Grant guidelines

Our general grant guidelines


The Australia-India Council (AIC) welcomes funding applications from individuals and organisations, in Australia, for projects which aim 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:

  • Public Policy and Economic Relations
  • Science: focusing on agriculture, resources and energy, and waste management
  • Education: including skills training and links that support the implementation of the New Colombo Plan in India
  • Sport
  • Arts and Culture: particularly activities linked to high-profile festivals in Australia and India.

Further details on the AIC’s priorities are contained in the Australia-India Council Strategic Plan 2015 to 2019.

All funding applications are made using standard on-line documents and are assessed by a standard appraisal procedure, helping to ensure consistency and equity in Council funding decisions.

Grant amounts are considered on a proposal-by-proposal basis in reference to the detailed budgets provided by applicants. Generally, grants between AUD 20,000 and AUD 50,000 are awarded.

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 year which do not comply with the requirements set out in these Guidelines. Common errors include:

  • applications which do not clearly address AIC priorities and other selection criteria
  • applications which seek AIC funding for salaries, fees and honorariums - these are ineligible costs
  • budgets which do not balance, or which do not indicate (with an asterisk) which funding items the AIC grant will be used for.

Applicants who have submitted non-compliant applications may be provided with an opportunity to rectify issues identified, and therefore have their proposal considered.

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?

Applicants applying as individuals must be Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents. Proof of citizenship or residency may be required.  Normally, we would expect organisations to be applying for AIC grants.  Organisations must be based in Australia to be eligible.

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.

Organisations from India interested in AIC grants can apply through their Australian partner.

Australian Commonwealth, State or Local Government departments cannot apply for grants. Other public sector organisations, for example research institutes, are eligible.

How much can I apply for?

The Council will generally consider awarding grants between AUD 20,000 and AUD 50,000. However, value for money must be demonstrated through the detailed budgets for each individual proposal. Applicants are encouraged to seek multiple sponsors for their activities.

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 must be submitted using an online grant application form. Applicants must complete the form in full to apply for AIC grant funding. Late applications arenot be accepted.

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.

  1. Individuals or organisations applying for funding should have a substantial record of achievement in the proposed field of activity.
  2. The activity should directly contribute to the AIC's objectives of promoting a broader and deeper relationship between Australia and India. Strong 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The project should establish prospects for future independent activity as a result of initial AIC funding.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Provision should be made in the application for publicity or promotion of the project. Full acknowledgement of the AIC's support is required in all promotional materials and publications.

All eligible applications are assessed by the AIC Board against the following selection criteria:

  1. The extent to which the project's objectives are clearly defined and consistent with the Council's objectives.
  2. The project's potential to engage a wide and/or influential audience.
  3. The project's potential to establish long-term links and continuing exchanges.
  4. The applicant/s ability to deliver the project successfully and the quality of the application.
  5. 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.
  6. The extent to which the proposal will showcase Australian excellence.

Activities not funded

Funding will not normally be made available for the following purposes:

  • Capital expenditure in real property, equipment or computer software.
  • Salaries, fees and honorariums.
  • 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, or activities involving commercial product development; 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.

Selection process

The selection process is as follows:

Stage 1: All grant applications received during the funding round (and by the advertised deadline) will be acknowledged by automatic email.

Stage 2: All applications will undergo initial screening by the AIC’s Secretariat to ascertain:

  • compliance with the AIC’s Guidelines
  • applicant eligibility and ability to undertake the project
  • relevance of the project to the AIC’s objectives
  • clarification of details relating to the project strategy and/or budget

Stage 3: All eligible applications will be assessed by the AIC Board and successful projects selected.

Stage 4: All applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application by email using the address provided in their applications.  Detailed feed-back on unsuccessful applications cannot be provided given the large volume of applications received by the AIC

Stage 5: Funding agreements will be negotiated by the Secretariat for successful applications

Stage 6: Grant details will be advertised on the DFAT website following the signing of funding agreements.

Responsibilities of successful applicants

Funding recipients are responsible for all administrative costs and arrangements associated with their project, including visa, insurance, accommodation and other travel arrangements.

Funding recipients are also responsible for making their own arrangements regarding any taxation liabilities which may arise from the award of funding.

Funding recipients who do not have an ABN are required to provide the AIC 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 three 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 60 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. 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 may be withdrawn in order to give other applicants an opportunity to carry out a project. Any likely delay in project implementation should therefore be reported to the Secretariat to allow it to consider the circumstances and take any appropriate action.

Any changes in project start and completion dates within a financial year must also be reported to the Secretariat for their decision-making and appropriate action.

AIC Contacts

The AIC Secretariat can provide assistance with the application process.  Our contact details are below:

Australia-India Council
Telephone (02) 6261 3833

Last Updated: 8 October 2014