Fund criteria

All projects funded by the Scotland’s Future Series should demonstrate the University’s commitment to playing an active role in developing Scotland’s future.

Grants will enable staff and students to contribute to and facilitate wider discussions on Scotland’s future and allow the University to take a position of ideas leadership on how to meet the challenges to come.

How much funding is available?

The University has created a £35,000 fund to showcase the work of our staff and students to support projects to enhance discussion and debate on issues pertinent to Scotland’s future. Projects can be wide ranging, from thinkpieces that could be developed into research papers later, to hosting events and other engagement highlighting the work of staff and students to outside audiences.

You can apply for funding of up to £3500 for pieces of work that demonstrate visible interaction on a topic relating to Scotland’s future which engages audiences and stakeholders within and beyond the University.

Who assesses my application?

For all applications, the Scotland’s Future Series panel currently consists of:

  • Panel Chair – Professor Brad Mackay, Deputy Principal
  • Professor Tom Brown, Vice-Principal (Research, Collections and Innovation)
  • Ester Ruskuc, Vice-Principal (Strategy, Policy and Planning)
  • Niall Scott, Vice-Principal (Communications)
  • Professor Stephen Gethins, Assistant Vice-Principal (International Strategy and External Relations)
  • Lindsey Alexander, Senior Communications Manager (Public Affairs)

Who can apply?

The project proposers must be either staff or students at the University of St Andrews. Colleagues from across Schools and Units and all students are invited to take part. Interdisciplinary projects are particularly encouraged.

What kind of projects will be funded?

The criteria for submissions is broad to encourage as much participation as possible and leave space for innovative engagement with the project.

There are some basic requirements:

  • the project proposers must be either staff or students at the University of St Andrews
  • the project should be focused on work in Scotland though other proposals that fit the criteria would be considered, such as events elsewhere in the UK or in Europe
  • the debate and discussion to be promoted would be respectful, fair and balanced
  • the discussion would help inform an issue relevant to Scotland’s future and the policy discussions that are taking place around that topic.

What kind of projects will not be funded?

Funding will not ordinarily be provided for:

  • capital projects or to cover day-to-day running costs, for example, staff costs, rent, overnight accommodation or subsistence
  • salaries of individuals
  • the promotion of religious or political beliefs
  • activities where there isn’t evidence of a will to engage positively with the University of St Andrews.

We will also not normally fund the continuation of existing projects unless an improvement to the project can clearly be demonstrated.

We recognise that repeat funding for activities can be difficult and we will, therefore, consider repeat applications on a case-by-case basis and for a maximum of two times over a five-year period.

Additional information

When will I hear if my application has been funded?

We aim to let you know as soon as possible after the closing date for submitting applications.

Project start dates

Following on from the acknowledgement of a successful application,  funding will be made by journal transfer to your School or Unit cost centre. We recommend that you do not start your project before the money arrives in your account.

What do I do if I want to invite a high-profile visitor to the University?

Please refer to the external relations protocol and also advise the Scotland’s Future Series team of your intentions.

What happens when my project ends?

Following on from the completion of your project, we will expect a report on the benefits of the awarded funds. This report could be written or a presentation (such as a video, blog, PowerPoint). Your report should be submitted within one month of completion of the project unless otherwise agreed. You will also need to return any unspent money to us once your project ends.

Do I have to acknowledge the Scotland’s Future Series in my communications?

Yes. Successful applicants will sign a short funding agreement outlining our expectations and must acknowledge the support of the Scotland’s Future Series and the University of St Andrews in any materials published for the project. There is also a requirement to adhere to the University’s house style and brand guidelines. Please seek advice from the Scotland’s Future Series team with regards to any communications relating to your project. Applicants should also adhere to University policies and procedures for inviting external guests and seek advice from the Scotland’s Future Series team in the first instance.

Do I have to let the SFS team acknowledge me in its publicity?

Yes, but if there are, for example, privacy concerns regarding individuals involved (including the privacy of the applicant or grant holders), we will work with you to ensure these are accommodated.

How often will we be in contact with the Scotland’s Future Series team during the project?

The only formal contact required once your project has been funded is the end-of-project report, however, we would like to get to know your project and its people as we are keen to develop sustainable relationships with our awardees and promote engagement and awareness of projects in various forms including podcasts and blogs.

To enable us to promote the Scotland’s Future Series and raise the profile of your project, we may also wish to contact you to carry out interviews or take photographs of your project in action at any point in the funding year. Requests will be made prior to any visits and we appreciate that, dependent on the project in question, this request may not always be suitable.

Reapplying and appeals procedure

Unsuccessful applications will be provided with written feedback on their application as soon as possible. Although not a guarantee for future success, where possible, unsuccessful applications will be advised on improvement opportunities. This does not guarantee success in the next funding round. Based on the Scotland’s Future Series clear criteria on projects it will and will not fund, we will not consider appeals.

If you still have questions, please contact the SFS team on