Call for Proposals

The present Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Theme is Resilient Learning Communities and will run until summer 2023. It combines sector-wide activity with institution-specific action.

HWU’s institutional approach focuses on Strengthening our Global Learning Community: Resilience as Collective Action. We’ll be considering what our global learning communities will look like by 2025 and how we can prepare our staff and students to adapt and develop approaches to learning that will meet future challenges. We need to explore – practically and pragmatically – how responsive and resilient our community is, to identify key areas for enhancement, and to consider how we will know we are moving towards a stronger, more resilient global community.

  1. Focus of Year 3 Projects

Through this work we will build a picture of what ‘resilience in action’ looks like, from individual, institutional and sector perspectives. In doing so, the focus will be on practical, collective action to enhance practice.

For Year 3 of the Theme, we continue our areas of special interest and this year we encourage you to propose projects which span at least two campuses, highlighting the global nature of our teaching and learning.

Project teams are encouraged to be creative, innovative and experimental in approach, whilst drawing on evidence and learning from across the higher education sector. Please browse our completed projects for inspiration.

  1. Evaluation criteria

Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the themes of the Call for Proposals
  • Relevance to HWU Strategic Priorities
  • Collaboration between at least two campuses


  • Focussed plan which will be completed by June 2023


  • Initial study / pilot of larger plan, which will be completed by June 2023
  • Dissemination plan
  1. Support for Project Teams

Project teams will become part of a Special Interest Cluster (SIC). Successful recipients of mini-project grants will have opportunities to meet with other members of their SIC to discuss progress, develop their evaluation plans and work on their dissemination outputs. We also invite other members of the Heriot-Watt global community who have an interest in the above themes, but who are not in receipt of a grant, to join the relevant SIC to share ideas and practice. We will be building on the experience of the mini-projects of last year. We have a dedicated Teams site for discussion about projects, and aim to develop our support offering.

  1. Expectations

Successful recipients will be expected to submit an update report to the Enhancement Themes Steering Group by the end of May, 2023. They will also be invited to present their findings at HWU Learning and Teaching Week (June, 2023).

  1. Available Funds

This year we have limited funds to support mini-projects. Project funds should be spent by June 30th, 2023.

  1. Application process

This call is open to all Heriot-Watt Staff and Students at all campuses. Proposals for projects that include student contributions and / or have a global or multi-campus element will be particularly welcome.

Applications will be considered by the Enhancement Themes Steering Group, with successful project teams notified of outcomes w/c 14th November, 2022.

To submit a project proposal please complete the application form and submit online by Monday, 31st October, 2022. If you require the application form in an alternative format please contact Dr Anne Tierney (contact details below)

Please direct any questions regarding this funding, or possible projects, to Dr Anne Tierney

Special Interest Cluster 1: Resilient Pedagogies

What approaches to teaching and learning work effectively to support students from a range of backgrounds and cultures? How has the wider university community supported student learning? How can we best draw on the tools and technologies that we have at our disposal, in order to mitigate the disruption that students have faced over the past year? How can we harness what we have learned from the past year and capitalise on the benefits these tools and technologies for students’ return to campus?

The Panel would welcome projects which:

  • Demonstrate community building at course/programme level
  • Demonstrate cross campus collaboration in teaching and learning
  • Benefit from the wider university community, e.g. professional services, student-led projects, student union/student associations
  • Implement elements of Responsive Blended Learning

Examples of projects may include:

  • Exploring effective use of evidence-based approaches such as “flipped classroom”
  • Developing the use of synchronous or asynchronous learning
  • Co-creating extra-curricular student activities to enhance learning
  • Developing models of student peers/alumni engagement to support new and current students who may be struggling
  • Developing alternatives to lab work/ studio work/ fieldwork

Special Interest Cluster 2: Resilient Teaching Teams

University staff have found themselves under unprecedented pressure in the past twelve months, as they responded rapidly to the pandemic, and the changing local environments in each of our five campuses. How have staff supported one another in teaching and learning, in order to continue to deliver to their students? What novel or innovative approaches to team work have paid dividends?

The Panel would welcome projects which:

  • Demonstrate the benefits of a team-teaching approach
  • Illustrate staff-student partnerships
  • Build on the strengths of teaching team members
  • Utilise elements of Responsive Blended Learning to support staff deliver courses

Examples of projects may include:

  • Enhancing the work of cross-campus teaching teams
  • Innovating in working with students to design lessons/projects/courses
  • Supporting colleagues make the transition to Responsive Blended Learning

Special Interest Cluster 3: Student Action for Resilience

Students have found themselves in situations they could not have previously envisioned. While universities have endeavoured to keep classes as normal as possible, while moving online, how has that affected students? Where have students drawn support from, and how can we translate that into a sustainable model?

The Panel would welcome projects which:

  • Demonstrate student-led solutions to community building
  • Illustrate staff-student partnerships from the student perspective
  • Build on the wider university responses during the past year from student-facing professional services
  • Support from student associations/students’ union

Examples of projects may include:

  • Developing peer support for new and/or continuing students
  • Supporting cross-campus student communities
  • Innovating in student use of online learning and other technology platforms