Application and assessment information for the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund

How to apply for funding from the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund and how applications are assessed.

Who can apply

Application guidelines including key dates, eligibility and assessment criteria are detailed in the Fund’s Call for Proposals which is updated and reissued each investment round.   

For a proposal submitted to an investment round to be considered for assessment it must meet the eligibility criteria for proposals set out in the Fund’s Call for Proposals issued for that investment round.

Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable Fund: 2023 Call for proposals [PDF, 1.2 MB]

See our Document library to view the Call for Proposals and other documents supporting previous investment rounds.

Curious Minds documents in the Document library(external link)

Successful 2022 Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund investment round proposals

Important dates

Date Event
Wednesday 29 June 2022 IMS opens for proposal registrations
Wednesday 29 June 2022 IMS opens for proposals
Tuesday 2 August 2022 | 12:00pm Registration period closes
Wednesday 31 August 2022 | 12:00pm Submission period for proposals closes
September 2022 Assessment of proposals
November 2022 with contracting into January 2023 Investment funding decisions announced and contracting starts
Tuesday, 1 February 2023 Contracted work programmes commence

Dates are subject to change.

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Essential documents

Conflicts of interest

Before the proposal submission closing date, we will publish the:

  • names and biographies of the assessors selected to assess all eligible proposals
  • names and biographies of the UCM Panel members.

If you identify a potential conflict of interest with your application, email us with the following details as soon as possible so we can look into it and reassign assessors as necessary:

  • your application reference
  • your contact phone number 
  • the assessor’s name or names
  • the reason for your concern.

Contact us

For proposal queries, email

For IMS queries, email or call 0800 693 778 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Last updated: 28 June 2022