Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) 2023 Grant Round - tips for writing a strong application
What is the AJF looking for in this round?
The grant guidelines provide information about eligibility and assessment criteria.
Applications must address one of the AJF's priority areas (Communication, information and advocacy; Economic diplomacy and geopolitics; Education and Australian studies; Scientific innovation; Society, culture and sport). For more information on priority areas, see the AJF Strategic Plan 2017-2023.
The AJF Board would also like to highlight the following key points:
Communications is key: The AJF looks for projects that generate positive and effective media coverage and commentary on the Australia-Japan relationship, and promote a contemporary and positive image of Australia, and support the Australian Government's international policy goals. A strong and effective communication plan for your project activities is crucial for maximising the impact and reach of your project to a wide audience - it is an essential element of all projects.
Project partners: The AJF Board considers the capability and capacity of you as an applicant and your project partner. You'll need to have a project partner identified and show that you have been in communication with that partner. We'll look at your past achievements and your track record of successful partnerships.
Diversity of projects: We're very interested in hearing from people and organisations in locations that are outside big metropolitan areas. 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.
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.
Research projects: The right phase of a 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.
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.
- 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..
- 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.