Grant-aided projects


Assessment and Confidence in HE Qualifications included in the NFQ

Call for QQI Anniversary Funded Proposals


Closing date: 17:00 Wednesday 30 November 2022

The call (including the application form) is available here


Exceptionally, to mark its 10th Anniversary, QQI will invest €250k in total in 2022/2023 (extended to 31 March 2024) in projects that will help institutions to build the momentum of assessment scholarship and/or professional development relating to assessment in the context of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). 
In grant aiding projects in this area, we are interested not only in the discrete project outcomes but in fostering a growing community of practice in this area and in making an impact on the professional development of staff involved in assessment in the context of the NFQ. Overall, we wish to help create a platform for enhancing assessment in the context of the NFQ and the reputation of Irish qualifications. 
The field of assessment is vast and to avoid diluting efforts we are calling for proposals that address one or more of the following six topics.

  • Topic 1: Approaches that HE providers can effectively use to determine the validity, reliability and efficiency of their programme assessment strategies in the contexts of intended programme learning outcomes including intended graduate attributes, and their teaching and learning strategies
  • Topic 2: How are degree classifications (grades) calculated and what are the qualitative reasons for the trends in degree classifications profiles?
  • Topic 3: Designing assessment that is robust against academic misconduct
  • Topic 4: McCabe-ICAI Academic Integrity Survey
  • Topic 5: Rethinking assessment following the COVID-19 experience
  • Topic 6: The influence of external examining on assessment

In addition to providing funding, QQI will arrange a set of masterclass events relevant to the topics described in Section 4 of this call for proposals. These will be opportunities for personnel from grant-aided projects to be part of a peer community and network. They will be open to all.

Finally, QQI is planning an initial one-day conference on 30 January 2023 to help build momentum around the topic of assessment. Queries about the call for proposals may be submitted by email to 

Responses to requests for clarification will be published below.

Where an application includes multiple institutions, would the maximum grant aid be still set at €60,000. Can the grant aid be spread over a number of participating institutions for calculation purposes, albeit administered by the lead institution?

The grant-aid can be spread over a number of institutions however the following two statements from the call still apply:
The maximum value of grant aid available for any single project will be €60k and the minimum will be €10k.
The maximum amount of grant aid for any single institution shall be €60k.

Each project requires a separate application, but a project can include sub project elements. 

A collaborative project is limited to 60K in grant aid but that may be spread over multiple institutions (sub-projects if you wish) but the sum total of all grant aid from this scheme to any individual institution would be no greater than €60K with no lower limit if part of a collaborative project, however, note that there is a lower limit of €10k per project.

Two or more institutions may make separate applications for different projects that may involve some collaboration between the institutions. 


  1. [When an institution has multiple campuses does the 60k limit apply to each campus or to the whole institution]
  2. How are the applications ranked per [institution]? If you receive four 30 k applications of equal ranking from [an institution] do you return to the submitters and ask them if a modified budget is possible? 


  1. The 60k limit applies to the whole institution no matter how many campuses it has.
  2. We consider it unlikely that four applications would be equally ranked considering the process we have adopted. Funding under this call will only be made based on applications submitted by the closing time.   

We have a few researchers hoping to put in applications for the QQI Assessment Call.  It is our understanding that a maximum of €60 000 can be awarded per institution. I just want to […] seek clarification if multiple applications can be made under the different themes per institution? 
For this call, the maximum amount of grant aid for any single institution is €60k. Multiple applications can be made by a single institution.


  1. Would a project from April to December 2023 be eligible time frame? Or would an earlier start be preferred? 
  2. Is it possible to use some of the funding to buy out Lecturer timetable time if they are the P.I leading the project, when the lecturer is a permanent member of staff in a HEI
  3. Is it possible to have staff costs for both the P.I and a research assistant covered.
  4. I note the 300 word references requirement. How many references are being sought here and of what nature? Self references?  From a HOD? Head of school? the research office in your institute? the National forum? 
  5. Is it necessary to apply through a collective institute application coordinated within the college, or can individual applications be sent directly to the QQI once endorsed by the relevant HEI research office as indicated in the guidelines? 


  1. Yes, that timeframe is fine. However, note that we have extended the deadline for eligible costs to 31 March 2024.
  2. Yes, because staff costs are eligible in accordance with the call.
  3. Yes, staff costs are eligible in accordance with the call and are not limited to PIs. 
  4. You can include any bibliographical references you wish to support your application using up to 300 words. Other kinds are not required.
  5. Note that as stated in the call, QQI has adopted mutatis mutandis the Irish Research Council GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR-LED AWARDS as the terms and conditions for grants made under this scheme. This means, inter alia, that the letter of offer will be addressed to the host institution. The awardee will be the principal investigator (or project leader for projects that are exclusively concerned with continuing professional development).  Note that these terms and conditions make it impossible for PIs to apply independently of their host institutions. More than one application may have the same host institution. As stated in the call “The maximum amount of grant aid for any single institution shall be €60k.”

[For administrative reasons] a post-doctoral appointment would not commence until April 2023. … In relation to eligible costs, my reading of the guidance is that it is intended for the work undertaken to be completed by Dec-2023, and any expenditure incurred after 2023 is ineligible for recovery. [Would QQI be ] happy with [a] proposal to hire a post-doc which will incur costs into 2024, and that they will be covered under the award. The issue here is, should QQI audit the expenditure under this award then - as per the call guidance - any expenses that were incurred in 2024 are not eligible. In my view [the] way the guidance is currently written means that this includes any post-doc salary costs incurred in 2024. Clarification from the funder on this point would be helpful. 
The interpretation of the guidance is correct. However, we recognise that recruitment can be time consuming and considering this we have decided to extend the deadline for eligible expenditure from 31 December 2023 by three months to 31 March 2024.
We will annotate the call documentation to this effect and issue a notice about this change on social media.

We are interested in submitting a proposal under this call. Could you please advise the format of the submissions?
Noting that The call (including the application form) is available here.
It is stated in the call that “When you have completed your application document you should send it to QQI ( by 17:00 on Wednesday 30 November 2022.”
MS Word and PDF are examples of acceptable file formats. If you need to use another specific file format, please send a further query so that we can check that we can handle it.

I have a query on the section labelled ‘References’ in the application. Can you clarify if this refers to bibliographical references or referees who can vouch for the proposer?
It refers to bibliographical references. It does not refer to referees who can vouch for the proposer.

One FET practitioner asked. “I have been reading the published document and it refers several times to the funding being for HE institutions ............ does it also include FET?”
The title of the call is: “Assessment and Confidence in HE Qualifications included in the NFQ”. This call focusses on confidence in HE qualifications as distinct from FET qualifications.
All project proposals must meet eligibility criteria listed in 2.2. One of these states that: Each project must be led by a higher education institution offering programmes leading to awards included within the NFQ, a PSRB based in Ireland offering programmes at higher education levels, or the USI.
We will in due course be exploring opportunities to support work on assessment in FET institutions with the FET sector and representative bodies.

One HEI asked whether industry can be involved as partners to a submission (providing access to technologies in the form of in-kind support).
Only higher education institutions offering programmes leading to awards included within the NFQ, PSRBs based in Ireland offering programmes at higher education levels, or the USI are eligible to apply for funding of under this scheme. A HEI, for example, can work with industry in the delivery of a project under this scheme but only eligible expenditures (see Section 5 of the call documentation) of the HEI can be funded under the scheme.