Unite! University Alliance Launches Seed Fund to Foster Collaborative Teaching, Research and Student Activities

Unite! offers financial boost for innovative ideas from teachers, researchers and students across the Unite! alliance of nine European universities.
The image shows a jar of coins with a green plant growing from it. Text Unite! Seed Fund 2023.

The seed fund is a new initiative of the Unite! University Alliance to stimulate and support bottom-up proposals by teachers, researchers and students for collaborative activities and help form sustainable academic and student communities across the nine Unite! universities.

Unite! wants to activate the co-creation of e.g. joint research projects, study offers, blended intensive programmes, long-term collaborations in teaching and/or research units as well as extra-curricular or intercultural activities by students.

Applications for Teaching & Learning and Research & PhD seed fund

  • must include at least three Unite! member universities
  • deadline for application 31 May, 2023
  • up to 10 000 Euros for "exploration" activities like for establishing contacts and formulating collaboration ideas
  • up to 80 000 Euros for development activities like building blended/joint courses or developing joint research proposals

For student activities there must be students from at least two Unite! universities. The maximum amount of funding for a proposal is 20 000 Euros. The deadline for applications is 15 May, 2023.

There will be one call annually for Unite! Seed Funds for Teaching & Learning and Research & PhD. Student Activitieswill have bi-annual calls. The funding decisions from the first call are expected by 30 June 2023.

How to apply?

Below you can find the call proposal descriptions for three categories - Research & PhD, Teaching & Learning and Student activities. 

During the application preparation phase, please contact Unite! Key Liaison Officer at Aalto, Minna-Kaarina Forssén, so that we are able to coordinate applications from Aalto. Supporting document from the dean of your school or head of unit should be attached to your application. This applies to applications for the Teaching & Learning as well as Research & PhD categories, not student applications. 

Application forms for Research & PhD 

Application forms for Teaching & Learning 

Application forms for Student Activities

Frequently asked questions 

1.  Who can apply?

Funding Line: Teaching and Learning

  • Teachers (Professors, academic staff)
  • Teaching & Learning units

Funding Line: Research and PhD

  • Doctoral Researchers
  • Early-career Researchers (e.g., Post-docs, Ad-hoc lecturer/professor etc.)
  • Research Units (i.e., Doctoral Schools/programmes, Research centres, PhD communities etc.) 
  • Tenured Researchers (e.g., Professors, Associate Professors etc.)

Funding Line: Student Activity

  • Under- and Postgraduate students (including PhD Students)
  • Student organisations/associations
  • Units and service centres of Unite! Universities (such as sports unions, language centres etc.)

2.  What can be funded?

  • Personnel costs should be included with clear justification (e.g., organisational tasks, conceptualising, preparatory work, accrediting, applying, setting up conditions)
  • Travel expenses (sustainable modes of travel preferred, Erasmus+ mobility schemes should be used wherever possible)
  • Other costs that can be funded include material resources, research consumables, on-site/blended workshops, external service providers (e.g., moderators, language services).
  • Acquisition of large technical equipment and replacement of standard equipment is excluded.

Funding Line: Teaching and Learning

  • Staff cost for teaching or grants/stipends for students are not funded.

Funding Line: Research and PhD

  • Costs for PhD or Post-doc stipends are not funded.

Funding Line: Student Activity

  • Student grants or remuneration are excluded from funding.

3.  What are the application requirements?

Funding Line: Teaching and Learning & Research and PhD

Applications must comprise of research/academic staff or teachers or teaching units from at least three UNITE! member universities.     

Funding Line: Student Activity

Applications must comprise of at least students or student organisations from two UNITE! Member universities.

4.  What are the necessary supporting documents?

Funding Line: Teaching and Learning & Research and PhD

Supporting documents by the dean of studies of the participating departments of the universities.

Funding Line: Student Activity

Supporting documents by the student organisations, department/unit heads wherever deemed necessary.

5.  When is the application deadline?

Funding Line: Teaching and Learning & Research and PhD (annual call)

Due date: 31 May 2023

Funding Line: Student Activity (bi-annual call)

Due date: 15 May 2023 (first funding cycle)

6.  When are the evaluation decisions expected?

Funding Line: Teaching and Learning & Research and PhD

Decision will be taken by 30 June 2023

Funding Line: Student Activity

Decision will be taken by 15 June 2023

7.  Who should be contacted for application guidance and further questions?

Inquiries can be emailed to: [email protected]

Please also contact Minna-Kaarina Forssén, Key Liaison Officer for Unite! at Aalto 

8.  How should the applications be submitted?

  • Application form (Max. 3 A4 pages+ signatures additional as PDF) along with budget table for the funding measure you are applying; should be uploaded on the submission folders provided on Metacampus.
  • Applications can also be emailed to: [email protected] 
  • Please use the following format for submitted files: Application_Funding Measure_USF_Coordinating University Name (e.g Application_R-PhD_USF_TUDa.pdf, Budget_T-L_USF_UPC.xlsx, etc.) 

Link to application guidelines and forms on Metacampus


For Teaching and Learning – contact [email protected]

For Reseach and PhD – contact [email protected]

For Student activities – contact [email protected]

Unite! University Alliance

Aalto University is a member of Unite! alliance together with eight other European universities.

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