Australia-India Council Grants Program
The AIC expects to open its next general funding round in July 2014.
The Australia-India Council (AIC) welcomes funding applications from individuals and organisations in Australia for projects which are likely to promote long-term contact and cooperation between Australia and India. AIC grants are intended to provide seed funds for innovative proposals relevant to the mission and goals of the Council.
The Council gives priority to projects in the following areas:
- The Arts (including literature and film)
- Social initiatives (including public health and sport)
- Public Policy Activities (including media links)
The Council will also consider applications for funding support for a limited number of projects and activities in other areas consistent with Council objectives.
All funding applications are made using standard documents and are assessed by a standard appraisal procedure, helping to ensure consistency and equity in Council funding decisions.
While grant amounts will be considered on a proposal basis, major grant funding of AUD 20,000 or more for any single activity will only be provided in exceptional circumstances and where the Council decides the project will become a priority activity of the AIC in that financial year.
Applicants should note that the AIC unconditionally reserves the right to cancel a funding round, or to award no grant funding after the consideration of applications received in a funding round.
Important information for Grant Applicants
The Council receives a large number of applications each round which do not comply with the requirements set out in these Guidelines. Common errors include:
- applications which seek AIC funding for (ineligible) salaries and fees
- budgets which do not balance, or which do not indicate (with an asterisk) which funding items the AIC grant will be used for
- unsigned or absent referee letters, and/or
- a lack of documentary evidence of support for the project from other parties.
In April 2010, the AIC Board authorised the Secretariat to return any non-compliant applications at their discretion.
Applicants who have submitted non-compliant applications will be provided with an opportunity to rectify issues identified, and therefore have their proposal considered by the Board.
However, no extension to the deadline will be provided. If an application is found to be non-compliant after the deadline for the relevant funding round, the applicant will need to resubmit the amended application in the following funding round.
Applicants should therefore thoroughly read these Guidelines and the instructions in the grant application to ensure their application is compliant at initial submission. Please remember, once you submit your application electronically, it cannot be modified. You can save the document as you update it without submitting the application.
Who can apply
Individual applicants must be Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents. Proof of citizenship or residency may be required.
Individuals and organisations may apply for grants. The applicant should demonstrate an established record of achievement in the development and management of projects relevant to their proposed area of endeavour, and should provide evidence of this.
Individuals who intend the grant they are applying for to be administered by a university should seek formal endorsement of their application from the relevant universities' Research Office or equivalent.
Individuals and organisations from India are not permitted to apply directly to the Council for funding assistance. If the project has an Australian partner, that partner should apply for the funding assistance. Individuals or organisations from India who do not have an Australian partner must contact AIC India to discuss their proposal. Applications from Indian individuals and organisations will only be accepted if forwarded to the Council by AIC India.
Contacts details for AIC India are listed on this page.
As a government organisation, the Australia-India Council is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and encourages individuals and organisations from target groups to apply for grants under this scheme.
How much can I apply for?
A list of previously funded applications is available on the Department's website. Grants awarded by various Foundations, Councils and Institutes in DFAT are also listed on the Department's website.
When to apply
Applications should preferably be made at least six months in advance of the starting date of the proposed activity.
How to apply
AIC grant applications can be submitted using the online grant application form which is made available just prior to a grant round opening. Applicants must complete the form in full to apply for AIC grant funding. (Do not submit the online application until you are completely satisfied with it. Applications may be saved and worked on up until the closing date. Once applications have been submitted they are no longer accessible for editing).
The form must be submitted electronically on or before the closing date. There is no longer a requirement to post in a signed original as the electronic lodgement of your application form will suffice. Late applications will not be accepted.
If you cannot complete the online application process, please contact the AIC Secretariat (details listed on this page).
Expression of Interest (Optional)
Individuals and groups who are considering applying for AIC funding can choose to submit an "Expression of Interest" (EOI) to receive an informed indication from the Secretariat as to whether their proposal is likely to be of interest to the Board. It is intended to reduce the workload burden on applicants, as the EOI does not require written referee reports or evidence of partner support.
The EOI form is available for download in several formats. There is no longer a requirement to post in a completed form, it should be emailed to email@example.com
Applicants should include a brief outline of their proposed project, partners, and anticipated funding request. The Secretariat will consider the EOI against the AIC's selection criteria, and may informally consult with one or more of the AIC Board Members in determining whether the proposal is of interest.
Your EOI must be submitted using the form provided and cannot exceed three A4 pages. There are no set deadlines for the acceptance of EOIs, and as such feedback on EOIs will be provided to potential applicants as Secretariat workloads permit. The Secretariat will make every effort to provide feedback on the EOI within four weeks of receipt, but applicants should proceed directly to a full grant application if time is a factor. EOIs will not be considered during an active grant round – that is to say, while a grant round is open, or prior to a Board meeting to consider applications submitted during an active grant round.
There is no obligation to submit an EOI to the Australia-India Council. The process is intended only to assist applicants and to contribute to the development of more targeted and appropriate grant applications. Applicants are also advised that a successful EOI is not a guarantee of success when the grant application is lodged.
Guidelines and Selection Criteria
All applications are assessed against the AIC's guidelines for funding. Applicants for funding must comply with these guidelines when submitting proposals for consideration.
- Individuals or organisations applying for funding should have a substantial record of achievement in the proposed field of activity.
- The activity should be a worthwhile initiative that will contribute to the AIC's objectives of promoting a broader and deeper relationship between Australia and India. Preference will be given to projects that showcase Australian excellence to influential Indian audiences, or which expose Indian opinion-makers to the best of Australia.
- The activity should have clearly defined objectives consistent with the AIC's objectives.
- Where possible, support requested from the AIC should constitute seed funding to encourage financial assistance from other sources, including corporate sponsors. The AIC may decide to award funding conditional on supplementary funds being raised from other sources.
- The project should establish prospects for future independent activity as a result of initial Council funding.
- Where an activity for which AIC support is sought is dependent upon the support of other organisations either in Australia or in India, evidence of the willingness of each such organisation to provide support, either financially or in kind, should be provided. In-kind support may include accommodation and other services provided without charge in either country. Preference will be given to projects which are able to demonstrate that they have obtained part of their funding from other sources and can provide evidence of such support.
- Where an activity contains an international airfare component, this should be costed as the applicable economy class excursion fare. The AIC will not reimburse applicants for additional expenses incurred because of late bookings or other problems requiring tickets to be paid for at a higher rate.
- AIC funding is normally awarded for a specific financial year. If funding cannot be taken up within the specified period it may be withdrawn. Any delay should be reported in good time with, if required, a request for extension to allow the AIC to consider the circumstances and to take any appropriate action.
- Provision should be made in the application for publicity or promotion of the project. Full acknowledgement of the Council's support is required in all promotional materials and publications.
All eligible applications will be assessed by the Council's Board against the following assessment criteria:
- The extent to which the project's objectives are clearly defined and consistent with the Council's objectives.
- The project's potential to engage a wide and/or influential audience.
- The project's potential to establish long-term links and continuing exchanges.
- The applicant/s ability to deliver the project successfully and the quality of the application.
- The relevance of the subject matter, including whether it is in an existing priority area or a prospective area of high engagement, and/or has existing or potential links to other AIC initiatives.
- The extent to which the proposal will showcase Australian excellence.
Activities not funded
The AIC is interested in a very broad range of activities. Funding, however, will not normally be made available for the following purposes:
- Capital expenditure in real property, equipment or computer software.
- Salaries and honorariums.
- Conference/meeting travel. An exception to the general rule may be made for participants in conferences when the subject of the conference is of direct relevance to the Australia-India relationship and the applicant is a leader in the field who will be presenting a keynote or major address to the conference. Only one participant per conference will be eligible for possible AIC travel support. Applicants must also demonstrate that a substantial program will be arranged before and/or after the conference.
- Funding support to grant-giving organisations for activities mainly involving their own personnel and/or other costs.
- Activities that are properly the responsibility of other funding bodies or other government agencies, for example:
- development assistance projects;
- activities under bilateral science and technology agreements;
- trade promotion activities normally handled by Austrade; and
- academic or other research which is more appropriately funded by universities, the Australian Research Council or other institutions, except where the Council considers there is a direct and broadly based benefit for Australia-India relations.
- Activities that are properly the responsibility of the host institution e.g., post graduate students applying for travel assistance to do field work as part of their thesis will not normally be considered.
- Activities that are commercially viable in their own right and/or which give a commercial advantage to one organisation.
- Any project in which the Australia-India component is incidental to the main aims of the project.
- Employment of research assistants, administrative staff etc., or the payment of administrative charges levied by the applicant's organisation.
- Funding of completed projects, or recurrent funding of projects.
If you are unsure whether your proposal will fall into one of the categories above, you are strongly recommended to submit an Expression of Interest before proceeding to a full grant application.
Stage 1: All grant applications received during the relevant funding round (and by the advertised deadline) will be acknowledged by the Secretariat via email.
Stage 2: Initial screening of applications by AIC Secretariat includes:
- compliance with Guidelines
- applicant eligibility and ability to undertake project
- relevance of project to AIC objectives
- clarification of details relating to the project strategy and/or budget
Stage 3: Assessment of applications against selection criteria by AIC Board, and selection of successful projects.
Stage 4: Notification of decision in writing (by email and/or letter) to applicant by AIC Secretariat.
Stage 5: Funding agreement is finalised; facilitated by AIC Secretariat.
Stage 6: Grant details advertised on the DFAT website following signature of Funding Agreement.
All applicants for Council funding will be advised in writing of the outcome of their grant application shortly after the Board meeting. Successful applicants will receive the Council's Funding Agreement forms and will be advised of any additional special conditions which the AIC may specify for the grant.
Funding recipients are normally responsible for all administrative costs and arrangements associated with their project, including visa and travel arrangements, visa charges, airport taxes, ground transport, travel and health insurance for project participants, medical and hospital insurance cover for visitors not covered by Medicare in Australia (including evacuation and death cover), any necessary insurance for equipment, and accommodation costs and arrangements.
Funding recipients are also responsible for making their own arrangements regarding any taxation liabilities, which may arise from the award of funding. Payment will only be made after receipt of the signed Funding Acceptance form, and a Tax Invoice (with GST included in the case of GST-registered funding recipients).
Funding recipients who do not have an ABN are required to provide the Secretariat with a completed ATO Statement by a Supplier form.
The AIC reserves the right to withdraw funding if a grant recipient fails to comply with the Council's Funding Agreement.
If the project involves guests travelling to Australia or India, the AIC Secretariat should be advised at least two weeks before the guests arrive to provide an opportunity for appropriate AIC involvement.
All AIC funding is given on the condition that the applicant will provide a report on the project and an adequate financial acquittal within 30 days of the completion of the activities for which the funding is provided. Failure to do so will prevent the applicant from being given further funding and may lead to grant recovery action. An interim report is required in the case of any activity that extends beyond six months.
Council grants must normally be taken up in the financial year for which they are granted. If a grant cannot be taken up within the specified period, it will be withdrawn in order to give other applicants an opportunity to carry out a project. Any likely delay should therefore be reported in good time to the Council, to allow it to consider the circumstances and take any appropriate action.
In order to give your application the best possible chance, please be aware of the following:
- Do not supply covering letters as they are not forwarded to the Council.
- Do not submit the online application until you are completely satisfied with it. Applications may be saved and worked on up until the closing date. Once applications have been submitted they are no longer accessible for editing.
- The applicant should be the owner of the bank account into which the grant (if successful) will be paid. This person or entity will be required to enter into a funding (grant) agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia (represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), and legally responsible for the proper acquittal of any funds awarded. Persons signing application and funding acceptance forms must be duly authorised to do so.
- The start date for the project should take into account project preparation time.
- The amount applied for should be exclusive of GST. If you are registered for GST, the AIC will add that amount to your grant.
- Remember that the AIC may have little or no knowledge of what you do. As decisions are based on information provided, ensure that your forms are clear, comprehensive and concise.
- Electronic lodgement of applications must be completed by the closing date/time. If you cannot complete the online process, you may be able to complete a written application (please contact the AIC Secretariat if this applies to you).
In addition to the points above, the following tips for completing your Application Form are also important:
- Ensure your Budget (incoming funds) matches your Expenditure Statement (project costs) in the Application Form.
- Provide the most detailed and accurate Expenditure Statement possible. Ensure the items you wish the AIC to fund or partially fund are clearly indicated with an asterisk (*). Unless the Council specifies otherwise, these will be the only activities for which you can use the grant. Unspent grant funds must be returned to the Council.
- Ensure that you include all in-kind contributions to the project, including any potential fees waived by the project participants (noting that fees/ salaries/honorariums are not eligible for AIC funding).
- The budget should make adequate provision for all likely expenses. The AIC will not normally consider requests for supplementary funding. The AIC may also decline to fund specific items in project budgets, or to provide funding at the level sought.
- Council funding of international air fares is at the applicable economy excursion rate. The Council will not reimburse applicants for additional expenses incurred because of late bookings or other problems requiring tickets to be paid at a higher rate.
- Applicants should note that misleading the Australian Government on financial matters may have serious consequences. Under section 136.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth), it is an offence to provide false or misleading information to an Australian Government body in an application for a benefit, punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment.
- Referees should be independent of the project and be able to comment on your ability to undertake the project, in addition to commenting on the project itself.
- The AIC will not accept un-signed referees' reports. The referees' reports can be attached to your online application at the "Referees" page of the online application process. Alternatively, they can be emailed to the AIC Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- If you have not attached your referee reports and are relying on referees to send in their reports, follow up with them to ensure that their signed written references are received by the Secretariat before the closing date. It is advisable that you include references when submitting the application if possible. Late references will not be accepted.
- Please note that if attaching CVs – they are strictly limited to two pages.
- Colour photographs, books, DVDs and other supporting material may not be seen by Council members.
- If any supporting material is to be returned to you, please include a stamped self-addressed envelope.
- All applications must be in English.
If you have any queries or problems, please contact the Secretariat.
PO Box 5363 Kingston ACT 2604
Telephone (02) 6261 3833
Facsimile (02) 6112 3833
Indian applicants should contact:
C/- Australian High Commission
1/50 G, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi – 110 021
Tel: 4139 9918