Grant Awards with Digital Xtra Fund

Since its inception in 2016, Digital Xtra Fund has awarded £725,000 in grants to 102 high-quality, exciting extracurricular computing and digital technologies initiatives across Scotland. This funding has helped engage nearly 45,000 young people in tech. This year, Digital Xtra Fund awarded 22 grants to schools and organisations who are projected to engage another 7,292 young people during the 2021/22 academic year and showed them the breadth of opportunities these skills can provide.

Digital Xtra Fund is pleased announce applications for the seventh round of grant awards – which will support initiatives during the 2022/23 academic year – are now open! Once again, grants of up to £5,000 are available for extracurricular activity providers that teach children and young people skills and concepts such as coding, computational thinking, digital creativity, data science and cyber security and help inspire Scotland’s next generation of digital makers, leaders and technologists.

What we want to achieve

The core objective of Digital Xtra Fund is to inspire young people to learn digital technologies skills through high quality, exciting extracurricular activities, thus expanding the talent pipeline of young people who study technology related disciplines and ultimately pursue a career in digital technologies. All initiatives supported by the Fund must meet this objective as well as any number of the Fund’s secondary objectives.

Applications are being sought for initiatives which tangibly demonstrate exciting and stimulating ways of engaging young people in areas such as coding, robotics, data science, or cyber skills. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how participants will understand and create with technology, not simply use it, and what digital tech skills they will learn. In particular, Digital Xtra Fund is keen to support projects which appeal to:

  • audiences from areas often excluded from digital tech activities through lack of local facilities or geography (i.e. areas of high deprivation and/or rural isolation)
  • groups underrepresented in the digital technologies sector (i.e. girls and young women and/or minority groups)
  • audiences currently unengaged in digital technologies

 

Activities which provide project-based learning and ‘real-world’ context for the skills being learnt and promote industry engagement or highlight career pathways are particularly of interest. Partnerships with other organisations such as industry, industry bodies, charities, schools, other extracurricular activity providers, etc. are strongly encouraged to help achieve this aim.

The Digital Xtra Fund grant awards are made possible by the generous support of the Fund’s Partners. The commonality across Digital Xtra Fund and our Partners is a will to engage and inspire more young people to understand and create with digital technologies and give them the skills needed to succeed in an increasingly digital world. In addition to providing financial support, many of the Fund’s Partners will also help successful applicants via employee engagement, further contextualising skills and promoting various career pathways.

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Cutout 2016

To be eligible for a Digital Xtra Fund grant award, applicants must demonstrate:

  • Main Applicant is a UK registered company, registered charity, chartered body, local authority, school, college, or university actively involved in the provision of computing education and/or digital technologies related activities for young people
  • The proposed initiative meets the Core Objective of Digital Xtra Fund
  • The grant requested is between £500 and £5,000
  • The primary audience are young people aged 16 years and under
  • The proposed initiative will commence after 1 July 2022 and be completed by 30 June 2023
  • The proposed initiative will be delivered entirely in Scotland
  • The activity is considered ‘extracurricular’ in nature

An extracurricular activity is any activity that enables young people to learn digital technologies skills outside the realm of the core school education curriculum; whilst providing a safe, fun, and sociable environment.

Activities delivered in a school environment – such as youth organisations, after-school or lunchtime clubs, or touring programmes – are defined as extracurricular provided they do not form part of core school curriculum daily activity.

Activities which relate only to the use of technology or that teach entry-level or basic digital literacy skills are excluded from this funding.

What we are looking for

Digital Xtra Fund will be looking for evidence that the grant is needed, is of value, and that the activity will provide a positive impact on the provision of extracurricular digital technologies and computing science activity across Scotland for young people aged 16 years and under.

Applicants will need to clearly demonstrate how the proposed activity aligns with the objectives of Digital Xtra Fund and well as:

  • Define measurable and realistic targets and outcomes for the proposed project
  • Indicate how participants will learn about the proposed project and become involved
  • Explore partnerships with industry and other key stakeholders to generate synergy
  • Outline plans to sustain and/or develop the activity post grant
  • Provide a project plan including key personnel, budget, and key milestones
  • Provide post-project evaluation

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Round VII (2022/23) Grant Awards

Applications for the seventh round of grant awards are now closed!

Thank you to all those who applied. We look forward to reading all the fantastic ideas of how to engage more young people in tech in 2022/23!

Following an evaluation period throughout April and May, selected applicants will be invited to go through a due diligence process in June before grants are awarded.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application following this process.

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