Who is eligible to apply?
All NSW-based individuals, research organisations, schools, public sector or not-for-profit organisations and commercial enterprises are eligible to apply to the Bushfire STEM in Schools Program (the Program).
Joint (consortia) proposals will be highly regarded. If a proposal is consortium-based, the proposal lead must be headquartered in NSW.
An individual will need to establish a legal entity and have an Australian Business Number before entering into a legally binding funding agreement with the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (OCSE).
A NSW public research organisation can apply to the Program through its appropriate Technology Transfer Office, CEO or equivalent. However, the research group must become a separate commercial entity before entering into a legally binding funding agreement with the OCSE.
What projects are eligible?
Eligible projects for the Program must align to content descriptions and student learning outcomes in relevant fields, including for secondary students the STEM, Geography and/or iSTEM curricula, or for primary students the Science and Technology curriculum, or suitable alternative curriculum alignment. Only proposals that align to NSW curricula will be eligible.
The project must ensure all grant monies are used on activities undertaken to deliver the program in NSW schools. Proposals that propose spending grant funding on partners, research activity, capital or asset purchase over $10,000, or activities outside of NSW will not be eligible (other than the use of specific bushfire-related expertise not available in NSW).
Projects must demonstrate that the project impact will be broader than an individual school.
How does the funding work?
The support for successful projects will be in the form of a grant to be provided in accordance with a Deed of Agreement entered into with the NSW Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade (NSW DEIT).
Up to $400,000 is available to the successful applicant(s) in this round, which is to be delivered in 2023, with a further $200,000 available for both rounds two and three. An applicant can apply for a maximum of $400,000 in this round.
Applications can include co-funding proposals and potential leveraging opportunities. If other in-kind assistance is sought, these should be included in proposals where feasible, and will be considered during the assessment process.
NSW DEIT may choose not to award or recommend funding under the Program.
Who will assess my application? What is the assessment process?
Once applications have closed, OCSE will review all submissions for eligibility and provide a report to the independent Expert Panel on the eligible and ineligible applications. OCSE, on behalf of the Expert Panel, may seek further information on individual applications in relation to eligibility.
The Expert Panel includes representatives from the NSW Department of Education and the Australia Institute of Disaster Resilience with expertise in bushfire, STEM and education fields.
The Expert Panel will assess and rank the applications according to the assessment criteria and make recommendations on which applicants, if any, should receive grants and the amount of those grants.
An independent probity adviser will be present to provide guidance to OCSE and the Expert Panel on integrity, fairness and accountability, and ensure transparency of the Program's administration.
Can I apply if I already have funding from another source?
Yes, you can apply if you already have funding from another source(s).
You should clearly demonstrate in your application what the Program funding will be used for to deliver on the aim of the Program. The Expert Panel may not support projects where it deems that funding from the Program is not necessary for your project to achieve success.
If you are successful and receive funding in the first round of the Program, you can apply in subsequent rounds.
If I am unsuccessful this round, can I reapply?
Yes, unsuccessful applicants can apply in subsequent rounds of the Program.
Who can I contact if I still have a question?
You can contact the Investment NSW concierge team at https://www.investment.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/