ACCAN Grants Program Banner - Woman researching at library2021 Round is now closed

Below you will find all information about the Round, including timelines for notifications and Guidelines.

2021 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.

2021 Guidelines:

Download: pdfACCAN Grants Program Guidelines 2021.pdf

Download: docACCAN Grants Program Guidelines 2021 accessible.doc

2021 Round Priority Themes

If you are applying under the Research Stream, you will need to demonstrate alignment with one of the below Priority Themes. Priorities are formulated in consultation with ACCAN's stakeholders and change year to year. 

Education & Representation Stream applications still need to be framed in terms of a specific consumer problem aligned with ACCAN's strategic plan, but do not need to fit under the below Priority Themes. 

2021 Priority Themes: 

  • Telecommunications issues for particular communities 
    • eg. small business, aged care, remote access, CALD communities

  • Issues of limited choice and competition
    • ‘Embedded networks’ in buildings such as aged care facilities, apartment blocks and non-NBN fixed network areas
    • Telecommunications Consumer Data Right
    • Suitability of existing broadband services for low income consumers

  • Emerging communications technology 
    • eg. working from home, video-conferencing, access for people with disability or rural, regional, remote consumers.

  • Telecommunications consumer privacy and security
    • Cyber-security
    • Family violence

  • Other topics which can demonstrate direct alignment with ACCAN’s strategic plan


2021 Round Timeline

Expressions of Interest round OPENS

28 Jan 2021 
Expressions of Interest round CLOSES

25 Feb 2021 5pm AEDT 
EOI Applicants informed of outcome

30 March 2021 
Full Application round OPENS
(for invited applicants only)

30 March 2021 
Full Application round CLOSES

20 April 2021 5pm AEST 
Full applicants informed of outcome

30 June 2021
Funded projects can begin from

1 July 2021
Funded projects must complete by

30 May 2022

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?  - 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.

Email: grants @
Phone: 02 9288 4000
Or contact us via the NRS.