FUND is a project to encourage city-level collaborations and networks to create science dialogue and engagement activities which build and innovate on the PlayDecide discussion activity format. It combines an online, open source platform for the creation and adaption of discussion materials with a support system providing training, guidelines, best practices and knowledge transfer.

The microFUNDs

FUND will make available 15 small subsidies of up to € 2500 (called “microFUNDs”) to stimulate new forms of public engagement with science and to forge long-term partnerships between local networks and organizations to address local issues of mutual interest. Applicants will therefore be asked to take on the role of a "broker" that connects local, city-based networks and organizations, and leverages these new connections set in place with the help of the grant

Examples of the type of activities that can be supported with a microFUND include:

  • workshops and other activities to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between local actors;
  • translations of existing PlayDecide activities, methods and formats into new languages and new platforms of use;
  • adaptations of dialogue tools and methods for new audiences and user groups.
  • studies to provide baseline data about the use of PlayDecide and / or the FUND web platform;

The requirements for a microFUND are simple: propose an activity which innovates on the PlayDecide format (in terms of structure, content, method or delivery for example) and that stimulates exisiting or new networks at the city level. The objective therefore is not to develop only an event, for example, but to show how that event can catalyse a new collaboration between local players where dialogue is central. The microFUNDs are relatively small so it's important to be creative and efficient, and think of it like "seed money" rather than as a grant.

All activities must:

  1. relate to a science topic or issue that is relevant to the region or to the local community; this includes natural and social sciences;
  2. include a deliberative event based on the adaptations and innovations to the PlayDecide format and the tools on the FUND platform;
  3. engage new audiences that the existing networks or organizations do not yet reach.

Evaluation criteria

The requests for a microFUND will also be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • nature of the partnership and network potential; the activities supported by a microFUND will enable collaboration at local level with at least 2 other actors. These can be for example local administrations, museums, universities, networks, associations, community groups, NGOs, public/private research organizations etc.
  • audience: the proposal should aim to engage new audiences that are not currently being reached by the networks or organisations running the project.
  • impact: the way that feedback and results will be used in a political or social process, and the (social) media strategy for the proposed activities;
  • innovation: the degree of innovation on the PlayDecide format and/or the degree of innovation in the context in which PlayDecide is used;
  • the principle of best value for money;
  • Preference will be given to applications where the proposed activities are original, self-contained and fully supported within the budget of the microFUND. In the case of already existing programs and operations, applicants should clearly demonstrate the added value of the microFUND.

All activities will be documented using the tools available on the FUND web platform.

Individuals and organizations can apply; if an applicant is not from a EU member state, associate country or candidate country, the application must clearly identify its contribution to the objectives of the 7th Framework Programme for European Research.

Special note

For applicants from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Nepal, Serbia, Thailand, and Uganda:

MicroFUND applications from these countries may also be considered for funding under the Open Society Youth Action Fund. Requests for MicroFUNDs that are in line with the scope and criteria of the Open Society Youth Action Fund will be passed to the Open Society for further consideration.

Applying for a microFUND

To apply for a MicroFUND, create an account first. This will take only a minute.

You will then be able to submit your application using the application form. The text must explain the nature of the action supported by the microFUND, its development process and the intended goals, on the basis of the evaluation criteria above.
Applications must include the following sections :

  • Description of the events and of the topic to be covered;
  • Budget and allocation of resources;
  • Timeline of the main activities and implementation steps;
  • The Partners and networks that will be involved, with a short description of their roles and current activities;
  • The individual and/or organizational purpose and rationale for taking part to the action supported by the microFUND.

The deadline for applying is 15 March 2010. Applicants will be notified by 31 March 2010, and the MicroFUNDs will be assigned by 15 April 2010. The activities supported by the MicroFUNDs must be completed before 30 November 2010.

Make sure to check out the PlayDecide page on Facebook to find useful resources to prepare your application.