresses that:

  • "Bids must be explicit in how they meet the requirements of the call".

The report also has a useful final checklist for bid writers to make sure that they've not missed any vital sections out.

We wish all those submitting project proposals to the JISC this summer the best of luck!

 

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