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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Questions


Who is free stem targeting?


The FREE 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.

FREE STEM will invest in organisations and groups who are directly supporting and targeting the following participants:

  • All girls and women, particularly those from underrepresented groups and 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.

  • Priority will be given to underrepresented and traditionally excluded groups. We anticipate a high number of applications to FREE STEM, therefore we may decide to further prioritise applications for funding.

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 2021 must be a maximum of €150,000. Priority will be given to grassroots organisations. 

What does free stem not support?

  • For-profit organisations

  • 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

  • Academic scholarships

  • Initiatives/collectives/groups/organisations based in the Global North

Our group does not have official registration - can we still apply?


Yes, your organisation/group can still apply. If you apply for a grant that is €20 000 or above then you would need a fiscal sponsor to support your application.

What is a fiscal sponsor and when would we need to use one?

A fiscal sponsor is a registered organisations that can act as a host for unregistered groups who apply for €20 000 or more. 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 and groups that have 60% of women, non-binary or transgender people in senior leadership will be eligible. 

The application asks for the names, positions, and gender of 3-5 of your senior leaders. This includes organisational leadership and/or board of directors. 

We are an emerging group and do not have an annual income - can we still apply?


Yes,  for all grants, there is no minimum annual income requirement. 

Application Questions

Can we apply for the FREE Fund in our own language?


At this time, we are only accepting applications in English, Spanish and Arabic.

What is the FREE Fund selection process?

The FREE Fund selection process has 2 phases: 

  1. Phase 1 - Eligibility & Expression of Interest: An eligibility check will be conducted by Women Win staff and the Regional Peer Panels will further screen the applications in order to create a longlist of organisations and groups.

  2. Phase 2- Full Application: These longlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a full application. The FREE Advisory Committee and Regional Peer Panels will review the full applications and make a final decision on which organisations and groups will receive funding.

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: 


You can also download the Phase 1: Eligibility & Expression of Interest application form as a PDF here and the Phase 2 Full Application form as a PDF here in case you would like to have a look at it beforehand. Coming soon in Arabic and Spanish.


what currency will the funds be transferred in?


Women Win will transfer the funds in Euros.


How can we use the FREE STEM funding?


FREE STEM will fund initiatives and projects that:

Full applications will require project planning and budgets, see the application timeline here

What is the maximum amount of funding we can request?

Organisations and groups can apply for:

  • Up to €5,000

  • Up to €10,000

  • Up to €20,000

  • Up to €35.000 

  • Up to €50.000


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.


Smaller groups can also use the fiscal sponsor/host organisation’s bank account or personal bank account to receive funds.


Is this the only call for applications?


This will be the only call for FREE STEM Fund applications in 2022. However, we anticipate that a second call for applications will open at the end of 2023.


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.


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