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The 2020 Round will be open for Expressions of Interest from 28 January – 25 February 2020. Guidelines will be available  during this time.


ACCAN is committed to best serving telecommunications consumers by administering a high quality Grants Program that is responsive to consumer needs.

Two-stage applications 

Applicants first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via a shortened application form. Shortlisted EOIs 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. Due to the limited funds available, only the most highly ranked applications will progress through each stage. 

There are two streams:

You can apply under one of two Streams:

Research Stream 

  • Applications in this stream are predominantly consumer-focused research and may request up to $100,000.

Education and Representation Stream

  • Applications in this stream are for work that is predominantly consumer education and/or representation;
  • The lead applicant must be from the community sector, or demonstrate strong community sector partnership;
  • Applications may be for up to $50,000.


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.

Guidelines for 2020 will be available when the Round opens, but will be similar to last year’s.

2019 Guidelines are available below:

Download: pdf2019 Guidelines (PDF)957.09 KB

Download: doc2019 Guidelines (Word)265 KB

2020 Round Priority Themes

These are currently being determined for 2020.

It is critical that applications are framed in terms of a specific consumer problem and describe how the project addresses that problem. Research Stream applications need to demonstrate alignment with one of the Priority Themes. Priorities are formulated in consultation with ACCAN's stakeholders. 

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

2020 Round Timeline

Expressions of Interest round opens  28 Jan 2020
Expressions of Interest round closes 25 Feb 2020  5pm AEDT
Applicants informed of outcome of EOI     26 Mar 2020
Full application round opens
(for invited applicants only)
27 Mar 2020
Full application round closes 21 Apr 2020
All applicants informed of outcome 30 June 2020
Funded projects begin 1 July 2020







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 a project that addresses consumer 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, services or information 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.