Guidelines for Funding Applicants

The Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) Grant Program for 2016-17, for projects commencing between August 2016 and September 2017 will open for Expressions of Interest (EOI) 1 February and close on 29 February 2016. EOIs will be shortlisted with a number of applicants invited to submit full applications.

EOIs can be submitted until 12 pm (mid-day) Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Monday 29 February 2016 using the online application form.

COALAR grants are intended to provide seed funding to innovative projects relevant to the aims and objectives of the Council. This includes proposals which demonstrate the potential for the development of long term links between individuals and institutions in Australia and their counterparts in Latin America.

While it is envisaged that the majority of grants would be for proposals of between $20,000 and $40,000, the COALAR Board will also consider those proposals of lesser or greater value that will generate a high profile and high value impact in the countries involved.

In addition to these Guidelines, all applicants should familiarise themselves with COALAR's Strategic Plan 2014-2017 before submitting applications.

Applications are assessed against these Guidelines.

1. Program objectives

1.1 Applications for COALAR's Grants Program should seek to contribute to the Council's objectives as outlined in the Strategic Plan 2014-2017. The Council concentrates its activities on the following priority areas:

  • Mutual Economic Support (encompassing two way trade and investment);
  • Education, Sustainability and Applied Research;
  • Sport, Culture and Tourism

In this 2016-2017 Grant round the Council will consider favorably projects that strengthen relations with priority countries Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, as well as through the Pacific Alliance.

2. How to apply

2.1 Applications are to be submitted in English, using the COALAR Online Funding Application. If your application cannot be submitted using the Online Application form, please contact the COALAR Secretariat email:

2.2 Applications that are incomplete, do not include the requested documentation or do not address the selection criteria may be deemed ineligible.

2.3 Applications will be acknowledged by email.

2.4 Applicants who are invited to submit a full application will also need to provide letters of support from two referees (see Referee Requirements).

3. Eligibility

3.1 Individuals, organisations or a collaboration of both from Australia or Latin American countries may apply for grant funding.

3.2 Generally, COALAR does not fund projects over more than two successive years. The COALAR Secretariat should be contacted to clarify eligibility if you have previously received a COALAR grant.

3.3 If you have submitted an application in a previous COALAR grant funding round but have been unsuccessful, you may reapply for funding in future rounds.

3.4 Grants will not be provided to individuals or organisations that have failed to provide a proper acquittal of an earlier grant provided by COALAR.

3.5 Applicants 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.

3.6 Grant applications that have a multi-country focus and include confirmed Latin America/Australian partners will be viewed favorably by the Council when assessing proposals.

3.7 When projects are to be undertaken in conjunction with, or part funded by, a Latin American organisation, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the counterpart has confirmed their participation and/or involvement to ensure the success of the project.

3.8 When preparing applications, applicants should bear in mind that Council members may not be familiar with individuals or organisations or the field of activity. As the Council's decision will be primarily based on the information provided in the application applicants should ensure they provide sufficient detail or links to further information. 

4. Selection criteria

4.1 Applications for funding will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. 1. The proposal demonstrates relevance to one or more of the following:
    1. to enhance and strengthen links between Australia and Latin America, particularly in the areas of Business, Education, Sustainability and Applied Research, Sport, Culture and Tourism
    2. to support closer engagement at a corporate level between Australia and Latin America and
    3. to increase engagement with and understanding of Australia in Latin America and of Latin America in Australia.
  2. The project outcomes:
    1. offer prospects for ongoing self-sustaining activity in business, including agribusiness and leadership activities, education, tourism, culture, including sporting or youth activities, or sustainability and clean energy;
    2. would involve a sharing and transfer of expertise from which institutions or individuals in both countries would benefit, and in ways that would directly advance COALAR’s objectives;
    3. include a wider program that would directly advance COALAR’s objectives;
    4. are achievable within the stated timeframe; and
    5. represent value for money.
  3. The applicant demonstrates the ability to plan, manage and evaluate the project.

4.2 COALAR reserves the right not to fund projects, even if they satisfy the selection criteria. The Council will consider a range of issues when selecting successful projects including, although not limited to: availability of funding, rating against the selection criteria, spread of projects across the Latin American region and spread of projects across the Council's priority areas.

5. Activities not funded

5.1 COALAR has a policy of supporting innovative proposals in a broad range of areas.

Grants are not normally available for the following purposes:

  • activities which are commercially viable in their own right
  • activities that will be of a commercial benefit to the recipient (e.g. promotion of the recipient's business)
  • capital expenditure on real estate property and purchase of equipment
  • development assistance activity
  • day-to-day operational costs of the organisations seeking funding, e.g. wages, salaries and management fees
  • funding of completed activities, or recurrent funding of activities.
  • Grants are not normally awarded to proposals where funding would normally fall under the responsibility of funding bodies such as universities or other government agencies such as the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).
  • Grants are not normally awarded to government departments or agencies.

Regarding funding attendance at conferences or meetings, COALAR will normally apply the following additional criteria:

  • only one participant per conference or meeting will be funded
  • the conference or meeting participant should be a principal speaker, and a copy of any paper presented by the participant is to be provided to COALAR together with the report on the activity

6. Referee requirements

6.1 Applicants invited to submit a full application must provide letters of support from two referees and where possible referees should comment on

  • their relationship to the applicant,
  • their involvement or interest, if any, in the project,
  • the project's objectives and the strategies to achieve them, and
  • the applicant's ability to complete the project and administer project funds.

6.2 COALAR may or may not contact referees directly to provide additional information. It is the applicant's responsibility to contact the referees and provide them with a copy of the grant application. Referees may not include staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

6.3 COALAR reserves the right to seek advice on the application from other persons as appropriate.

7. Funding arrangements

7.1 The Funding Agreement (sample only) is the legal agreement between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (on behalf of COALAR) and the funding recipient. In managing the funding provided, the funding recipient must comply with all the requirements of the Funding Agreement. The COALAR Secretariat will prepare the Funding Agreement for each recipient after their application is approved.

7.2 All funding recipients must abide by these Guidelines and the Funding Agreement. The funding may otherwise be withdrawn.

7.3 COALAR funding is only valid for the financial year for which it is awarded. If the funding cannot be taken up within the specified period it may be withdrawn. Any delay in the proposed activity should be reported promptly. If required, a request for extension should be provided to allow COALAR to consider the reasons for the delay and to take any appropriate action.

7.4 Where possible, support requested from COALAR should supplement financial assistance from other sources, including the applicant's own resources. COALAR may decide to award funding conditional on supplementary funds being raised from other sources.

7.5 Where an activity contains an international airfare, this should be costed as an economy class fare (this can be a premium economy class fare).

8. Selection process

8.1 The process will be an open competitive selection process. The selection process will comprise the following stages:

  1. All EOIs received will be acknowledged by email.
  2. Initial screening of applications by COALAR Secretariat includes:
    • compliance with Guidelines 
    • applicant's eligibility and ability to undertake project 
    • relevance of project to COALAR objectives 
    • clarification of details relating to the project strategy and/or budget 
  3. Assessment against selection criteria of applications by COALAR Executive Committee or COALAR Funding Proposal Sub-Committee and selection of projects to be invited to submit full applications
  4. Unsuccessful applications advised
  5. Full applications considered against selection criteria by COALAR Executive Committee and selection of successful projects
  6. Approval of COALAR recommendations by Minister's authorised delegate.
  7. Notification in writing to applicant of decision.
  8. Preparation and negotiation of Funding Agreement by COALAR Secretariat.
  9. Approved Grants will be advertised within seven working days of the finalisation of the Funding Agreement.

8.2 Successful applicants will be advised of any special conditions which COALAR may attach to their activity. Payment will not be made until the applicant has signed the Funding Agreement.

8.3 COALAR reserves the right at any time to:

  • cease the selection process;
  • change the structure, approach, content or requirements of the selection process; and/or
  • call for new applications.

8.4 Applicants who submit their funding applications by 29 April 2016 will receive notification of the outcome of their application following the Council's consideration of the application.

9. Reporting and acquittal requirements

9.1 It is a condition of COALAR funding that recipients provide a written report and financial statement of expenditure as required by the Funding Agreement. Reports must be completed on the Acquittal Form as advised in the Funding Agreement.

9.2 In addition, a maximum two-page outcomes summary report must be provided at the same time as required in the Acquittal Report. This report should specify:

  1. the title of the project
  2. the activities undertaken
  3. the outcomes achieved

9.3 Include at least one high quality resolution digital photograph (3000dpi) suitable for use in publications and provide a 300-500 word description of the project for possible publication by COALAR.

9.4 The financial statement should contain sufficient detail to enable an informed assessment of the appropriateness of the expenditure of COALAR funds.

9.5 The Council may seek an oral report at a Council meeting in addition to the written report.

10. Publicity

10.1 Funding recipients are expected to put in place a communications strategy to promote the projects, including through social media, and to disseminate information/findings from the delivery of the project activities.

10.2 Funding recipients are expected to cooperate with COALAR in publicising the activity, and COALAR sponsorship must be appropriately acknowledged during the course of the activity and in any publicity arising from it.

10.3 Any publications, electronic media and publicly performed activities associated with the project should carry the COALAR logo, and invitations to Council members for key events associated with the project are highly desirable.

11. Taxation

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

11.2 COALAR requires the following information in writing from funding applicants:

  • the Australian Business Number (ABN) of the individual or organisation applying for funds, or advice that the individual or organisation does not have an ABN
  • advice as to whether the individual or organisation is registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) under the Pay As You Go tax obligations. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is required to withhold tax (at the rate of 46.5%) and remit it to the Australian Tax Office, when the applicant does not have an ABN, or cannot provide written advice from the ATO of exemption from the withholding tax. Successful funding applicants who do not have an ABN should therefore provide the Council with written confirmation, where applicable, of one or more of the following, preferably on the ATO "Statement by a Supplier" form NAT 3346- 6.2000: Applications should not include GST but GST must be added to the Taxation Invoice submitted to COALAR for payment of the grant. This allows DFAT to claim the GST component of the grant.
    • that the payment is of a private or domestic nature; 
    • that the applicant is not carrying on an enterprise; 
    • that the applicant is an "income tax exempt body"; or 
    • that the applicant has applied for an ABN and has been rejected by the ATO.

12. Insurance

Funding recipients are responsible for obtaining and maintaining any insurance necessary or prudent for undertaking the proposed activity and to provide the COALAR Secretariat with evidence of these policies promptly on request as required by the Funding Agreement.

13. Responsibilities of recipient

13.1 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 should note that health insurance is essential. COALAR will not accept any liability for any medical, hospital or evacuation costs incurred by participants in projects funded by the Council.

13.2 Applicants should keep an electronic copy and hard copy of their application and supporting documentation for their own records.

14. Privacy and Freedom of Information

The information you provide in your funding submission is used when processing and assessing your submission. Summary information provided by all applicants will be stored centrally and will be available to Commonwealth officers and the government on a need-to-know basis. The information you have provided may be distributed to COALAR, Commonwealth and State or Territory governments, organisations which are responsible for grants programs, and may be made public through national and local media or via the DFAT or COALAR websites or social media platforms. DFAT may also publish this information, excluding personal information, in its Annual Report and on the DFAT web site. In other circumstances, DFAT will only use and/or disclose personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Applicants should also note the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 apply to documents in DFAT's possession.

15. Access and Equity

15.1 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. COALAR is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and encourages individuals and organisations from target groups to apply for funding for projects consistent with the Council's guidelines.

16. Contact details

COALAR Secretariat

  • Email:
  • Address:
    COALAR Secretariat
    Americas and Africa Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    R.G. Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    BARTON ACT 0221
Last Updated: 28 October 2013