Friday, 19 June 2009

Where can I find money for a good idea?

By doug88888
I blogged about our IT peer support project a few months back and, as some of you know via my tweeting, after very hopeful noises from the committee we were reporting to, it turns out there's no money to fund the project after all. The email I got from the committee chair said:
"The upshot is that there is no money at the moment, but [we are] continuing to look for funding from somewhere. It’s a very tough year and [we are] waiting to hear the final Corporate Services budget outcome which should be known soon.

It’s very regrettable, but we may need to put the scheme on hold. I haven’t lost hope just yet, though."
So whilst there's still a chink of light there, I am, to say the least, disappointed. And all the more so because we (the IT skills working group) have been beavering away on this for more than a year.

My initial reaction was one of resignation, however, having just had a conversation with someone entirely unconnected with the project I've been reminded that this is a good idea and one that needs to see the light of day.

The benefits of the project, as I see it, include the following:
  • students who are users of the service get contextualised and personalised help on their IT skills queries
  • in particular, distance learners will get increased support on their IT skills queries
  • peers support students will improve their own IT skills (IT literacy?) as they deal with student enquiries
  • peer support students will gain loads of experience in dealing with people - face to face and online (great stuff for CVs)
  • peer support students will gain a Leicester Award and recognition on their transcript (more great stuff for CVs)
  • a bank of FAQs (and associated answers) will be built up - a useful resource
  • the project will serve as a good test-bed for peers support in other contexts in the university
So the question is, can you (both my readers) recommend any potential sources of funding for the project? All suggestions gratefully received.


  1. The Fund for New Teaching Initiatives? Might just squeak in? Deadline just passed for latest round, but we could go for the next one? Bigger than their average award, probably, but as campus-wide it can be justified...

  2. Sigh. Thousands of pounds of academics and other staff time wasted, but no money for student support. SEEC is a train wreck.

  3. I'll ask but I assumed as the SEEC chair is on NTFI she might have suggested it. I'll check...

  4. Hmmm. Not sure what to say to the chair

  5. Terry McAndrew28 June 2009 at 09:41

    This does not sound particularly like one for our Subject Centre (Biosciences), but you might find that one of the others has a Teaching Development Fund you can apply to. Perhaps;