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COALAR 2021-2022 - frequently asked questions

Can I resubmit a previous application?

Organisations and individuals are welcome to resubmit project proposals from previous COALAR grant rounds but you must address the grant assessment criteria and COALAR’s Business Plan focus theme for Sustainability. You will still be required to create a new application in SmartyGrants and meet the eligibility and assessment criteria for the 2021-2022 round.

Can I apply for a project commencing from 1 March 2022 involving international travel between Australia and countries of Latin America?

All projects must comply with local COVID-19 and related restrictions. Given current COVID-19 restrictions on travel and social distancing, opportunities for face-to-face engagement and international travel will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future. In this context, the COALAR 2021-2022 grant round will target online activities and other activities that encourage virtual technology, digital platforms and social media.

How can I strengthen my grant application?

Our Documentation:

Read the grant guidelines and ensure your project outcomes are aligned with COALAR objectives and priority areas as well as the COALAR Business Plan focus theme of sustainability.

Your applications will need to be innovative and demonstrate collaboration with partners, including through financial and other (e.g. in-kind) contributions; and have a well-developed public diplomacy plan which acknowledges Australian Government support through COALAR funding.

Your application requires an articulated COVID-19 compliant plan to deliver the project.

In-country Partner:

It is important to secure an in-country partner when you are conducting your project in another country.

Letters of Support:

Your two support or referee letters are vital. Firstly, they are a mandatory requirement to ensure your eligibility as an applicant. Secondly, support letters show confidence in you and/or your project activities.

Dos and Don’ts:

Do use referees who know you well and who understand your project.

Do seek your letters of support early in the application period to receive well before the deadline and check attachments prior to submitting your application.

Do include two strong support or referee letters that make a clear statement about you and/or your project rather than a number of letters that do not say much about you and/or your project.

Do not use people who are either involved in the project or who will benefit from the project.

Avoid using generic letters which are also being used by other applicants for other projects.

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

If successful, you can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant details in your grant agreement.

COALAR grant funding will not be awarded for activities that have started before 1 March 2022.

Can I apply if I have an existing COALAR grant?

Individuals and organisations with outstanding grant acquittals may apply for a grant but will need to contact the COALAR Secretariat ( to confirm they will submit the acquittal by end of November 2021.

Can I submit a late application?

No. The COALAR grant round is scheduled to be open for nearly eight weeks which is sufficient time for all applicants. Please make sure you submit your application before 4 pm AEST Friday 10 September 2021. You will not be able to make a submission in SmartyGrants after the deadline.

What is COALAR looking for in this round?

The grant guidelines provide information about eligibility and assessment criteria which for 2021-2022 has the focus of sustainability.

Here are some tips from the COALAR Board and Secretariat.

  1. Have a good idea, work out how you're going to execute it and find a keen partner to help you with it. Make your project compelling.
  2. Write the application for a non-specialist reader and have someone else read it before you submit. Use simple, clear and succinct expression that explains your project.
  3. Make the impact of the project clear. If COALAR supports your project, what would be new that couldn’t be done without COALAR support?
  4. Make clear who will benefit from the project.
  5. Demonstrate the viability of the project by making the co-contributions clear. What will project partners bring to the table, either in cash or in-kind support?
  6. Ensure the project budget is reasonable and well-articulated. The budget must represent value for money. Do not include any items that are commercial such as ‘crowdfunding’ or apps that have a fund raising capability.
  7. Be careful of the level of complexity such as the number of partners involved and/or number of countries involved.
  8. As we anticipate advice of outcomes will be possible at the end of January through to the end of February, you should check with your partners prior to that time to ensure everything is still on track.
  9. Ensure your application describes how you will promote Australia Government support through COALAR’s grant funding.
  10. Ensure your application ticks COALAR’s boxes in terms of aligning with the 2021-2022 funding guidelines’ assessment criteria.
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