Australia & Pacific Science Foundation (ASPF) Grants

Australia & Pacific Science Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to A $45,000

Deadline: Mar 5, 2020 11:00pm PST

Applicant type: Research Scientist Faculty Museum/Library/Zoo College / University

Funding uses: Conference, Research

Location of project: Australia and New Zealand, Melanesia, Tonga

Location of residency: Australia and New Zealand, Melanesia, Tonga

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In the early 1960s a group of benefactors established the New Guinea Biological Foundation and invested trust funds in a cocoa plantation at Arawa, Bougainville. This foundation funded a variety of projects aimed at the promotion, advancement and study of biological science in all its branches. Later, in 1985, another foundation was formed in addition to the New Guinea Biological Foundation, to broaden the geographic location of projects to Australia and other countries in the southwest Pacific.

In 2000, the Australia and Pacific Science Foundation was established to sponsor activities within Australia and managed by Australian entities. In 2005 sponsorship was extended to include projects with components within the south west Pacific, managed by Australian institutions or other entities within those countries.

In seeking to achieve its aims, The Australia & Pacific Science Foundation provides support, on a competitive basis, for the following activities:

  • The top priority is to encourage high quality research by scientists in Australian national or state institutions, and similar institutions in other countries of the South West Pacific.
  • Occasional support may also be given to such activities as training, publications or conferences.
The Foundation seeks to complement, rather than compete with, other funding bodies. Experience has shown that modest support can be particularly effective if used as “seed money” to initiate projects, which may subsequently expand and attract major funding from other sources. Foundation grants have also supported specific components of large projects financed primarily by other agencies.

Typically the APSF provides project grants up to A$15,000 per year for up to three years. Grants are made in annual instalments, and payments are dependent upon the receipt of satisfactory annual reports and financial statements. An additional progress report is required six months after the start of the project. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grants are awarded to institutions within Australia or other countries of the South West Pacific region for activities within those countries or within the region.
  • Salaries of technicians and research assistants may be supported. 
    • Conformity with the Foundation's guidelines as presented here, including
      • that the project will be undertaken within Australia or other countries of the South West Pacific region under the umbrella of a university or other appropriate institution within those countries;
      • that funding will be limited to no more than three years and A$15,000 annually, and
      • that salaries for research scientists and stipends for students are available from other sources.
    • The project forms an identifiable element of work that would not be undertaken without the support of the Foundation.
      • If the project is a sub-project of a larger investigation it must be sufficiently discrete for the outputs and outcomes to be independently evaluated.
      • (Projects that may be seminal to subsequent larger grants from other sources are attractive to the Foundation.)
    • The project is in the biological or biophysical sciences or has application in those areas, as exemplified in projects described on this web site, and is not medical research.
    • The components of the project budget for which funds are sought from the Foundation must be justified — both travel and equipment for which funding is sought must be essential for this project.


  • When formulating its recommendations for the Trustees, the Research Committee particularly favours activities that seem likely to lead to improved systems of managing land, water, plants and animals in ways which will enhance the productivity and quality of food, fisheries, plants and forests, while simultaneously conserving the natural environment, preserving biodiversity, avoiding pollution of soils and water, and enhancing human welfare.
  • In assessing applications for new projects, scientific merit is of paramount importance
  • The efforts made by applicants are greatly appreciated and the Foundation is acutely aware of the time taken in the preparation of applications.
    • Therefore, in order to minimize time lost in preparing applications that are not likely to be successful in an extremely competitive research environment prospective applicants are reminded of the criteria to which the Research Committee gives priority:
      • The scientific merit of the application and its likelihood of cost-effective delivery against the stated objectives and outcomes remain paramount.
        • Scientific merit is judged by peer review of the quality of the background information, the logic of the proposal and the experimental design.
        • Applications may be improved in these respects if they have been critiqued by professional colleagues prior to submission.
      • The likelihood of a successful outcome is assessed against the relevance of the application, the quality of science on which it is based and the qualifications and track-record of the principal investigator(s).
        • In assessing track-record the Research Committee gives full recognition to applicants who may be comparatively new to research but who have relatively impressive performances in publishing in quality journals and/or who have demonstrably superior applied outputs and outcomes for the time they have been researchers.
      • The need to encourage capacity building is also acknowledged.
        • For the APSF capacity building in developing countries within the Pacific region is a particular priority which may necessitate greater weight being given to the input of students.


  • Applications from students as project leaders are not accepted.
  • Grants do not cover the salaries of scientific research staff or stipends of students.
  • Administrative overheads are not funded.
  • The Foundation does not fund costs associated with attendance at conferences, either domestic or international. Publlication costs levied by scientific journals are not supported by the Foundation.