Grant application tips
Does the proposal meet the AMI's Mission, Goals and Themes?
The AMI welcomes all applications for projects that further its mission and goals. Applications that do not clearly demonstrate this will not be approved. The AMI specifically considers whether:
- the activity would involve a sharing or transfer of expertise from which institutions or individuals in both countries would benefit, and in ways which would directly advance AMI objectives;
- the activity includes a wider program that would directly advance the AMI's objectives;
- the activity would result in an expansion of links in new areas in ways consistent with the AMI's objectives.
Please note that activities that are commercially viable in their own right or that will be of a commercial benefit to the recipient (e.g. promotion of the recipient's business) will not be approved regardless of how well they meet this criteria.
Does the proposal fall under the definition of a Grant?
If an applicant requests funding principally to fund an activity they will carry out with no direct financial or goods/services benefit to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (for example to host a conference) to further a shared aim of developing people to people links between Australia and Malaysia then the proposal falls under the definition of a grant.
However, if the funding proposal gives rise to an expectation of a direct reciprocal benefit for DFAT that is financial or 'in kind' (such as goods or services), all or part of the above example would be treated as a procurement and subject to the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines. In the above example, if a potential grant recipient includes a specified amount for management services, this component would be excluded from the grant process and treated as a procurement. This is because DFAT benefits from the management services provided.
Does the grant applicant have a Malaysian/Australian partner?
Grant applications that include a confirmed Malaysian/Australian partner or collaboration will be looked upon favourably by the AMI when assessing proposals.
Where projects are to be undertaken in conjunction with, or part funded by, a Malaysian or Australian organisation, applicants must be able to demonstrate on request that the counterpart has confirmed their participation and/or involvement to ensure the success of the project.
Has the grant applicant sourced supplementary assistance from other sources?
Grant applications that have supplementary financial assistance from other sources, including the applicant's own resources or corporate sponsors, will be looked upon favourably by the AMI when assessing proposals.
In-kind support is also looked upon favourably, such as accommodation and other services provided without charge in either country.
How large is the grant amount requested?
Whilst not a factor that will, in itself, rule out an application, potential applicants should be aware that most grants awarded are in the range of AUD$3,000 - $20,000. The AMI has limited grant funds available to award each financial year and the best allocation of these funds across the range of possible AMI activities must be considered.
Larger grants may be considered for approval but only in the case of particularly worthwhile projects.
The AMI also reserves the right to provide less funding than that sought by the applicant.
Does the proposal include amounts that CANNOT be funded by a grant round?
Commonwealth guidelines restrict the types of expenditure that may be covered under a grant funding arrangement. Applications that include requests for any of the following types of expenditure will not be approved. Partial approval of such applications to exclude these costs may be considered as an alternative.
- Grants may not be used as subsidies for general secretariat expenses or support for a research officer.
- Grants may not be used to fund administrative support or management costs such as wages and salaries.
- Grants may not be used to cover capital expenditure, e.g. real estate or purchase of equipment.
Is the proposal the responsibility of other funding bodies or other government agencies?
Grants are not normally awarded to proposals where funding would be more appropriately sought from other funding bodies or other government agencies such as Universities, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Austrade, the Australian Research Council (ARC) etc.
If your proposal is primarily to undertake academic research (e.g. post graduate students applying for travel assistance to undertake field work as part of their thesis), development assistance projects, trade promotion activities, or activities under bilateral science and technology agreements you may wish to seek funding from a more appropriate funding body.