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Defence Strategic Policy Grants Program

Defence Strategic Policy Grants Program

  • Applications are open until 3 November 2023.
  • Estimated grant value ranges from $50,000 – $500,000.

The 2024 Strategic Policy Grants Program's (SPGP) is designed to enhance public discourse on Australia's strategic landscape, foster stronger defence partnerships, and provide informed strategic policy recommendations to the Defence. Through the funding of independent initiatives, the SPGP seeks to delve into the core aspects of Defence's purpose, mission, and priorities.

The 2024 SPGP is scheduled to take place over a duration of up to three years, commencing in July 2024 and concluding in June 2027.

Key Requirements

Defence funding will exclusively be granted to applications that demonstrate exceptional performance across all assessment criteria.

Criterion 1: Clarity of objective and expression

The first assessment criteria for SPGP 2024 focuses on the clarity of your proposed activity’s objective and the overall clarity of expression in your application.

This criterion is crucial in establishing a common understanding of the purpose of your application. It also serves as an indicator of whether your proposal is appropriately tailored, considering that the target audiences include busy officials and members of the general public who may not be familiar with defence terminology.

To demonstrate clarity of focus and expression, it is essential for applicants to present a specific research question or a set of questions they intend to address. It is important to communicate using plain English, ensuring that the content is easily understandable.

Criterion 2: Significance and relevance to Defence

The second assessment criteria for SPGP 2024 focuses on the significance and relevance of your proposed activities to Defence’s mission and purpose. It also takes into consideration the specific priorities and challenges identified in the National Defence – Defence Strategic Review 2023.

Ensuring the significance and relevance of SPGP is crucial in responsibly utilising public funds and aligning them with Defence’s departmental responsibilities and the Government’s defence and strategic priorities. By maximising the return on investment and avoiding duplication of existing initiatives, we can effectively allocate resources to drive impactful outcomes.

To demonstrate the significance of your proposal, you should explain how your proposed activity will offer new and valuable insights, considering other similar or related research and activities. It is crucial that your application is aligned with Australian strategic and defence policy choices, including decisions regarding Australia’s interactions with other nations. Please ensure that you address strategic and defence policy choices specifically, rather than broader national security and foreign policy considerations.

Criterion 3: Effectiveness of design

The third assessment criteria for SPGP 2024 focuses on the expected effectiveness of your activity design in achieving SPGP 2024’s objectives and outcomes, while also delivering value for money.

SPGP’s effectiveness of design criterion helps ensure Defence’s use of public money contributes to appropriate outcomes and is efficient, effective, economical, ethical and consistent with policy.

By evaluating the effectiveness of design, SPGP aims to ensure that the use of public funds by Defence contributes to appropriate outcomes and is conducted in an efficient, effective, economical, ethical, and policy-compliant manner.

To effectively demonstrate the design’s impact, applicants should provide a comprehensive explanation of their plan for advancing the proposed activity. This should include a clear outline of how they intend to utilise Defence grant funding and other available resources.

In addition, applicants should directly address any potential risks or sensitivities that may arise from their proposed activity. It is crucial for applicants to provide assurance to Defence regarding their capability to effectively manage these risks and sensitivities associated with their grant activities.

Criterion 4: New and emerging talent development

The fourth assessment criteria for SPGP 2024 focuses on the promotion of new and emerging talent in relation to Australia’s strategic and defence policy choices.

By emphasising the development of new and emerging talent, this criterion ensures that Defence’s allocation of public funds contributes to the cultivation of a diverse and inclusive pipeline of professionals working on Australia’s strategic and defence policy choices. This effort extends not only within Australia but also encompasses other countries that are relevant to Australia’s defence.

To effectively demonstrate your commitment to talent development, please provide a detailed explanation of how the proposed grant activity will contribute to fostering the participation of new and emerging individuals in Australia’s strategic and defence policy debate. Proposals that include team members who are recognised as new and emerging professionals in the defence and strategic fields will be given favourable consideration.

Criterion 5: Verifiability of results

The fifth assessment criterion for SPGP 2024 focuses on the verifiability of the expected outcomes of your proposed activity. It aims to determine whether it will be possible to assess the impact you have made.

SPGP’s verifiability of results criterion plays a crucial role in ensuring that Defence’s utilisation of public funds is effective in accomplishing the program’s objectives. It enables Defence to evaluate grant activities in a thorough and appropriate manner, guaranteeing accountability and transparency.

To demonstrate the verifiability of your results, please complete the Benefits Management Framework in Section 4 of the application form. This framework should provide a comprehensive overview of each proposed grant deliverable, along with the corresponding expected outcomes, benefits, and performance measures. These measures will enable tracking and assessment of whether the grant activity successfully achieves its intended objectives.

What is eligible for funding?

To be eligible for the grant, your activity must meet the following

  • Support Defence’s purpose and mission in a professional manner
  • Fulfil one or more of the program’s objectives and outcomes.
  • Align with the priorities and challenges identified in the National Defence – Defence Strategic Review 2023.
  • Be a new initiative that is not already funded and distinct from regular business-as-usual activities.

Your grant can encompass activities across various locations within Australia and overseas.

You may only utilise the grant funds for eligible expenditures that have been incurred within the specified grant agreement period. These eligible expenditures are defined in the grant details outlined in your agreement. Your financial acquittal, which is independently audited, will provide a comprehensive report on these specific details.

Eligible expenditure categories include:

  • Research costs: This may encompass expenses related to data acquisition, analytical tools, research assistance, or teaching relief.
  • Event costs: This includes expenses associated with facility and equipment hire, as well as catering services.
  • Communication costs: This covers both digital and physical publications and media-related expenses.
  • Travel costs: This pertains to transportation, accommodation, and reasonable expenses incurred during travel.
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and learning costs: This encompasses reporting and auditing expenses for the purpose of monitoring, evaluating, and learning from the grant project.

What companies are eligible for funding?

Applications for SPGP 2024 must be lodged by organisations holding an Australian Business Number or international equivalent, for example, a university or think tank. Individuals with different organisational affiliations (such as different universities or think tanks) can submit a joint application to SPGP 2024. This must identify a project lead as well as a lead organisation accountable to the Australian Government, through Defence, for any agreed grant activities.

While focused on Australia’s strategic and defence policy choices, Defence’s SPGP 2024 is global in scope – applicants need not be Australian citizens or residents, nor Australia-based.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.