Australia Japan Foundation Grant Program

What is the Australia Japan Foundation Grant Program?

The Australia Japan Foundation Grant Program is a funding for businesses and individuals to undertake projects which strengthen bilateral relations between Australia and Japan, enhance Australia’s international reputation and promote cultural understanding.



The objectives of the Australia Japan Foundation Grant Program are:

  • to increase awareness and understanding in Japan of shared interests with Australia;
  • to increase awareness and understanding in Australia of the importance of Japan to Australia as an economic and strategic partner; and
  • to increase recognition in Japan of Australian excellence and expertise.

To achieve its objectives, the AJF will prioritise high quality programs particularly, but not exclusively, across any one of the three cross-cutting themes: youth; gender, diversity and inclusion; and innovation.



In 2020-21 $700,000 is available for this grant opportunity, subject to appropriation, starting in July 2020.

Grant applications for a minimum of $10,000 or maximum of $40,000 per year and and multi-year funding of up to three years will be considered.

Co-contributions from you and other parties strengthen your application.

Funding will also be available for project proposals that can demonstrate potential to strategically shift and advance the Australia-Japan relationship in a worthwhile and sustainable way. It is anticipated that most grants will be between $15,000 and $30,000 per year, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity.


Eligible Projects

The Australia Japan Foundation Grant Program priority areas are:

  • Communication, Information and Advocacy: Projects will promote an accurate and positive image of Australia in Japan, highlight the enduring nature of the bilateral relationship and increase public understanding of the importance of the Australia-Japan relationship in both countries.
  • Economic Diplomacy and Geopolitics: Projects will facilitate informed discussion among policymakers, business groups and academic opinion leaders on the importance and potential of the Australia-Japan business, economic and geopolitical relationships to each country. Projects will focus on the following areas:
    • Promoting closer economic relations arising from the opportunities of trade agreements and their built-in agendas;
    • Promoting emerging issues and trends in Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan;
    • Promoting Australian corporate reform capabilities and international business expertise in areas of interest to Japan (for example in project management and private-public partnerships);
    • Promoting understanding and public awareness of Australia and Japan’s shared contribution to promoting peace and stability in the region and globally; and Australia and Japan’s commitment to rules and norms that promote stability, peace and prosperity.
  • Education and Australian studies: Projects will focus on two areas:
    • The promotion of Australia’s strong education and training credentials, for example, through alumni engagement and opportunities to provide in-country exposure to Australian education and training capabilities.
    • Support for the teaching of Australian studies in Japan and the maintenance and expansion of Japanese academic interest and expertise on Australia.
  • Reconstruction: Australia and Japan both face natural disasters, sometimes with devastating results. Currently, projects under this priority are assisting Japanese communities to recover from the devastation of natural disasters, particularly communities of the northeastern Tohoku region still recovering from the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake/tsunami.
  • Scientific innovation: Projects will focus on three areas:
    • Exchanges between potential Australian and Japanese individual and institutional collaborators and partners in sectors that promote Australian excellence such as in innovation, science, health and technology;
    • The promotion of Australian expertise in scientific research, technology and innovation, for example, through alumni engagement and public outreach activities. AJF will not fund science research in itself;
    • Promotion of Australian excellence in sports medicine and other sports-related scientific innovation through exchanges.
  • Society and Culture: Projects under this priority will encourage new social and cultural exchange and cooperation initiatives between Australian and Japanese professional, community and other institutions including sport, local government, youth, community and not-for profit groups which highlight Australian excellence and expertise in Japan and enhances mutual understanding, friendship and respect. Projects will promote Australia as a contemporary, creative, successful, diverse and tolerant nation; and an attractive place to work, study, visit and live. Projects will also promote Japan as a highly complementary partner with shared values and interests. Arts/culture projects would preferably be a collaboration between Australian and Japanese partners and demonstrate innovative ideas and/or approaches conceptually or in its delivery. The individual or organisation must have a proven record of quality and excellence.

You must use the grant for the following activities:

  • The project outlined within the application.

You can use the grant to pay for costs detailed in your budget and grant agreement, including:

  • Economy flights, modest accommodation costs, meals and travel allowances, other transport
  • Communication and translation (only for Japanese-language material to English or Englishlanguage materials to Japanese),
  • Venue hire and catering,
  • Advertising and promotion, graphic design, photography and printed material,
  • Production costs, including freight and artists’ wages

You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant details in your grant agreement.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • be one of the following entity types:
    • an Australian entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN)
    • a consortium with a lead organisation
    • a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
    • an Australian local government body
    • an Australian State/Territory government body
    • a corporate Commonwealth entity
    • an Australian statutory authority
    • be an Australian or permanent resident of Australia
    • or be a Japanese citizen or organisation
  • and be willing to provide or develop child protection guidelines for your project if it involves people under the age of 18 years.

Applications from consortia are acceptable, provided you have a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project and is eligible as per the list above.

Individuals who intend the grant to be administered by a university should apply on behalf of the university, i.e. your university is the applicant.



Applications close 14 April 2020.


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