HEFCE logo1. On 30 September 2013, the Minister for Universities and Science announced a £200 million fund from Government, to be matched by institutions and other sources, for investment in science and engineering teaching facilities (‘£400 million will help science and engineering students get ahead in the global race and encourage more women to study these subjects’). We received confirmation of this funding in our grant letter in February 2014, and then a separate letter with further instructions about its use (see Annex C below).

2. This letter sets out our initial proposals for the processes that will underpin distribution of this fund. We do not require a response to this letter, but welcome feedback on our approach, including the criteria proposed for the competitive element. We intend to publish full details of the scheme, and where appropriate invite bids, after our proposals (informed by responses to this letter) are agreed by the HEFCE Board in July. This letter includes a provisional timetable for this process to enable institutions to plan for the development and submission of bids.

3. Capital funding is currently distributed in a variety of ways – through both formulaic and specific capital funding initiatives (such as this exercise). We continue to remain committed to allocating some capital funding through formulaic processes, and compliance with the Capital Investment Framework (CIF) is a key factor in this for higher education institutions. In response to Government priorities, however, increasing amounts of capital funding have been allocated competitively. While the criteria and process outlined in this letter relate solely to this fund and do not affect other allocations for capital, we are also considering how we may take a more strategic overview of different capital funding streams in the future.

4. Any feedback or questions should be addressed to stemcapital@hefce.ac.uk by 31 March 2014. More...