ESDF Grants

Educational Strategies Development Fund

ESDF Applications due 6 October 2017



The Educational Strategies Development Fund (ESDF) grants scheme provides a funding opportunity for those who have an excellent idea to improve learning and teaching but require additional resources to accomplish it. Proposed projects can be either action research or focus on the development and evaluation of an education innovation. The innovation may be entirely new; an improvement in response to student feedback; or addressing changing professional requirements. Outcomes of projects are expected to align with UOW strategic directions and have a positive impact on student learning or the student experience.


Application process

1. Read the Application Instructions

The ESDF Application Instructions include all the information you need to know about the grant application and assessment processes. It is important that the Chief Investigator is familiar with the application rules and requirements. Non-complying applications will not be accepted.

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the grant priorities:

Priority Area This may include projects with a focus on:
21st Century Learning, Group Learning and Collaborative Learning 
  • project-based learning
  • collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication, cultural awareness
  • participation and co-creation
  • workforce learning
  • capstones
  • work ready students
Digital learning and social media, Online / Blended learning 
  • teaching innovation
  • networked learning
  • virtual reality / augmented reality
  • learning spaces
  • digital tools & platforms
Enhancing Teaching and Learning through multi-location delivery 
  • student experience across locations
Leveraging informal learning spaces in teaching 
  • building relationships with MakerSpace
  • hybrid formal and informal learning
Learning analytics 
  • artificial intelligence in education
  • student support & dashboards
  • social learning analytics


  • Enrol in the UOW Students as Partners online module for resources and tips on defining and developing student and partners
  • Be aware that ESDF projects are ineligible for Educational Resource Development Agreement (ERDA) support and vice versa
  • Don’t’ include a literature review as a project activity - it is expected that this is already complete and will not be funded
2. Attend ESDF Q&A Session - See the FAQ

The ESDF Q&A session has been held and the slides from the session are Q&A session here

View the LTC Professional Development Calendar for a complete list of all learning and teaching events.

3. Consult with key stakeholders

Consider who might be key stakeholders for your project and how you might include them, keep them informed and gain their support.

For example:

  • Are there colleagues that are doing similar work or would benefit from the outcomes of your proposed project?
  • Is collaboration an option (internal, external or even international)?
  • What previously funded ESDF projects are relevant to your proposed project and how might you acknowledge, build on or extend this work? (Also consider any relevant externally funded projects e.g. Office for Learning and Teaching)

Your immediate supervisor/s, Head of School/Unit, Associate Dean (Education), Executive Dean etc. are all project stakeholders. Don’t forget to include them in your thinking and planning. It is important that you discuss with and gain support from these key stakeholders, early and as your project planning progresses.

4. Think about your budget, budget justification and any in-kind contributions

Consider what might be an appropriate funding range to apply for:

  • How much money do you need to complete your proposed project?
  • Are you able to justify all the proposed expenses?

When calculating personnel salaries, use the UOW Salaries and On-Costs information to ensure your costings are accurate.

It is common to include ‘in-kind’ contributions in grant budgets. Discuss what in-kind support your school/faculty might be willing to contribute to your proposed project.

For example:

  • A proportion of your time
  • Photocopying, printing, stationary, use of your desktop/laptop etc


  • Don’t include any ERDA funded activities in your ESDF budget
  • Don’t apply for funding to undertake a literature review
  • Don’t include items in the budget that are explicitly excluded from funding (e.g. equipment, travel, catering)
  • Don’t include any items in the budget that do not include a budget justification
5. Complete the Application Form

Use the ESDF Grant Application Form to complete your proposal. Be sure to complete all sections of the application form, including an accurate budget and budget justification.


  • Be familiar with what funding is available how much you are applying for
  • Know what priority your project addresses and make it explicit in your application
  • Link your project proposal and activities to faculty and/or university strategic directions (UOW Strategic Plan)
  • Ensure project activities, objectives outcomes and deliverables are clearly communicated
  • Make your proposal brief, to the point and appropriate to the amount of funding being sought
  • Keep the assessors in mind when writing and formatting – keep the application clear and easy to read
  • Ensure your timeline commences in January and is completed by June the following year (18 months in total)
6. Obtain appropriate approvals and endorsements

Every ESDF application must be signed by the Head of Faculty/Unit, Associate Dean (Education) and Executive Dean (or representative). All signatures must be obtained prior to submission. Applications that do not include all the necessary approvals and endorsements will not be accepted.


  • Start conversations with these key signatories early to ensure they are aware of your intent to submit an application
  • Be aware the some signatories may be away at the time of submission and other arrangements may need to be made
  • Book a time in each signatories diary a week prior to the due date to ensure all signatures are obtained on time
7. Sumbit your application

Applications should be submitted via email as one complete PDF document  to

Due to subsequent assessment and endorsement processes, submission extensions are not possible.

8. Assessment, Outcomes and Recipients

ESDF Applications will be assessed by the Internal Teaching Review Panel at the end of October. Recommendations are then made to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for final approval.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application as early as possible to allow time for planning, ethics and commencement or projects in January.

Click here to view a complete list of funded ESDF Grant projects.

Click here to view the most recent ESDF Grant Report.



Key Dates

ESDF Applications are due via email ( by 6 October 2017

Summary of Key Dates:
July 2017 Applications invited
18 July 2017 Q&A Session
6 October 2017 Applications due 
By end of December 2017 Applicants advised of outcome
January 2018 onwards  Projects commence
June 2019  Final report due


Forms and Resources


2018 ESDF Grant Application Form


Progress Report Template

Final Report Template


Powerpoint Slides from Q&A Session

ESDF Grant Funded Projects

2018 ESDF Application Instructions

ESDF and ERDA What is the difference


UOW Salaries and On-Costs

UOW Strategic Plan

Experience and Advice from national grant recipient – Tom Goldfinch 

Impact Management Planning and Evaluation Ladder (IMPEL)

Student as Partners Module


2017 ESDF Grants - Report

2016 ESDF Grants - Report


For all Reward and Recognition enquiries, please contact the UOW Programs Coordinators.



Last reviewed: 3 November, 2017