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Resources on writing successful JISC bids

Christina Smart
Last modified 15 May, 2007
Published 15 May, 2007
The current JISC capital call for projects closes on the 21st June so for many this is a time of frenzied bid writing. But what makes a proposal successful? With success rates for JISC proposals sometimes as low as 10% bid writers will be keen to know what will make their proposal stand out from the crowd. We’ve pulled together a number of resources from the JISC and the RSCs about how to write that winning bid.

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

The JISC also ran a number of workshops prior to the HE in FE calls last September, Resources from these workshops are available on the JISCinfonet web site.

RSC Workshop Resources

The JISC Regional Support Centre for the East Midlands ran a workshop in April on Finding and Bidding for Funding. The workshop included a presentation from Sarah Knight of JISC as well as Professor Mark Stiles on writing bids for JISC projects. There was also a presentation from Lynne Brandt from Derby College on their experiences of making a successful bid, who makes the following suggestion about the amount of time it will take to write the bid

“Estimate how long it’s going to take and triple it!”.

Resources for this workshop are available at:

The London RSC also held a workshop last year on bid writing and presentations and resources for this are available at:

Analysis of bids from previous calls

Bid writers will find Mark Stiles analysis of the last set of HE in FE bids very useful. Here is some of the feedback Mark offers about project proposals:

  • 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.”.

The last round learner experiences of e-Learning bids were also analysed for JISC by Dr Neil Witt of the University of Plymouth (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. 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 hope readers find these resources useful – and wish them the best of luck with their bids!


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