Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

DFAT’s Foundations, Councils and Institutes

The below information is not applicable to National Foundation for Australia-China Relations or Centre for Australia-India Relations grants.


Welcome to the current grant rounds of DFAT's Foundations, Councils and Institutes and the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant Program.  Stories of existing grants are available on our webpage, illustrating how these grants support people-to-people connections in areas aligned with Australia's foreign and trade policy priorities. 

Each grant round will appear below as it becomes public. 

Current grantees can access their project information through logging in (see text in blue, above).  

Foundations, Councils and Institutes

Over the past nearly 40 years the Australian Government has established cultural councils supporting people-to-people links underpinning our key bilateral and regional relationships. Eminent Australians are appointed to the boards, providing a range of expertise and input to Australia’s foreign and trade policy. Funding for these Foundations, Councils and Institutes and for the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program is provided through the International Relations Grants Program.

The International Relations Grants Program (IRGP) supports the Government's foreign and trade policies and projects a positive contemporary image of Australia. IRGP grants support professional, community and institutional linkages between Australia and its partners on contemporary issues of shared interest including the arts, media, education, business, science, technology and sport.

Grants eligibility

The grant guidelines for each round are available on the individual websites, listed here.

There is considerable competition for grant money and individual grants generally do not exceed $40,000.  Generally Australian individuals and organisations, as well as joint applications involving non-Australian individuals or organisations with an Australian partner, are eligible.  IRGP grants are managed in accordance with the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines.  Grants are generally not awarded for:

  • Capital expenditure including items such as real property, equipment or computer software;
  • Activities that are properly the responsibility of other funding bodies or other government agencies (e.g. development assistance projects, trade promotion and academic research);
  • Activities that are commercially viable in their own right or which give a commercial advantage to one organisation;
  • Conference travel, salaries for research assistants or administrative staff; honorariums or administrative charges levied by the applicant's organisation;
  • Travel budgets involving more than modest expenses (e.g. economy flights only); or
  • Projects already completed.

We welcome the ideas of a wide range of Australians.  We look forward to working with you to promote a positive contemporary image of Australia overseas and to open doors for personal and institutional connections internationally.

Current Rounds

2023-24 R1 Maitri Research Program

Submissions are now open.
Submissions close 9:00AM 26 March 2024 (AEDT).