Special Interest Group Funding

AARE provides an annual funding scheme to Special Interest Groups (SIGs) each year upon application and selection.

SIG Funding

AARE encourages SIGs to explore different ways of achieving scholarly research capacity building outcomes for SIG members, AARE members and the wider education research community. To support such endeavours, AARE provides an annual funding scheme.

Purpose: These grants are primarily intended as a means of supporting SIGs to contribute to the scholarly research capacity of their members, and AARE members more broadly.

Please find below further details about how and when to apply. 

Some possible ideas for SIG initiatives are:

  1. A mini conference based on a specific theme within a SIG.
  2. An event with a special guest presenter, who can provide a talk on a specific subject. This could even be a well-respected overseas academic attending virtually.
  3. A mini Theory Workshop, where a series of speakers present on a particular theme.
  4. A hybrid event that allows for participants to meet in smaller venues across multiple sites (observing covid-safe practices) and includes the simultaneous use of online platforms.
  5. A program of member support and mentorship with a series of meetings and activities.
  6. A series of resources such as videos, presentations or interviews relating to a SIG theme to be made available via a SIG website resource hub.

AARE is pleased to be able to provide the following support services to all successful SIGs.

  1. Advertising of events to all AARE members and also specific SIGs;
  2. Promotion of events on AARE website and social media;
  3. Coordination of registration, including income management;
  4. Communication with registered participants;
  5. Uploading and dissemination of any event recordings onto the AARE website; 
  6. Payment of approved budgeted invoices and reimbursements

Please see below for more information about applying for these grants.

Details of SIG Funding:

Funding round: annual (single round) per financial year

2023-2024 Applications due: Applications for the 2023-2024 year have now closed, approval process in progress with funding outcomes to be provided to applicants by early July.

Status of funding round: Closed

Funding available

Applications for smaller grant amounts will also be considered.

Applicant: SIG Convenor(s) or SIG members with the support of SIG Convenors. A reminder that only one competitive funding application can be submitted from each SIG.


  • Each SIG can apply for only one grant in total per year (whether as the sole or a joint applicant).
  • A SIG can collaborate with one other SIG to offer an activity to the combined value of two grant levels, up to $8,000.
  • A joint application can include only one Major+ grant.
  • The application needs to demonstrate a) the capacity of the SIG to deliver the activities, and b) that the SIG has been active in recent year.
  • Competitive funding must be used for the purposes of capacity building amongst SIG members.
  • Events or activities funded by competitive grants must be academic in nature, and should ideally be held on an academic site (e.g., university or conference venue).
  • Events or activities funded by competitive grants should be open to all members of the relevant SIG, and can be open to other AARE members.
  • Discounts must be made available to AARE members in the case of ticketed events, or events for which registration fees are charged for attendance.
  • Competitive grants are awarded based on an assessment of the budget submitted and major variations to this expenditure plan will not be approved. In the case where funds are not required for a particular budgeted item, these funds will not become available for other unbudgeted AARE expenses. While AARE understands that there may be minor variations in budgeted item expenditure (for example catering may be slightly more if there are additional participants, or flights may be less than expected), only budgeted items will be funded and no funding beyond the approved grant amount will be reimbursed. Should there be a need to make budgetary changes after award of the grant, a request to change expenditure against an approved budget must be made via the SIG Funding Variation Request Form and approval will be at the discretion of the AARE Executive Committee. Awardees are required to request any changes to the awarded budget prior to changes being made to plans to ensure that costs can be covered.
  • IMPORTANT: For insurance reasons, AARE must be aware of all booking forms, contracts/agreements, licenses/permits required for any AARE funded event or project that will require a signature.  In some cases these can be signed by SIG Convenor but might need to be signed by an authorised representative of AARE. 
    • Examples that possibly will require a AARE signature: a venue requires a signed booking form and agreement to booking conditions; a venue requires a signed agreement; a local council requires a permit for road closure of filming, etc. 
    • SIG Convenors are asked to consider this at the time of submitting the funding application so that the Executive can approve funding on the basis of all considerations.  It is fine to submit an application even if unsure about booking requirements but please provide as much information as you can at the time of application.
    • Booking forms that are signed without AARE oversight may have insurance implications.
    • If funding is awarded and for the duration of the project, please factor in an appropriate timeframe in your event planning (AARE authorisation and sign-off may take up to 14 days).
  • Funds awarded are to be expended by 30 June in the grant year (unless there are extenuating circumstances and prior approval is received).
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a report using the report template, to be provided to AARE by 30 June of the grant year.

How to apply:

  • Review the SIG Funding Guidelines 
  • Complete a Project/Event & Budget Plan using the template provided (note you are required to upload this plan to the online application form)
  • Complete the online Application form (2023 applications have now closed)
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a Funding Report using the template provided prior to 30 June of the grant period (financial year)

Selection process:

  • Competitive process where applications are assessed on merit by the AARE Executive Committee at the June mid-year Executive meeting.
  • All SIGs who have submitted applications will be notified of the outcome of their proposal by mid July.

Enquiries: SIG Coordinator

How to obtain approved funds 

AARE will pay approved funding in the following ways:

  • Direct payment of an invoice within approved budget
  • As reimbursement to a person on provision of receipts within approved budget
  • As reimbursement to a university on provision of receipts within approved budget

All payments must be approved by the SIG convenor or project lead. AARE makes payments every fortnight and most payments will be completed at these times (timeframe may be a few days longer to allow for banking authorisations/clearances). If you have an urgent request for payment please contact the AARE office - aare@aare.edu.au or call 03 5955 2412.

Please use this form to apply for payment