Like any other sector, COVID-19 has disrupted higher education adversely. HR professionals have continued to play a vital role in supporting university leaders, staff, and students to navigate the challenges caused by COVID-19 and future ways of working and learning.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities has over 500 member universities in 50 countries across the Commonwealth. Their network covers over 10 million students and more than 1 million academic and professional staff.

Considering this, the ACU is introducing a new Challenge Grant for HR practitioners at ACU member institutions to support their universities to achieve their missions in this ever-changing world of work.

The HR in HE Community Challenge Grants are awarded to staff at member universities working in the area of human resources to promote the sharing of best practices and collaboration. The grants can be used for a diverse range of projects, workshops, and events, including virtual collaboration, such as:

  • Delivering relevant training and development for HR practitioners
  • Creating approaches/policies on HR issues, e.g. workforce planning, inclusion, mental health, international recruitment, etc
  • Creating HR processes
  • Delivering webinars on pressing issues for HR practitioners
  • Research projects
  • Benchmarking of good HR practice across the Commonwealth

Please note, their application portal will be undergoing scheduled site maintenance and will not be accessible between 07:00-11:00 on Tuesday 27




A total of GBP 8,000 is available. This may be allocated in a number of ways:

  • A number of small grants, e.g. 3-4 grants of up to GBP 2,000 allocated to 3-4 institutions each undertaking a specific project
  • A larger grant, e.g. a grant of up to GBP 8,000 allocated to an institution to undertake a specific project

Institutions that might be willing to match or provide additional funds will be looked upon favorably, but this is not essential. Due to the COVID-19 related travel restrictions, this grant cannot be used to fund travel.


  • Grants are available for HR practitioners at ACU member universities to help meet the costs of organizing projects that promote the essential work of HR and the aims of HR in the HE Community.
  • Universities are encouraged to collaborate on projects with one or more ACU member universities if this will achieve a more valuable outcome, but this is not essential.
  • Grantees are required to submit a short interim report halfway through their project and a comprehensive final report within one month after completing their project.
  • Additionally, the outputs (e.g. training videos, webinars, toolkits, papers, research reports, etc.) developed through the grants are to be made available to be shared with the HR in HE Community and the wider ACU network, in order to increase impact.

Eligible Regions: Open for all


  • You will need to supply an outline of the project and an action plan, including details of what the project involves and how it will address the HR in HE Community’s aims. The project action plan is requested for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months.
  • You will also be asked to submit a letter of support from your institution’s Executive Head or equivalent to verify their support of your proposed project.

Application Deadline: August 8, 2021 (8 Days Remaining)APPLY NOW OFFICIAL LINK

 For Further Queries

For any additional information, please visit the official website or ask queries, email

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