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  3. 3rd call for AL led projects now open

3rd call for AL led projects now open

Posted 18th March 2021

eSTEeM routinely supports projects led by members of the faculty to investigate teaching and learning in STEM. Many Associate Lecturers (ALs) have already participated in eSTEeM projects through their work on project teams. We are delighted to announce the 3rd call for scholarship projects exclusively for Open University STEM ALs. We would like to receive scholarship project proposals by individual or groups.

We envisage receiving project proposals which focus on key aspects of the AL role including, but not limited to – synchronous and asynchronous tuition, correspondence tuition and student support in STEM disciplines. We are also specifically interested in AL led projects that focus on the tuition and support needs of students from our widening participation target groups including BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) students, students with mental health issues, students with disabilities and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds or with low previous educational qualifications.

For examples of the types of projects previously funded by eSTEeM, please visit the ‘Projects’ tab of the eSTEeM website.

Key information

  1. eSTEeM projects normally run to completion within 18 months.
  2. Projects will be funded by eSTEeM with ALs contracted to undertake the work on an additional duty basis up to a maximum of 30 days (over an 18-month period) and expenses. This may be shared amongst a number of ALs working on the same project. However, please remember that for ALs, additional duties must not add up to more than 44 days in one year. The time spent on this contract must not impact your substantive role. Each role will be paid at the day rate of £155.08 to the indicated maximum number of days. In addition, eSTEeM may provide support for conference attendance to inform or disseminate project findings and expenses to attend eSTEeM community events, where applicable.
  3. Scholarship skills development and mentoring will be provided by eSTEeM.
  4. All Associate Lecturer project proposals will require endorsement from your School Scholarship Lead and approval of your time from your Lead Line Manager (for each AL on the project team).
  5. All eSTEeM funded project teams are required to submit interim short reports on a regular basis and a final project report within 2 months of completion.
  6. We continue to encourage the involvement of students in STEM scholarship activities. Therefore, we are prioritising projects which involve students as collaborators/co-investigators on the project and not just as participants in a study.

Application process

  • Please visit the links below to download a project proposal form, please complete and submit it to by midday on Friday 28th May.
  • Completed project proposals will be reviewed by the eSTEeM Coordination Group and proposers will be notified of the outcome by the 30th June.
  • Project proposals which meet eSTEeM’s selection criteria will then be subject to approval from any relevant module team chairs. eSTEeM will seek this approval on behalf of the project team.
  • Please note that funding is limited, and we anticipate funding up to a maximum of 10 proposals in this round.

What to do next

Pre-bidding Workshop, Thursday 15th April, 19.00-20.30 via MS Teams

Many AL led projects start with the germ of an idea that is then developed with the help from experienced members of eSTEeM. Therefore, to assist colleagues with the preparation of their proposal, we will be holding an online pre-bidding workshop so please come along with a project in mind. Please confirm your attendance by visiting the registration page by Friday 9th April. Please note that attendance to the workshop is not remunerated.

Sign-off procedure for proposals

All proposals must be reviewed/endorsed by your School Scholarship Lead, in addition to your time allocation being approved by your Lead Line Manager before submission to eSTEeM. Therefore, please ensure that you contact your respective Scholarship Lead as soon as possible to discuss your proposal, and well in advance of the submission deadline to allow them sufficient time to provide feedback on your draft proposal. 


Scholarship Lead


Shailey Minocha


Daphne Chang


Sarah Davies


Trevor Collins


Duncan Banks


Rachel Hilliam/Martina Gibbons


Jimena Gorfinkiel/Laura Alexander

Applying for an eSTEeM project for the first time may feel a little daunting but please remember there is help and support available. If you have an idea, but not a defined project, and would like to discuss it further in the first instance, then please feel free to contact the eSTEeM Management Team (, School Scholarship Lead or your Staff Tutor.

AL Skills register

Many eSTEeM projects require assistance with a variety of tasks, such as the collection of quantitative and qualitative data, literature reviews or running focus groups with students on a particular module. Therefore, if you do not wish to be substantially involved in a project but would be interested in contributing to a project, please complete the skills register and return it to us at We will keep your details on file and when an opportunity arises, we will try to match ALs according to their skills, experience, and areas of interest. 

The deadline for submitting proposals is midday on Friday 28th May.

We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength. Proposals from candidates with protected characteristics are welcomed.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to receiving your proposals.


eSTEeM Project Proposal Form (MS Word)

eSTEeM Project Plan Supplementary Information (PDF)

Recording of the pre-bidding workshop held on the 15th April 2021 (OU staff only)