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Small Development Projects 2017: grant winners announced

3 May 2017

We’re delighted to reveal that this year the successful Small Development Projects includes funding for seven full projects and nine case study projects, representing a broad range of themes and topics from institutions across the sector. Some of these build on earlier investments made through the fund, while others provide a fresh look at the leadership aspects of diversity, student engagement, wellbeing, inclusivity and academic citizenship. All represent ideas that are designed to help people at universities in their daily roles and provide useful and practical resources.

Universities that have been awarded projects include: Birmingham City University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Hertfordshire, King’s College London, University of Lincoln, University of Northumbria, Oxford Brookes University, University of Portsmouth, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Southampton and University of Strathclyde.

Access to Small Development Project funding is one of the benefits of membership of the Leadership Foundation and over the past decade we have funded over 120 projects focusing on leadership, management and governance issues. This investment has produced some excellent toolkits and practical resources as well as filling gaps in our knowledge on key issues in the sector.

Dr Lesly Huxley, director, Membership and Organisational Development said: "Competition for project funds was extremely high, with nearly 90 proposals received. This represents a 225% increase on last year and I am very pleased that we were able to fund more projects than in 2016.

For this year's call for proposals, we listened to feedback from our customer survey and invited proposals for case studies which will bring learning to the sector this summer with short, accessible case studies of what works in leadership in higher education.

I look forward to launching the outputs of these new projects over the coming year.”

Details of the winning projects will be available at

When selecting the winning projects we have considered our updated strategy, Catalysing Change, which puts higher education institutions and related stakeholders at the centre of all that we do. Our core ambition for quality, relevance, and value for money in leadership, governance and management development is reflected in the chosen projects, focusing on uniting research and practice to maximise impact. These projects represent part of the Leadership Foundation’s investment in the sector.

Small Development Projects: grant winners

Full projects:

Case study projects:

**Details of final case study TBC**

Notes to editors

1.     Small development Projects have been a key benefit of LF membership since 9999 and applications are highly competitive. The Leadership Foundation currently has 158 members made up of higher education institutions across the UK and Ireland. Funding is allocated to projects that are seen as good value to the sector as a whole providing knowledge exchange and useable outputs. Details of all our projects to date can be found on our website at Small Development Projects.

2.     All project proposals were subject to peer review, coordinated by the Leadership Foundation's research and innovation team, involving researchers and practitioners from the wider sector or other relevant expert areas.

3.     There are two different types of Small Development Projects this year:

a.   Case studies which are short, accessible summaries of a recent initiative, what was done and why, the impact it had (including any evaluation feedback or metrics) and guidance for the wider sector on what works. The case studies should take approximately 3 months to produce.

b.   Development projects which will provide impetus to work in progress or new initiatives, playing out over a slightly longer timeframe to allow deeper exploration and evaluation, and/or development of new resources. The development projects have up to eight months for completion.

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