Here are our top 10 tips for applying for funding from the Study Melbourne Inclusion Program. Following this advice will give your funding application the best possible chance of success.
1. Read the program guidelines and confirm you are eligible before you apply
In the past, we have received applications only to discover that the applicant, or the activity they are proposing, does not meet the specific funding criteria for this program.
Only fill out an application if your organisation and activity meet eligibility criteria.
Check the program guidelines to find out if your organisation and the proposed activity are eligible for funding under this program.
2. Speak with someone from the team
If you have checked the eligibility criteria and are still uncertain about whether your organisation or proposed activity would qualify for funding, speak with a member of the Study Melbourne Inclusion Program team.
Even if you have confirmed your eligibility, we recommend contacting the program team to discuss your proposed activity before completing your application.
You can email the program team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make it clear in the email’s subject line that your enquiry is about Study Melbourne Inclusion Program. Provide a phone number so a team member can call you back.
3. Address the aims of the Program
Read the program’s application guidelines to find out the specific aims of the program and make sure the activity you are seeking funding for will help to address some or all of these aims.
Make sure you can clearly explain in your application how and why your activity will address the program’s aims and provide supporting evidence where available.
4. Involve international students
The Study Melbourne Inclusion Program focuses on supporting the wellbeing of international students studying at Victorian based higher education institutions. It is therefore critical that applicants demonstrate to us that they are committed to giving international students genuine opportunities to contribute and participate in their proposed activity. You need to explain how you intend to do this. If your proposal involves working closely with a student group or organisation, you must provide written evidence of this relationship.
5. Respond to all funding criteria and questions
Read the application guidelines and make sure your application clearly responds to the ‘must’ requirements in those guidelines.
Where possible, explain how your proposed activity will also achieve other positive outcomes that support the wellbeing of international students in Victoria, as mentioned in the guidelines.
6. Explain the ‘what, why, who, when, where and how’
When describing your proposed activity in the Application Form, make sure you clearly explain:
- what will be delivered – clearly define the scope of the activity you are seeking funding for and list the number of events, sessions, products and/or services to be delivered.
- why the proposed activity and the approach you are taking will be effective in helping to improve the wellbeing of international students, and which wellbeing issues will be addressed.
- who will be involved in delivering the activity. This includes explaining the roles and intended contributions from any supporting or partner organisations.
- who the proposed activity will reach, including the number and type of international students likely to participate.
- when and where the activity will be delivered.
- how the activity will be delivered. For example, how the activity will be coordinated, how you will plan for and manage risks, and how you will provide appropriate insurance cover.
- how you intend to involve international students in planning, delivering and/or reviewing the activity.
7. Don’t rely solely on the program funding
All applications for Study Melbourne Inclusion Program funding will be expected to provide a minimum co-contribution that contributes to at least half of the value of the funding being applied for. However, we encourage you to work with other organisations to maximise additional cash or in-kind support for your proposed activity.
You will be required to itemise all additional support in your application.
8. Provide sufficient supporting material
The quality of the information you provide in supporting documents is extremely important.
If you are applying for more than $50,000 in funding, you must provide your organisation’s financial reports for the last three financial years.
Similarly, you must provide written evidence of your relationship with partner organisations to deliver the proposed activity and what they have committed to.
Think about what other relevant supporting information you can provide that will strengthen your application and give the assessment panel confidence in your proposed activity and your ability to follow through if funding is approved.
9. Pay attention to the detail in your application
Suppose your application contains vague or insufficient information, budget figures or numbers that don't add up when checked, typos, spelling mistakes and bad grammar. In that case, this will significantly reduce the impact the application has on our assessment panel. It may even be rejected before it reaches the assessment panel.
Make sure you respond to all the sections and questions in the online Application Form. Complete the Budget and Expenditure Forecast spreadsheets and double-check that the figures and calculations are correct.
Cross-check between the Application Form and your supporting documents to ensure consistent content. Label all supporting documents and cross-reference them with your application form's content.
Finally, give yourself enough time to re-read the application to pick up any mistakes or gaps in content. Ask one or two colleagues to read the application and supporting material. A fresh set of eyes may pick up issues that the writer does not see.
10. Get your application in early
Plan so you can submit your application before the closing date. Late applications will not be accepted once each funding round has closed.
If possible, submit your application well before the closing date. This gives us time to review your proposal and get back to you with any questions or suggestions while there is still time to update and re-submit the application if required.