Digital Learning Innovation Fund

India/UK Together, a Season of Culture is a landmark programme that will take place in India and the UK from June 2022 to March 2023. It celebrates and strengthens the bilateral relationship, friendship and vibrant educational and cultural bonds between the two countries, while addressing shared global challenges. It also marks the 75th anniversary of India. 

As a part of this programme, we have initiated a new project ‘Celebrating a shared heritage’, that demonstrates commitment to strengthening cultural relations between India and the UK in English language teaching, learning and assessment. This open call is a part of this project.

We are inviting collaborative applications in response to this open call from organisations across the UK and India. In light of the impact of Covid-19, which has accelerated the digital transformation in education delivery in India, we seek applications which spark innovation, and inspire new ways of working, through a digital-first approach effectively using EdTech for teaching and learning English.

We welcome action-focused responses that:

  • tackle issues of digital equity and access to education
  • spark or feature innovation in English teaching and learning
  • showcase collaboration between India and the UK
  • support post Covid-19 recovery in the context of English teaching and learning in India.

Grant amount: GBP 20,000 to GBP 25,000 per project

Application deadline: Wednesday 27 July 2022 by midnight India time


Theme 1: Communities of Practice

This can include Communities of Practice (CoPs) for a specific topic or area (such as Special Educational Needs, assessment, multilingualism etc.) for a specific audience (such as teachers or teacher educators). These can include, CoPs on a bespoke platform or on social media.

Theme 2: Research

This can include applications for research such as the intersection between technology and areas like Special Educational Needs, assessment, multilingualism etc. Insight that responds to specific questions not yet investigated in India are welcomed. In addition, a focus area that influences an aspect of policy or assists in implementing the National Education Policy 2020.

Theme 3: Trials and/or Pilot project implementation

We welcome action-focused responses, which tackle issues of digital equity and access to education, push boundaries and are a catalyst for real change, supporting post Covid-19 recovery. We are interested in ideas that are evidence-based, have longevity and/or the potential to be scaled up or generate learning for India and similar countries.

Who can apply

This ‘Digital Learning Innovation Fund’ is designed to support collaborations between the UK and India. Refer to the call document. Key points are:

  • There must be at least one partner in the UK and one from India.
  • Apply for between £20,000 to £25,000 (all inclusive), up to a maximum value of £25,000 per project.
  • Applications should be jointly submitted and signed by all named collaborators, with one principal applicant e.g., a lead UK partner organisation.
  • Organisations and/or informal collectives/networks are eligible to apply but should have demonstrable experience of managing similar projects and grants.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate clear benefit to India and meet the ODA and gender criteria.
  • Embed principles of equality, diversity and inclusion through their core proposal and idea.
  • Project duration: 15 July 2022 with the main activity complete by 31 January 2023.
  • If relevant to their project idea, applicants must ensure their idea is compatible with platforms available in India. 
  • Successful applicants will own the copyright of any work created but must grant the British Council, as the commissioning partners, free and unequivocal use of any arising outputs, which may include promotion of works through our digital channels or exhibiting works in the future. 

How to apply

Complete and submit the accompanying Microsoft Word version of the application form to: with a cc to

Application documents should include:

  • Application Form
  • Budget Form

Application deadline: Wednesday 27 July 2022 by midnight India time.

Applications submitted after this date may not be considered by the reviewing panel.

For questions, please email with a cc to

Applicants who may have additional accessibility needs and would prefer to submit their application in another format should get in touch in advance. We will endeavour to do everything we can to accommodate any needs.

Selection criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a panel from the British Council. Our assessment of successful applicants will be based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation – the quality and innovative nature of the idea and approach, alignment to the evidence base around what we know works, especially in EdTech and innovation, and ability to solve a specific challenge or need within the India education system (30%)
  • Collaboration – the partners involved and the nature of the collaboration, with a particular emphasis on the level of mutuality within the partnership (20%)
  • Impact – the potential impact this innovation will have on the partners and audiences involved including ability to meet ODA and gender criteria, as well as potential for additional learning, scaling up or further development beyond the scope of this innovation (20%)
  • Quality – the experience of the applicants in delivering high quality work (15%)
  • Budget – the extent to which costings are appropriately calculated, reflect good value for money, are relevant to the proposed approach and are distributed amongst partners (15%)

The panel, comprising representatives from the British Council, will consider all applicants to ensure a diverse selection are supported. This will include achieving a geographical spread across the UK and India, the type and format of the response.

As this fund is an Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) fund, all innovations must meet the ODA and gender eligibility criteria (see Open call document below).

We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. This includes taking an inclusive approach to the development of your idea and when considering the audiences you want to reach. We expect to engage with individuals and organisations of different genders, ethnicities, sexualities, abilities and ages either directly through the commission – or indirectly through your project audiences.

We are also committed to UK Government and wider donor ‘Principles for Digital Development’