The application process comprises a written application and submission of a two-minute video.
What to include in your application
- Your application should tell us how your idea is new, radical or unusual, and how it fits with the mission of Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
- Your application should tell us what you plan to do with the funding and over what time period (at most 18 months).
- Your application is a chance to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm, and tell us why you (and if relevant, other members of your team) are the best person or people to take the idea forward. You should mention your own personal or professional experience.
- Your proposal should detail how much funding you need to develop your idea and how much you are requesting from PHF. We usually provide funding up to £10,000, although we consider funding up to £15,000 in exceptional circumstances.
What the Fund does not support
We have identified the following common reasons why proposals are unsuccessful:
- The proposal is for the delivery of a project or programme of work, not for idea development.
- The proposal is for the delivery of an event.
- The proposal is for the production of a work of art or documentary film.
- The proposal is unclear about how the idea could result in meaningful social change. (Having personal experience of an issue is not enough: you will need to explain how your idea could lead to social impact beyond a few individuals or an immediate peer group.)
- The idea is not at an early stage, for example it has already been piloted.
- The proposed idea does not have a clear public benefit or charitable purpose.
- The proposed idea is not new, innovative, unusual or radical.
- The proposal is to adapt an approach that is already working or has been tried elsewhere in the UK.
- The idea is very small scale and localised, without the potential for wider impact beyond a handful of people.
- The people involved in developing and presenting the proposal do not sufficiently articulate why they are the right people to take the work forward, and / or did not provide evidence of their commitment, passion and drive.
In addition to PHF’s general exclusions, the Ideas and Pioneers Fund will not support:
- Applications from individuals aged under 18 years.
- Applications that do not have an individual lead contact who is directly involved with the work.
- If you are hosted by a support organisation, such as an incubator or think tank, which has more than five staff, we are not expecting to fund a percentage of overhead costs of the host organisation. (In some circumstances, staff from host organisations may act as consultants providing clearly defined support to projects.)
- We will not reconsider proposals for ideas which we have previously considered and turned down, unless we’ve explicitly invited you to re-submit your proposal. You may submit a new idea at any time. We can only accept one proposal to the Ideas and Pioneers Fund from an individual, team or organisation at any one time – and you can only hold one grant under the Fund.
How to apply
Applications to the Ideas and Pioneers Fund are made online. To access the online application, click on the orange ‘Apply’ button to the left of the screen. Before completing your application, we encourage you to read the Fund guidance in full.
As part of the application process we ask you to send us three things:
- A short written application via a simple online form. Please use simple language, explain abbreviations and avoid jargon. Remember that the person reviewing your application may not have specialist knowledge of the issue or area you are working on, so make sure your idea can be clearly understood. You will be able to save a draft of your form part-way through and come back to it at a later date.
- A two-minute video, as a way to explain your idea and convince us that you are the right person to make it happen. The majority of the video should be the lead applicant speaking to the camera, in the style of a webcam or Skype conversation. We aren’t interested in production value or the way you make this film: we want to start to get to know the person or people behind the idea. You will need to upload your finished film to the video sharing site Vimeo. As part of the online written form, you will be asked to send us a weblink to your video, along with any passwords. For top tips on how to make your video, read this blog.
- An optional equalities monitoring questionnaire which we use to ensure our processes are fair and promote equality of opportunity. This information is not considered as part of your application and will not be seen by anyone directly involved in making a decision about your proposal. Any information provided will be treated as strictly confidential and will be used for statistical monitoring purposes only. No information will be published or used in any way which allows any individual to be identified. If there is an aspect of your personal circumstances or background that you do want us to take into account as a part of your proposal (e.g. if you have lived experience of the issue your idea addresses), please also include this information in your video or written application.
We will not be able to answer individual questions before we receive your application. For further information about our online application system please visit our Applying for Funding page. If you notice a problem with the application materials, please email email@example.com.
If you need support to be able to complete the application process, for example due to a disability, please get in touch and we will be happy to make reasonable adjustments.
The Ideas and Pioneers Fund has no deadlines to submit an application.
We will notify you within 12 weeks of submitting your application whether or not your application has been successful or not.