Guidelines for Funding Applicants (v1.6)
Through a competitive selection process, the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) periodically advertises grant funding application rounds for projects that will enhance Australia's economic, cultural and social relations with countries in the Arab region (comprising the 22 members of the Arab League).
As applications are assessed against these Guidelines, all applicants should familiarise themselves with them before submitting an application for funding under the CAAR Grants Program.
1. Program objectives
1.1 Applications for the CAAR Grants Program should seek to contribute to the Council's strategic objectives.
1.2 The Council concentrates its activities on a number of priority areas – stimulation of business and trade opportunities, particularly in the sectors of food security, infrastructure, and resources and energy; professional and business exchange; and stimulation of flagship programs, particularly in the sectors of education and health care.
1.3 The Council also supports activities in the areas of public policy and media (including governance, public administration, trade and economic reform);science/technology/environment; women and girls; social initiatives such as in sport; and culture and the arts.
1.4 The Council will decide on applications to be funded using specific selection criteria (the general principles underlying selection and specific criteria are in Section 4, below).
2. How to apply
2.1 Application rounds for the CAAR Grants Program will be advertised on the CAAR website.
2.2 To enable an accurate and comprehensive assessment of applications, all applicants must complete the application form. Applications must be submitted electronically. Potential applicants can access and enter the form without necessarily submitting. Intending applicants may work on the application over time before clicking on the final submit button.
2.3 Applications that are incomplete, do not include the requested documentation, or do not address the selection criteria may be deemed ineligible.
2.4 Applicants must also provide signed letters of support from two referees (see 7 – Referee Requirements, below).
2.5 CAAR reserves the right to amend without notice the Funding Application Form and these associated Guidelines for Funding Applicants. It is the responsibility of applicants to check with the CAAR website or the CAAR Secretariat on tel: (02) 6261 2090 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org that the respective documents are current.
3.1 The Council has no obligation to consider applications received outside of its advertised Grants Program application rounds. However, applications received outside of those rounds may be considered by the Council on an ad hoc basis during the financial year, subject to available Council funding.
3.2 Both individuals and organisations may apply for grants. Individual applicants must be Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents. Proof of citizenship or residence may be required.
3.3 Joint applications may be accepted from non-Australian citizen/resident individuals or organisations who are working in partnership with Australian individuals, groups or organisations, where this will promote Australian-Arab relations.
3.4 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.
3.5 When preparing the application applicants should bear in mind that Council members may not be familiar with the applicant, the organisation or the field of activity. As the Council's decision will be primarily based on the information provided in the application form, this document should be clear, accurate, comprehensive and focused.
4. Selection principles
4.1 Applications for funding will be assessed against the following criteria:
- a) The proposal has clearly defined objectives consistent with one or more of CAAR's strategic objectives.
- Preference will be given to activities that build community and institutional linkages rather than to activities that would normally be considered for research grants by relevant Australian and international institutions.
- b) The project outcomes:
- are achievable within the stated timeframe;
- offer prospects for ongoing self-sustaining activity;
- represent value for money.
- c) Where possible, support requested from CAAR should constitute seed-funding, to encourage financial assistance from other sources including corporate sponsors, and/or future self-sustainability.
- d) The applicant demonstrates the ability to plan, manage and evaluate the project, including evidence of qualifications/experience.
4.2 The Council will consider a range of issues when selecting successful projects including, although not limited to: availability of funding, rating against specific selection criteria, spread of projects across the Arab region and spread of projects across the Council's priority areas.
4.3 The Council assesses grant applications on the likely benefits a project will bring, rather than on the amount actually requested, and it therefore exercises some flexibility in the amounts disbursed as grants. While the level of grant funding will be decided according to the merits of the proposal, the Council wishes to support projects where the amount sought from CAAR is above $10,000.
4.4 As the Council receives more proposals for funding each year than it is able to support, CAAR reserves the right not to fund projects, even if they satisfy the Selection Criteria. CAAR may also decline to provide funding at the level sought.
5. Activities not funded
5.1 CAAR has a policy of supporting innovative proposals in a broad range of areas. However grants are not normally available for the following purposes:
- activities that are commercially viable in their own right
- business development activities and activities that will be of a commercial benefit to the recipient (eg. promotion of the recipient's business)
- capital expenditure on real estate property and purchase of equipment
- travel and accommodation costs for attendance at conferences, meetings, fieldwork, sporting and other short-term activities where such activities are not of direct relevance to CAAR's objectives (see 5.2)
- activities that are properly the responsibility of other funding bodies or other government agencies (eg academic research, development assistance)
- day-to-day operational costs of the organisations seeking funding, e.g. wages, salaries
- funding of completed activities, or recurrent funding of activities.
5.2 CAAR does not generally fund travel and accommodation for attendance at conferences or meetings, participation in fieldwork or sporting or other events, unless such activities are considered by the Council to be of direct relevance to its objectives. In assessing applications for such activities, CAAR 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 that would directly advance CAAR's objectives
- the activity is part of a wider program that would directly advance CAAR's objectives
- the activity would result in an expansion of links in new areas in ways consistent with CAAR's objectives
- alternative sources of funding are either unavailable, or have been adequately explored.
Regarding funding attendance at conferences or meetings, CAAR 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 CAAR together with the report on the activity.
6.1 Information should be provided in the application on proposed publicity and promotion of the grant activity. Funding recipients are expected to cooperate with CAAR in publicising the activity, and CAAR sponsorship must be appropriately acknowledged during the course of the activity and in any publicity arising from it. Any publications, electronic media and publicly performed activities associated with the project should carry the CAAR logo, subject to agreement by the CAAR Secretariat, and invitations to Council members for key events associated with the project are highly desirable.
7. Referee requirements
7.1 Applicants must provide signed letters of support from two referees, which where possible 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 to administer project funds.
7.2 It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the referees in advance and provide them with a copy of the grant application, to assist their preparation of the letters of support. CAAR may or may not contact referees directly to seek additional information. Referees may not include staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
7.3 CAAR also reserves the right to seek advice about the application from other persons as appropriate.
7.4 Copies of the signed letters of support must be uploaded in the online application form.
8. Funding arrangements
8.1 Applicants are required to provide a Project Budget breakdown in their application form.
- The Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a supplementary tax that will be calculated and paid by the Council as a separate component of project costs, where the applicant is registered for GST. Supplementation for GST may be provided if the project goods or services are to be provided in Australia and are subject to GST. Goods and services provided outside Australia (including international airfares) are not subject to GST. Where foreign taxes are to be imposed on goods and services provided outside Australia, those taxes cannot be treated as a separate payment by the Council, and applicants should include them in core budget costs for those project items.
- Where possible, support requested from CAAR should supplement financial assistance from other sources, including the applicant's own resources. Where support is obtained from other sources, evidence of the commitment of such support, either financially or in-kind, should be provided with the application form. CAAR's decision to award funding may be conditional on supplementary funds being raised from other sources.
- Where an activity contains an international airfare component, this should be costed as an economy class fare. CAAR will not reimburse applicants for additional expenses incurred because of late bookings or other problems requiring tickets to be paid for at a higher cost.
8.2 The CAAR Secretariat will prepare a Funding Agreement for each successful funding applicant. The Funding Agreement is the legal agreement between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (on behalf of CAAR) and the funding recipient. In managing the funding provided, the funding recipient must comply with all the requirements of the Funding Agreement.
8.3 All funding recipients must abide by these Guidelines and the Funding Agreement. The funding may otherwise be withdrawn.
8.4 Project implementation must commence during the financial year in which funding is awarded. CAAR funding may be valid for up to 12 months, depending on the approved project timeframe. 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 to the CAAR Secretariat. If required, a request for extension should be provided, to allow CAAR to consider the reasons for the delay and to take any appropriate action.
9. Selection process
9.1 The process will be an open competitive selection process. The selection process will comprise the following stages:
- Stage 1: Receipt and registration of applications. All applications received will be acknowledged in writing by email within 10 days of receipt.
- Stage 2: Initial screening of applications by CAAR Secretariat includes:
- compliance with Guidelines
- applicant eligibility and ability to undertake project
- relevance of project to CAAR objectives
- clarification of details relating to the project strategy and/or budget
- Stage 3: Assessment of applications against selection criteria by CAAR Board, and selection of successful projects.
- Stage 4: Approval of CAAR grant recommendations by Minister's authorised delegate.
- Stage 5: Notification of decision in writing (by email) to applicant by CAAR Secretariat.
- Stage 6: Negotiation of Funding Agreement by CAAR Secretariat.
- Stage 7: Grant details advertised on the DFAT website following signature of Funding Agreement.
9.2 Successful applicants will be advised of any special conditions that CAAR may attach to their activity. Payment will not be made until the applicant has signed the Funding Agreement.
9.3 CAAR 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.
9.4 Applicants who submit their funding applications by the closing date of an advertised application round will be provided with notification by email of the outcome of their application within a specified timeframe. CAAR cannot guarantee the timeframe that it may take to consider funding applications received after the closing date or outside an advertised application round. All applications are usually considered by the full Council.
10. Reporting and acquittal requirements
10.1 It is a condition of CAAR funding that recipients provide written reports and a financial statement of expenditure as required by the Funding Agreement (by email to the CAAR Secretariat in RFT or Word doc format). Final reports must be completed on the online Acquittal Form that will be provided with the Funding Agreement.
10.2 The online final report must include a written summary report suitable for upload onto the Council's website. Photographs relevant to the activity may supplement this report. The report should specify:
- the activities undertaken in project implementation, and
- the outcomes achieved.
10.3 An interim progress report is required in the case of any activity that extends beyond six months.
10.4 The Council may seek an oral report from the grant recipient at a Council meeting, in addition to the written report.
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 CAAR 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.
Under the Pay As You Go (PAYG) 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:
- 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;
- advice as to whether the individual or organisation is registered for the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST);
Funding recipients are responsible for obtaining and maintaining any insurances necessary or prudent for undertaking the proposed activity and to provide the CAAR Secretariat with evidence of these policies promptly on request, as required by the Funding Agreement.
13. Responsibilities of recipient
13.1 Individuals or organisations intending to apply for a CAAR grant for an activity that involves travel to the Arab region should read the Australian Government travel advisory for the relevant country or countries prior to lodging a grant application. Applicants who intend to travel to areas designated by DFAT as ‘Do Not Travel’ should ensure that this is addressed in the risk management section of their application.
13.2 Successful grant recipients intending to travel to an Arab League country or territory are required to confirm in writing prior to travel that they have read the relevant current Australian Government travel advisory. If necessary they will be required to sign a waiver that they are travelling under their own cognizance of, and responsibility for, any potential risks.
13.3 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. CAAR will not accept any liability for any medical, hospital or evacuation costs incurred by participants in projects funded by the Council.
13.4 Applicants should keep an electronic copy and hard copy of their application and supporting documentation for their own records, as applications and documentation will not be returned to applicants once the selection process is concluded.
14. Privacy and Freedom of Information
14.1 The information provided in the funding application is used when processing and assessing the 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 provided by the applicant may be distributed to CAAR, 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 CAAR website. DFAT may also publish this information, excluding personal information, in its Annual Report and on the DFAT website. 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. CAAR 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
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: (02) 6261 2090
Middle East Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Locked Bag 40
Kingston ACT 2604