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Who Can Apply

FREE STEM FUND AIMS TO provide direct grants to:

Registered and unregistered initiatives, groups, collectives, and organisations focused on the rights on girls, women, transgender and non-binary people.

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

FREE STEM will fund work in the following regions: Africa, Asia, Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Caribbean.

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thematic areas

FREE STEM will fund proposals to ensure girls, women, transgender and non-binary people are widely represented in, and empowered to thrive in and advance the STEM sector. In particular, it is envisioned that FREE STEM will support proposals that take into account the following:

advocacy & awareness

Advocate for equal opportunity in STEM fields while raising awareness about the diverse opportunities and benefits for girls, women, transgender and non-binary people in STEM fields at both an individual and community level.

SAFETY

Improve girls’, women’s, transgender and non-binary people’s access to safety by addressing gender-based violence*, freedom of movement and digital security in STEM fields and in the community.

*This includes emotional, psychological and physical violence 

CONFIDENCE & LEADERSHIP

Expand girls’, women’s, transgender and non-binary people’s soft skills, representation, voice, and decision-making within STEM.

HEALTH & WELLBEING

Increase access to mental and physical wellbeing services such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, proper nutrition, family planning, mental health, social wellbeing and providing access to key (health-related) services for girls, women, transgender and non-binary people within the STEM field.

ROLE MODELS & NETWORKS

Create STEM role models and provide girls, women, transgender and non-binary people with a support network, including through mentorship programmes. 

CAREERS

Develop STEM skills that will allow girls, women, and non-binary people to become an integral part in the STEM career market in academia, industry and entrepreneurship.

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Increase girls’, women’s, transgender and non-binary people’s access to and support in STEM subjects and training, such as digital literacy and STEM subject tutoring.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Ensure girls, women, transgender and non-binary people can access financial information, products and services that enable them to create a future in STEM

TIME & ACCESSIBILITY

Ensuring girls, women, transgender and non-binary people have the logistical and infrastructural means to pursue opportunities in STEM.
 

*The disproportionate burden of unpaid work on women and girls leads to significant time poverty. This makes it difficult to attend school or other training opportunities, take part in paid work and participate in social and community-building activities and access parental related rights and benefits.

ApPLICATION TIMELINE

applications open november 15, 2023

Applications close december 15, 2023

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longlisted candidates will be invited for a full application in January 2024

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full applications are scored by the regional peer panels and advisory committee in february 2024

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applicants informed and contracted by April 2024

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What will be funded by FREE sTEM?

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.

Registered and unregistered* initiatives, groups, collectives, and organisations with a focus on the rights of girls, women, transgender and non-binary people can apply for the following models:

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      AtoM 
  • Up to 10,000 EUR

    • New groups / organisations

    • Aimed at new or smaller initiatives to address gender equity in STEM

    • Does not require registration nor a fiscal sponsor

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  • Up to 30,000 EUR

    • Either:

      • Minimum 1 year demonstrable experience implementing STEM x gender equity projects OR

      • Minimum 3 years of demonstrable experience in one of the Thematic Areas (see above)

    • If a group/organisation is unregistered and applies for more than 10,000 EUR, they will need a fiscal sponsor.

       Cell
  • Up to 50,000 EUR

    • Aimed at sustaining or expanding existing STEM x gender equity projects

    • Minimum 2 years demonstrable experience implementing STEM gender equity projects.

    • If a group/organisation is unregistered and applies for more than 10,000 EUR, they will need a fiscal sponsor. 

*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. Please see the FAQs for more information on what a fiscal sponsor is.

eligibility criteria

If your organisation meets all of the following criteria, you can apply for FREE STEM:

1. Your organisation, collective, or group must consist of a minimum of 3 people.

2. Your organisation or group must align with the mission and vision of FREE STEM.

3. Your project proposal must focus on the target group, and include and align with at least one of the Thematic Parameters of FREE STEM.

 

4. 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.

 

5. Your annual organisational income for 2022 must be a maximum of €150,000. Priority will be given to grassroots organisations. 

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