Grant information relating to the Handbury Fellowship Program
What we fund
The Fellowship grant is open to community members and/or community groups; and is particularly interested in the ideas and work of people who might fall outside of other grant processes, or who would not see themselves as capable of applying for a grant. For community members and/or community organisations, it is an opportunity for new ideas and collaborations; to determine what is valuable to research and to access the research expertise of relevant research partners. For the research partners, it is an opportunity to work with communities on local issues, and contribute to and collaborate on emerging ideas and responses to the research itself.
Projects are normally expected to be undertaken over a period of up to twelve months and may be undertaken either part-time or full-time. The amount of funding available for any one Fellowship varies according to need and project scope, and is in the range of up to $10,000. In certain circumstances, where the project under consideration shows great value to the community but not to the level of a Fellowship, then seed funding will be provided to strengthen the application. In special cases the advisory group may award a sum larger than this.
Key research areas
Agriculture is a powerful resource for promoting sustainable development and is a resource that must be constantly renewed through knowledge and innovation. The kinds of knowledge and innovation required in agriculture will not be the same from year to year or from place to place. Agriculture requires a widening and perpetually changing array of local-global knowledge and innovation to meet the diverse needs of the world’s growing population and to resist or mitigate the effects of climate change. Funding from this program especially supports new thinking about changing sources of innovation.
Cultural diversity refers to the quality of diverse or different cultures. Projects within this area can be inclusive of the arts but must promote cultural interaction, learning and wellbeing. Such projects would explore engagement with popular and traditional culture and practices. This program also encourages a focus on the diverse ways in which different groups of young people, secondary school and tertiary education students create, design, invent and re-invent cultural and inter-cultural events, projects and ideas. Through such culturally diverse engagement and collaborations, there is greater opportunity to contribute to building stronger communities.
Agriculture sectors provide livelihoods for millions of workers, particularly in rural areas, and underpin food security and nutrition. Food security exists when people have access on a continual basis to sufficient, safe and healthy foods. Community food projects have grown in response to concerns around access to fresh and affordable food, health, sustainability and resilience in a changing climate; and can have an impact on the way communities think about food, and questions of food security and food sovereignty; and forge mutually beneficial relationships and networks. Such projects also offer an opportunity to grow or provide access to culturally appropriate, affordable and healthy produce. Investing in agricultural productivity, infrastructure and social protection are some of the other ways in which food security and food sovereignty projects can be funded.
Ecology is defined within the Fellowship Program as that which focuses on the enhancement on habitats in which wildlife and plants flourish. It is the overall study of the distribution, abundance and dynamics of organisms, their interactions with other organisms and their physical environment; and can be divided into four categories: physiological ecology, population ecology, community ecology and ecosystems ecology. The Fellowship Program supports projects that:
- Increase public understanding of, and engagement with, ecology;
- Stimulate discussion about ecology and its implications for society;
- Inspire and enthuse people of all ages about the science of ecology, especially those not previously interested and develop skills in communicating the science of ecology.
Projects can range from community-wide energy responses to implementing sustainable forestry practices.
Funding criteria guidelines
- Does the project offer a clear public benefit for some or all of the community living in the region?
- Does it have a good prospect of longer-term viability and impact?
- Does it involve partnerships or leverage financial and/or in-kind contributions from the other groups involved?
- Is the project differentiated from similar projects already in existence?
- Does the proposed project have good project management and budget management processes?
- Does it have clear outcomes or performance indicators against which the project can be evaluated?
- Does the project demonstrate innovation – doing something that is beyond the normal business of the organisation or person applying?
Proposals go through a rigorous selection process prior to selection and funding through the RMIT University Helen & Geoff Handbury Fellowship Program.
All grant recipients are required to acknowledge the support of their project through the Helen and Geoff Handbury Fellowship Program. This includes signage, invitations, posters, advertising, internet sites, reports, books and any other promotional material related to the funded project. A logo is available on request from the Fellowship office.
There are specific guidelines and specific exclusions for this Fellowship Program. Please check these guidelines before you apply. You can find the guidelines within the application form which you will need to download.
The program will not fund and does not support:
- The purchase of capital equipment
- Supplementary support for ongoing undergraduate, Masters or Doctoral students
- Services or evaluation activities that should be funded through local organisation and/or government bodies
Geographic constraints of the Fellowship Program
Currently the program is limited to providing funds to the Western region of Victoria.