Academic Consortium (AC21): Special Project Fund (SPF)

The Academic Consortium (AC21) Special Project Fund (SPF) was created to promote the development of research and educational exchanges between  AC21 members by providing “seed funding” for a variety of collaborative projects and activities in research as well as in learning and teaching to promote scholarly engagement. In order to seek solutions for the global challenges that we face, the AC21 aims to incorporate the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) as a framework for all AC21 activities and efforts.
Activities funded by the AC21 SPF can include the organization of symposia, workshops, educational (or training) projects, as well as research projects that attempt to include as wide a circle of contacts and participants as possible (partners in higher education or industry, general public) and that aim at laying the foundation for enhanced cooperation in the future.

Funding & duration

  • The award will range from USD $12,000 to USD $15,000, depending on the content of the proposal’s budget
  • The number of AC21 SPF awards per year should range from three to five, based on the review results that the proposals demonstrate high standards across all criteria.
  • To be awarded in February, as a single payment, to a designated bank account


  • AC21 SPF seed funding will only support projects that aim to initiate new or novel collaboration. Projects that have already received AC21 funding are not eligible for additional funding in a future cycle, however successful projects leads or participants are not disqualified from future AC21 SPF applications.
  • Project lead(s) must be academic staff members of an eligible AC21 member institution who hold faculty positions or the equivalent. Administrative or professional staff (e.g. international office, innovation office, etc.) may contribute to the development and implementation of an AC21 SPF proposal. Additionally, input from students may be considered for a proposal, but students are not eligible to apply for the AC21 SPF.
  • AC21 member institutions with outstanding unpaid membership dues (as of September 30 each year) are ineligible to apply for the AC21 SPF, nor should be included as a potential project partner.

Submission requirements & due date

Further information

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