OpenBright Awards are grants to women for projects in computing. To be eligible for an OpenBright Award you would be studying, or planning to study computing or a tech-related subject at one of our partner universities; have a project or research idea that you need funding for; be a UK resident; and identify as a woman.

There are typically two Calls per academic year – one in the Autumn and a second in Spring.

Yes – please see the banner at the top of this page for the latest information about dates and deadlines.

You can ask for as much funding as you need to undertake your project – this can include any equipment if you need it. Please provide full costings in the application form where requested. We don’t want to be prescriptive, but as a rough guide, we would expect to fund Awards that are more than £250 but less than £5,000.
You can use the Award to cover the costs of anything that will help you to undertake your project, for instance, purchase of specialist equipment, books or training; travel/subsistence for attending a conference, meeting or networking event; paying for external mentoring or consultancy; or simply the time and space to explore, experiment and innovate.
We would expect your project to lead to an academic outcome such as a report, dissertation, or thesis; but appreciate that there may be other relevant and tangible outcomes such as artefacts, applications, demonstrations and prototypes.

OpenBright funding is awarded for you to undertake an agreed project. If by changing course, your funded project is no longer possible, you must discuss this with us as soon as possible so we can come to a mutual agreement about the best way forward.   Before you can receive an Award, you must agree to the OpenBright terms and conditions for that Award.

Yes – all applications will be considered on their own merit, regardless of previous rejection or receipt of previous OpenBright Awards or grants from elsewhere.

No – we only accept one application per person per Call. If you have submitted your application in error, or wish to withdraw it and start again, please let us know using the contact form..

Yes – but we would expect the element of the project that is funded by the existing Award to have already been successfully completed before you apply for another Award.

Yes – all applications will be considered on their own merit, and in relation to the project being proposed, regardless of previous rejection or receipt of previous OpenBright Awards.

Yes – but please bear in mind that we want our Awards to inspire women to explore new ideas, showcase and celebrate research by women and to support interesting and potentially innovative projects.

Yes – please provide a breakdown of costs by uploading these on an Excel spreadsheet or similar.  This element is important, and can have a significant influence on whether you receive an Award or not.  Please be as thorough as you can – we know that project plans can evolve and you might not know the exact numbers at the time of your application, but you should include as much detail as you can.  Links to examples of products and services that you are requesting funding for should be included. 

We would expect you to spend the Award within 12 months of the date of receipt. You are welcome to apply again to another year’s Call if your project is longer than 12 months.
Our grants are to help women develop university-level research in computing as part of their undergraduate, masters or PhD studies. We want our funding to inspire women to explore new ideas, showcase and celebrate research by women and to support interesting and potentially innovative projects. We expect the projects we fund to lead to tangible output or artefact such as a report, thesis, application, demonstration, or prototype.
No – we are happy to accept working titles at application stage as we understand that your ideas about the work might change as you explore your area of interest.
Any eligible undergraduate or postgraduate student with a project idea can apply for funding from OpenBright.
No – any eligible undergraduate or postgraduate student with a project idea may apply for funding from OpenBright.
No – but we will need evidence (via tutor sign-off on application) that the project/student is supported by the university.
Potentially, yes – but we would need you to confirm in your application that the project has been actively discussed with a member of university staff and that there is university support/supervision in place if needed.
Yes – we would welcome these sorts of ideas for project funding, as long as you can confirm you have university support for the idea, and supervision in place if needed.
Yes – you will need to discuss your project idea with a relevant university tutor or supervisor before you apply. You might want to look at the online application form questions with them and make sure they give consent for you to share their contact details with OpenBright.
We want to make sure that every application is supported by your university. This means that there is someone available at your university (e.g. a tutor or supervisor) who can confirm that you are a current student; and who can provide advice and support to you and your project for the duration of the funding.

The Q&A session is a chance for OpenBright Trustees to meet you and find out more about your project idea. These meetings will be held via an online meeting platform, such as Google Meet or Zoom. You will be given a 20 minute timeslot. After introductions, we’d like you to talk through your project idea for a few minutes. Our Trustees will then discuss your application with you and ask any questions they might have. You can ask us questions too.

Yes of course, if you would find that helpful.

About 20 minutes – half an hour at the maximum.

We will try to let you know by the end of the week of the Q&A session – i.e. if the Q&A session is on a Wednesday, we would try to email you by Friday.

The Trustees’ decision is final and there is no possibility to appeal. However you are welcome to apply again in a future Call if you wish.

We will normally expect to transfer your Award to your university as soon as possible following the Q&A
session, and once you have accepted our offer. Your university will then transfer the funds directly to you.

At the end of the project, we ask you to complete a questionnaire telling us about the results and outputs of the funded work. This typically takes about 20 minutes.  We are also interested in the output of your project.

Yes – this is of great interest and will definitely be something we would like to pursue. With your consent, we’d very much like to keep in touch with you and may contact you after your Award for feedback purposes. Awardees may also be asked to take part in publicity and engage with us on social media.

We are hoping to set up networking events and will make sure that people can stay in touch if they want to. We are very keen to keep in touch with OpenBright Alumni as the number of Awards we give out grows.

Women make up 51% of the UK population but this is not reflected in computing research, training, careers, industry and ethics. OpenBright want to help address this gender gap by supporting women students to explore new ideas and undertake projects in areas that they may otherwise not have considered. We want women’s ideas and research to be celebrated, showcased and rewarded and we hope that our OpenBright Awards will help with this. In the longer term we hope that OpenBright Awards will help more women to enter and stay working in the computing industry and contribute to technology and products that better reflect the interests, needs and voices of women.

Any Questions?

Please see our FAQs first, or contact your university in the first instance. If you still have a question, you can get in touch with us by email or fill in the online contact form