Applications

Application Overview

The APSF supports high quality biological or biophysical research by scientists in Australian institutions, and similar institutions in other countries of the South West Pacific. Occasional support may also be given to capacity building activities, such as training.

The Foundation typically provides project grants up to A$15,000 (ex GST) per year for up to three years, which are awarded exclusively for activities within the South West Pacific region.

Grants are made in annual instalments, and payments are dependent upon the receipt of satisfactory annual reports and financial statements. An additional progress report is required six months after the start of the project.

Next Funding Round

Applications Open: 15th January 2024

Applications Close: 1st March, 2024

Funding Period:From July 2024

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Eligibility

The project will be undertaken within Australia or other countries of the South West Pacific region under the umbrella of a university or other appropriate institution within those countries.

The project is in the biological or biophysical sciences or has application in those areas, as exemplified in projects described on this web site, and is not medical research.

Projects that seem likely to lead to improved systems of managing land, water, plants and animals in ways which will enhance the productivity and quality of food, fisheries, plants and forests, while simultaneously conserving the natural environment, preserving biodiversity, avoiding pollution of soils and water, and enhancing human welfare are particularly favoured.

Capacity building in developing countries within the Pacific region is also a priority of the Foundation, which may necessitate greater weight being given to the input of students.

The project must form an identifiable element of work that would not be undertaken without the support of the Foundation. If the project is a sub-project of a larger investigation, it must be sufficiently discrete for the outputs and outcomes to be independently evaluated. Projects that may be seminal to subsequent larger grants from other sources are attractive to the Foundation.

Project leaders may submit only one application to each round and may not hold more than one grant concurrently. Applications from students as project leaders are not accepted.

Project leaders are expected to devote an appropriate amount of time to projects supported by the Foundation.

Funding is limited to no more than three years and A$15,000 (ex GST) annually. Salaries of technicians and research assistants may be supported, but grants do not cover the salaries of scientific research staff or stipends of students.

Administrative costs are not funded, but APSF grants may be assessed by Australian Universities as Category 1 Australian Competitive Grant Income.

The components of the project budget for which funds are sought from the Foundation must be justified — both travel and equipment for which funding is sought must be essential for this project.

The Foundation does not fund costs associated with attendance at conferences, either domestic or international. Publication costs levied by scientific journals are not supported by the Foundation.

Application Process

Competition for new grants is substantial. Every year the Foundation receives many high-quality applications. The following table details total applications, grants awarded and the success rate over the past 5 years:

YEAR TOTAL APPLICATIONS NEW GRANTS SUCCESS RATE (%)
2019 52 6 11.5
2020 47 8 17.1
2021 44 5 11.4
2022 31 9 29.0
2023 39 8 20.5

The efforts made by applicants are greatly appreciated and the Foundation is acutely aware of the time taken in the preparation of applications. Therefore, in order to minimize time lost in preparing applications that are not likely to be successful in an extremely competitive research environment prospective applicants are reminded of the criteria to which the Research Committee gives priority:

  • The scientific merit of the application and its likelihood of cost-effective delivery against the stated objectives and outcomes remain paramount. Scientific merit is judged by peer review of the quality of the background information, the logic of the proposal and the experimental design. Applications may be improved in these respects if they have been critiqued by professional colleagues prior to submission.
  • The likelihood of a successful outcome is assessed against the relevance of the application, the quality of science on which it is based and the qualifications and track-record of the principal investigator(s). In assessing track-record the Research Committee gives full recognition to applicants who may be comparatively new to research but who have relatively impressive performances in publishing in quality journals and/or who have demonstrably superior applied outputs and outcomes for the time they have been researchers.
  • The need to encourage capacity building is also acknowledged. For the APSF capacity building in developing countries within the Pacific region is a particular priority which may necessitate greater weight being given to the input of students.

When formulating its recommendations for the Trustees, the Research Committee particularly favours activities that seem likely to lead to improved systems of managing land, water, plants and animals in ways which will enhance the productivity and quality of food, fisheries, plants and forests, while simultaneously conserving the natural environment, preserving biodiversity, avoiding pollution of soils and water, and enhancing human welfare.

Next Funding Rounds

The next round of applications will open on 15th January 2024 and will close on 1st March 2024, for new grants beginning in July 2024. Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application by June. Please note that applications will only be received online from this website. To submit an application, you must first register by clicking here. 

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Get In Touch

To learn more about the Australia & Pacific Science Foundation, or to speak to a member of our team, please get in touch with us here