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We will be launching the next Round early in 2020 and the website will be updated with the new Guidelines etc closer to then.

In the meantime, have a look at the 2019 Round information below. It will serve as a helpful guide on how the ACCAN Grants Program operates.

What's changed?

ACCAN is committed to best serving telecommunications consumers by administering a high quality Grants Program that is responsive to consumer needs. A number of changes have been made in the  2019 Guidelines, which we hope will better reflect the time and effort taken to apply for grants: 

  1. Two-stage applications 

    1. We are introducing an Expressions of Interest (EOI) stage via a shortened application form. EOIs showing potential will receive feedback and/or questions to address, and be invited to make a full application for a grant. Both EOIs and full applications will be judged by the Independent Grants Panel according to the Program's assessment process which is competitive, merit-based and guided by assessment criteria. It is expected that only the top applications will progress through each stage. 

  2. Two streams

    1. Research Stream 

      1. Applications in this stream are for consumer-focussed research;
      2. Applicants may be from any sector (eg. industry, academia, community);
      3. Applications may be for projects of up to $100,000 value, or up to $50,000 value
      4. Applications over $50,000 may be for projects up to 2 years duration;
      5. Applications under $50,000 may be for projects up to 1 year duration.

    2. Education and Representation Stream

      1. Applications in this stream are for work that is predominantly consumer education and/or representation focussed;
      2. The lead applicant must be from the community sector, or demonstrate strong community partnership;
      3. The project uses, or supplements, existing ACCAN resources;
      4. Applications may be for projects of any value up to $50,000;
      5. Applications may be for projects of any duration up to 1 year.

  3. Existing projects can apply for follow on work

    1. If you are a current grantee and have demonstrated exceptional competency in delivering agreed outcomes, you will have the opportunity to apply for follow-on funding. This means that if you have an idea for an extended stage of your current project which builds on the outcomes of your existing work, you may request funding for a second term. You will need to follow the same Guidelines as new applicants. 

2019 Round Guidelines

Consult the Guidelines for everything you need to know about how the ACCAN Grants Program works, including eligibility, how to apply, the timeline and what to expect. These guidelines contain the rules for the Program and the assessment approach.

2019 Guidelines are available below:

Download: pdf2019 Guidelines (PDF)957.09 KB

Download: doc2019 Guidelines (Word)265 KB

2019 Round Priority Themes

It is critical that applications are framed in terms of a specific consumer problem and describe how the project addresses that problem. Projects focussing on one of the below consumer issues will be prioritised, as per Selection Criteria. Priorities have been formulated in consultation with ACCAN's stakeholders. 

Priority Theme 1 - Consumer privacy and security, especially in relation to the Internet of Things (IOT)

Priority Theme 2 - Access to communications in regional, rurual, and remote communities, including indigenous communities

Priority Theme 3 - Emerging technologies, for example, Accessibility for people with disabilities using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Other topics which can demonstrate direct alignment with ACCAN's strategic plan may also be considered.

2019 Round Timeline

Expressions of Interest round opens  Monday 4th Mar 2019
Expressions of Interest round closes Friday 22nd Mar 2019, 3pm AEDT
Full application round opens
(for invited applicants only)
Monday 15th April 2019
Full application round closes Friday 3rd May 2019
Applications reviewed by the Independent Panel May 2019
All applicants notified of outcomes Jun 2019
Opportunity to seek feedback from ACCAN on unsuccessful applications TWO weeks from the date of notification
Funded projects begin 1 July 2019
Funded projects completed Prior to
30 June 2021









Who can apply?

Eligible projects come from a range of applicants, such as individual researchers, community organisations, local councils and universities – all you need is an ABN and some great ideas. Check our website to see previous grant recipients. We strongly encourage partnerships, so if you're interested in a partnership with industry, a community organisation or university, get in touch with us as we may be able to make an introduction.

What is eligible?

Eligible projects address telecommunications consumer issues. A telecommunications consumer issue is one that is systemic, persistent and generally widespread, affecting consumers in their use of telecommunications and internet services. The issue could be something that affects the general public or it might be an issue affecting a particular part of the community such as children, older people, or people with disabilities, but preferably one where multiple sectors would benefit from a solution.

It could be something that results in rip-offs or people getting into debt over their phone or internet usage. Or you may be studying the regulatory space for telecommunications services in Australia. These are just some examples. Whatever your project, it fills an identified gap and improves telecommunications goods or services for Australian consumers. 

Make sure you have a look at ACCAN's strategic plan, our policy priorities and website before applying.

What won't get funded?

We often see applications which use apps, websites or other technologies to benefit Australian consumers in some other way eg. to improve their health, educate them about community services, or deliver arts or wellbeing programs to Australians in need. While these are all worthwhile projects, they do NOT fall within ACCAN's remit and would be deemed ineligible under the ACCAN Grants Program.  Your project needs to demonstrate outcomes for telecommunications consumers.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  1. How does my project improve the purchase or use of phone and internet services in Australia?
  2. What are the outcomes for the telecommunications sector? Is my project directed at telcos, telecommunications regulators, government or consumers with regards to their telecommunications use?
    1.  If so, then your project is likely within scope. If your aim is to improve other sectors, then your project is ineligible.


ACCAN's scope generally does NOT include content, unless that content is related to telecommunications eg. phone plans, billing, privacy of telco contracts, consumer rights with regard to phone or internet services.

If you're unsure if your project fits our Program, or even if you're sure it does, talk to us. If you give us enough time, we may even be able to provide feedback on application drafts. 

For the full list of eligibility criteria, see the Guidelines. 

Will ACCAN fund overheads?

ACCAN won't fund overheads, such as administration levies, general office space and so on. We don’t cover normal operating costs for an organisation to do its business either. The grant program funds clearly defined projects and project activity towards specific outputs.

We do cover all costs that are directly attributable to the project itself, e.g. project labour, project management, project accounting, or even office space and room hire if it can be justified as directly attributable to the project.

It all depends on how clearly the cost is related to the project - If you weren’t doing this project would the cost still exist? If yes, then we won’t cover it. Is it an arbitrary levy added by your organisation on top of the project? If yes, we won't cover it. We only cover costs for activities inside the project.

Contact us

We strongly encourage prospective applicants to phone or email ACCAN's grants team to discuss your project idea. Remember, applications are assessed independently, so we are able to help you develop your idea and hone it appropriately for the ACCAN Program. We're also available for any other questions you might have about ACCAN Grants. 

Phone: 02 9288 4000
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or contact us via the NRS.