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Australia-Japan Foundation 2022 Grant Round FAQs

What is the Australia-Japan Foundation?

Established by the Australian Government in 1976, the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) is Australia's oldest cultural council, with aims to: increase awareness and understanding in Japan of shared interests with Australia; increase awareness and understanding in Australia of the importance of Japan to Australia as an economic and strategic partner; and increase recognition in Japan of Australian excellence and expertise.

Eminent Australians, appointed to the AJF Board, provide a range of expertise and input to Australia's foreign policy and economic diplomacy priorities through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The AJF provides grants to projects aligned with the Australian Government's priorities with funding from the International Relations Grants Program (IRGP). The AJF expands people-to-people and institutional links through programs and partnerships on contemporary issues including in economic diplomacy, the arts, media, education, business, science, technology and sport.

Read more on the Australia-Japan Foundation.

What is the AJF looking for in this round?

The grant guidelines provide information about eligibility and assessment criteria.

The AJF Board would also like to highlight the following key points:

Diversity of projects. There's no quota for theme or for type of project, but we do notice that a lot of the applications tend to cluster in the big metropolitan areas in both Australia and in Japan. We're very interested in hearing from people and organisations in locations that are outside big metropolitan areas.

Non-commercial activities. We sometimes get applications for support for what are routine business operations. If that's the kind of activity the person or organisation is engaged in, it would be more appropriate to have a conversation with our colleagues in Austrade instead of seeking support from the AJF.

The right phase in the research project. We receive a lot of very high-quality applications from universities and research institutes. We’re very interested in research; however, the AJF’s mandate is not to support the creation of research. We’re really interested in the dissemination stage and in communicating the results, i.e. the phase of the project where the impact and the visibility of both Australia's and Japan's research capabilities can really be shown to the public and shared with the wider community.

Any other tips on writing a strong application?

  • Have a good idea, work out how you're going to execute it and find a keen partner in Australia or Japan to help you with it.
  • Read the grant guidelines and ensure your project outcomes are aligned with AJF objectives and priority areas, plus at least one of the cross-cutting themes (youth; gender, diversity and inclusion; and innovation).
  • Make the impact of the project clear. If the AJF supports your project, what will be new that couldn’t be done without AJF support?
  • Develop a strong communications plan. Demonstrate how your project will generate positive and effective media coverage and commentary on the Australia-Japan relationship, promote a contemporary and positive image of Australia and support the Australian Government’s international policy goals.
  • Demonstrate the viability of the project by making the co-contributions and collaboration between Japanese and Australian partners clear. What will project partners bring to the table, either in cash or in-kind support?
  • If your project proposal includes travel, articulate an alternative/virtual plan to deliver the project.
  • Write the application for a non-specialist reader and have someone else read it before you submit.

What can grant money be used for?

You can use the grant to pay for costs detailed in your budget including:

  • Economy flights, modest accommodation costs, meals and travel allowances, other transport, providing travel is in line with COVID-19 restrictions
  • Online or remote communication activities
  • Communication and translation
  • Venue hire and catering, providing use of such facilities is in line with COVID-19 restrictions
  • Advertising and promotion, graphic design, photography and printed material
  • Production costs, including freight and artists’ wages
  • Only one participant per conference or meeting and only where the participant is a principal speaker and the subject of the conference is of direct relevance to the grant opportunity (in line with current government health advice and COVID-19 restrictions).

For activities delivered in Australia, applicants are encouraged to consider the use of an Indigenous supplier, if they intend to subcontract any of the services above. A directory of registered Indigenous businesses is available at Supply Nation.

If successful, you can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant details in your grant agreement. AJF grants will not be awarded for activities that have already been completed.

See examples of previous grants:

Can I apply for a project that involves an event several months from now with the notion that international travel between Australia/Japan will be available?

Make it clear in your application how your project will comply with COVID-19 related restrictions in place at the time you submit your application. While travel restrictions have begun to ease, we encourage applicants to take a pragmatic approach to travel given the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation. Applications with a travel component should specify a plan for alternative/virtual delivery of the project.

Can I resubmit a previous application?

Organisations and individuals are welcome to resubmit project proposals from previous applications but would still be required to create a new application in SmartyGrants and meet the eligibility and assessment criteria for the 2022-23 round.

Can I apply if I have an existing AJF grant?

Individuals and organisations with outstanding grant acquittals are not eligible for this round.

Can I submit a late application?

Please make sure you submit your application before 2 pm AEST Tuesday 10 May 2022. You will not be able to make a submission in SmartyGrants after the deadline.

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