Friday 01 October 2021 to Sunday 31 October 2021

1. Overview

The Connect4Innovation: UK-Turkey Higher Education Institutional Partnership Fund is a new grant scheme which supports and enables institutional partnerships between universities from the UK and Turkey. We want to create new links, innovative and sustainable partnerships through joint activities and projects to improve graduate outcomes. 

Enhancing internationalisation, institutional partnerships, and inclusion will support higher education institutions to improve quality and thus increase the skills and knowledge, which are essential for their students’ successful careers in a rapidly changing workplace.

We are inviting universities in Turkey and the UK to submit joint applications for projects which focus on improving graduate outcomes. 

We are aiming to support projects which offer a clearly articulated benefit for developing the ‘global graduate’ who can consider different perspectives, approaches challenges with flexible thinking and demonstrates a willingness to challenge stereotypes.

In order to align graduate outcomes with industry or social needs, projects should also include a third partner such as an NGO, development agency, chamber of commerce, organised industry zone or municipality. Industry requires future employees to have specific skillsets to innovate and drive technological advances, so we are looking for applications which go beyond research projects, and are both innovative and practical.   

2. Primary themes

We welcome project applications with the following primary themes: 

  • Creating new and innovative career pathways and career development programmes for academics, professional staff, students and graduates including:

         -Aligning skill sets of students and graduates with industry needs.

         -Improving teaching skills including pedagogy, curriculum and/or assessment capabilities of academics. 

         -Developing the capacity of internationalisation, student affairs and career counselling professionals. 

  • Strengthening governance, leadership, quality assurance and management in institutions. 
  • Climate change, green universities and green careers with a clear impact on graduates’ employability skills, in line with the United Nations’ priority themes.

3. Funding

Funding of up to £30,000 per project will be available, which will cover the costs of year one of the project. Applicants are expected to cover 100% of the total budget for the second year of the project. The budget for the second year to be covered by the applicants must be equal to at least 50% of the total project budget requested. Applications which provide more matched funding and/or in-kind contributions will have an advantage.

4. Expected outputs

Possible outputs could be:

  • Pilot initiatives offering innovative solutions to strengthen governance, leadership and management in higher education institutions and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Design and delivery of course/training modules, in collaboration with community and industry leaders, focussing on the development of entrepreneurial, report writing, communication, teamworking, problem-solving, commercial awareness, leadership and organisation skills of students and graduates.
  • Advisory papers for policy change with action plans and recommendations.
  • Joint awareness raising policy dialogues/capacity building activities between the UK and Turkey higher education institutions focusing on the primary themes.
  • Joint digital training programmes and new models of experience sharing and capacity building activities for  internationalisation, student affairs and career counselling professionals. 
  • New business incubation services including business/enterprise hubs for students, continuous professional development centres and internationalisation departments.
  • Scoping of innovative implementations and initiatives which provide green career pathways for academics, professional staff, students and graduates.
  • Innovative models of joint research and application focusing on the primary themes.

5. Who may apply? 

Joint UK-Turkey higher education institution applications, in which the Turkish higher education institution acts as the lead institution, will be accepted.

  • One higher education institution from Turkey (Turkey Lead)
  • One higher education institution from the UK (UK Partner)

The application should also include at least one of the following as a supporting partner institution from Turkey:

  • Municipalities 
  • Research and development centres (for-profit organisations can only receive travel reimbursement from the fund) 
  • Development agencies 
  • NGOs 
  • Education think-tanks
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Organised Industrial Zones

6. How can I apply?

The deadline for the submission of applications is Sunday, 31 October 2021, 23:59 Turkey Time (GMT+3). The applications must clearly identify how the proposed activities will contribute to achieving/enhancing the primary themes of the fund. Applications must be sent to and must include: 

  1. Annex 1 – Application Form
  2. Annex 2 – Budget Plan 
  3. Annex 3 – Equal Opportunities Questionnaire
  4. Letters of support from:

     a.Turkey lead institution 
     b.UK partner institution 
     c.Turkey support institution(s)


Activity Date/time
Launch of the Connect4Innovation: UK- Turkey Higher Education Institutional Partnership Fund 1 October 2021
Deadline for clarification questions (Clarification Deadline) 17 October 2021
British Council to respond to clarification questions 20 October 2021
Deadline to submit joint applications (Submission Deadline) 31 October 2021, 23:59 Turkey Time
Final decision 5 November 2021
Contract concluded with winning institutions with signatures from the British Council and winner Turkey leas applicant's institution 12 Novermber 2021
Contract start date 12 November 2021

For submitting the application and clarification questions, please contact: 

Ali Murat Guclu

Education Projects Manager

Mobile Phone: +90 534 352 62 03

*Please feel free to contact us for your accessibility needs for the application.

**Only successful candidates will be notified.