Frequently Asked Question
Here, we have compiled some commonly asked questions to provide you with quick and helpful answers about our organization and its mission. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team.
Who will be funded by FREE STEM Fund?
FREE STEM will invest in organisations and groups that are directly supporting and targeting the following participants:
All girls and women, particularly those from underrepresented groups & minority communities, and transgender and non-binary people including but not limited to; black, indigenous, people of colour, LGBTIQ+, people with disabilities, sex workers, refugees, rural and marginalised urban communities, migrants or those who are stateless, people who face caste-based oppression.
We anticipate a high number of applications to FREE STEM Fund, therefore we may decide to prioritise applications for funding. Therefore, priority will be given to underrepresented and traditionally excluded groups.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
We will be opening up to applications from groups situated in the Global South.
If applicants meet all of the following criteria, they can apply for FREE STEM:
Your organisation, collective, or group must consist of a minimum of 3 people.
Your organisation or group must align with the mission and vision of FREE STEM.
Your project proposal must focus on the target group, and include and align with at least one of the Thematic Parameters of FREE STEM.
Your organisation or group must have at least 60% of women, transgender and/or non-binary people in leadership positions. Priority will be given to women-led, transgender-led and non-binary-led organisations.
Your annual organisational income for 2022 must be a maximum of €150,000. Priority will be given to grassroots organisations.
What does free stem not support?
Large scale/capital intensive infrastructure
Initiatives/collectives/groups/organisations founded by or dependent on political parties or government agencies/institutions
Initiatives/collectives/groups/organisations who discriminate based on political or religious views
Applications from individuals
Initiatives/collectives/groups/organisations based in the Global North
Who is the FREE STEM targeting?
The FREE STEM fund provides direct grants to:
Registered and unregistered* initiatives, groups, collectives, and organisations with a focus on the rights of girls, women, transgender and non-binary people and STEM.
*Please note that if you are applying for funds larger than €10,000 and you are unregistered, you would need to name a registered organisation who can act as your fiscal sponsor.
What is a fiscal sponsor and when would we need to use one?
A fiscal sponsor is a registered organisation that can act as a host for unregistered groups who apply for over €10 000 (Molecule or Cell). The fiscal sponsor will receive the funding in their bank account and then transfer the grant to the group that applied. This ensures that Women Win can send the funding safely. The fiscal sponsor has no responsibilities other than acting as a financial middle ground between Women Win and the group applying.
We are an organisation/group led by both women and men - can we still apply?
Yes, you may apply, however please note only organisations that must have at least 60% of women, transgender or non-binary people in leadership positions.
Our organisation/group doesn't have a legal status - can we still apply?
Yes, your organisation/group can still apply even if you're not legally registered. If you apply for a grant above €10 000 (Molecule or Cell) then you would need a fiscal sponsor to support your application.
Can we apply for the FREE STEM Fund in our own language?
At this time, we are only accepting applications in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.
What is the FREE STEM Fund selection process?
The FREE STEM Fund selection process has the following phases:
An eligibility screening process will be conducted by Women Win staff to filter out any obvious ineligibility.
A screening process will be conducted by the FREE STEM Regional Peer Panels in order to create a longlist of organisations and groups.
Selected longlisted applicants will be invited to send in a full application.
The Regional Peer Panels will create a shortlist from these applicants,
This shortlist will then be sent to the FREE STEM Advisory Committee, who will review the applications and make a final decision on which organisations and groups will receive funding.
This shortlist will go through due diligence and then be informed of their successful application
Can we submit our application form by email?
Where possible, we would prefer applications to be submitted using the online form on our website. However, if you are having any issues in submitting this form, please reach out to us on the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also download the application form as a PDF in case you would like to have a look at it beforehand.
What do you mean by annual income and what currency do you use?
Annual income is the amount of funding your organisation or group receives in a fiscal year for its operations, excluding any physical assets that you may have. We are asking organisations and groups to indicate their annual income from 2022. We are asking for this to be submitted in Euros. A link to a currency converter will be provided within the application form to support you with this.
How can we use the FREE STEM funding?
The FREE STEM Fund will fund initiatives and projects. This will require project plans and budgets.
What is the maximum amount of funding we can request?
Organisations and groups can apply for the following models: Atom (Up to 10,000 EUR), Molecule (Up to 30,000 EUR), and Cell (Up to 50,000 EUR). See more details here.
Please note that if you are applying for funds larger than €10,000 (Molecule or Cell) and you are unregistered, you would need to name a registered organisation who can act as your fiscal sponsor.
Do we need to have a bank account to be able to receive funds?
Yes, it is preferable that you have access to an organisational bank account, in order to receive international transfers. Individuals can receive funds for an organisation but will need to sign extra documentation and due diligence to receive funds.
Is this the only call for applications?
This will be the only call for FREE STEM Fund applications in 2023. However, we anticipate that another call for applications will open at the end of 2024. Join our mailing list below to receive updates.
What information will be collected from applicants, and who has access to this information?
Within the application form, we ask for the contact details (name, email address and telephone number) of someone from your organisation or group, as well as the contact details of a reference. Only Women Win, the Regional Peer Panels and the Advisory Committee will have access to this information. Additionally, we will ask for some general information about your organisation/group.