Challenge Fund Grants 2018


Investing in the future of education.

Here at The Varkey Foundation we believe in the power of new ideas to shape the future of education. But we know that taking a great idea off the drawing board and into the real world doesn’t just take hard work – it takes support. That’s why we created our Challenge Fund.​

We believe every child deserves a good teacher. But we also know that the international community isn’t doing enough to make that happen. Global investment in education is falling and many schools around the world lack leaders and qualified teaching staff. Research by The Varkey Foundation has also found that the global status of teachers is very mixed – and few parents would actively encourage their children to join the teaching profession.
To help solve this problem, The Varkey Foundation will partner with other organizations to create a global change in the way teachers are trained, treated and perceived. Through our Challenge Fund, we will support partner organizations who are working on big new ideas for education – and to boost the status of teachers worldwide.
The Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund is aimed at supporting a small number of early-stage initiatives, with individual grants of up to US$50,000 available to help build the capacity of teachers and to strengthen the status of the teaching profession.

Apply for a grant

On the basis of our portfolio and areas of interest, The Varkey Foundation is particularly interested in receiving proposals which address the following:

  • The recruitment and retention of teachers
  • Influencing public policy and discourse about the teaching profession
  • School leadership and management
  • Support to teachers and school leaders in Fragile and Conflict States (FCAS) and emergency situations
  • Teacher-related challenges

Applications are now closed.

Lead applicants must be registered as charitable, not-for-profit entities.






The Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund Frequently Asked Questions

The Challenge Fund Team is delighted that there has been so much interest in this year’s Challenge Fund. Here are some of the answers to the most common questions we have received so far: 


1. Are entries from my country eligible?

Yes. The Challenge Fund has no restrictions on the countries applications must be from in order to be eligible. As long as you are a registered not-for-profit entity your application is welcome.


2. Can we submit an application in a different format to the one provided?

No. If you are unable to download the file, please contact the Grants Inbox ( and we will assist you. We are unable to process applications using different templates, such as project brochures or organisational weblinks.


3. Is the proposed project relevant?

Before you send an email asking us to review the relevance of the proposed project, please reflect on whether the project functions to directly support the status and capacity of teachers. If it does not, for instance it is for the design and construction of school wells or the funding of scholarships for Higher Education, then this is not the funding opportunity for you.


4. Does The Varkey Foundation offer top-up funding?

No. This is not something The Varkey Foundation does as part of the Challenge Fund.


5. How can I find out about The Varkey Foundation

Please look through our website, which contains a number of key resources and provides a comprehensive overview of the organisation’s strategic direction and operational aims.


6. Can I re-apply if I was unsuccessful last year?



If you have a question which is not covered above, please get in touch with us at: and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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