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Grants and Funding

AIS Research Grant Program

Prioritise resources and promote applied research in areas of critical importance to Australia’s high performance sport system.

Led by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the National High Performance Sport Research Agenda (NHPSRA) has been developed in partnership with multiple stakeholders including the National Institutes Network (NIN).

The NHPSRA will form a significant element of the National Sport Research Agenda outlined in the Australian Sports Commission’s 2021-25 Corporate Plan.

The aim of the NHPSRA is to prioritise resources and promote applied research in areas of critical importance to Australia’s high performance sport system.

The identified research priorities are:

  • successful athlete
  • coaching science
  • sports performance optimisation
  • practice enhancement.

AIS Reseach Grant Agenda Guidelines

Important dates:

  • Applications open
    Monday March 21, 2022
  • Applications close
    Friday April 22, 2022
  • Notifications of successful applicants
    By mid-May 2022

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The AIS Research Grant Program supports the undertaking of quality research to deliver outcomes aligned to the NHPSRA, in particular activities addressing the research practical challenges (“sub-themes”, see below).

The intended outcomes of the AIS Research Grant Program are research activities that will lead to:

The successful athlete
  1. Developing frameworks for identification and confirmation of sport-specific talent.
  2. Evidence-informed holistic athlete development plans.
  3. Optimising athlete wellbeing, physical and mental health to support sustained sporting  performance.
  4. Understanding and supporting the needs of a diverse athlete population.
  5. Developing a return to play and sport performance framework, ensuring safe and efficient  post-injury and post-illness recovery.
Coaching science
  1. Effective and impactful coach development.
  2. Developing optimal learning environments in the HP landscape.
  3. Enhancing people development skills.
Sports performance optimisation
  1. Increasing the understanding of performance determinants to better support and facilitate an  interdisciplinary approach to athletes’ preparation.
  2. Improving individualisation of training planning and implementation, including an  interdisciplinary approach to periodisation.
  3. Enhancing targeted athlete monitoring.
  4. Enhancing execution during competition, with an interdisciplinary approach to facilitating  optimal performance states in a complex environment
Practice enhancement
  1. Increasing the impact and quality of scientific research (i.e., metascience).
  2. Solving strategic performance issues via applied research.
  3. Promoting the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices  into routine practice (i.e., implementation science).

The objectives of the AIS Research Grant Program are to:

  • Establish programs of research aligned to the NHPSRA that have a positive impact on Australia’s sporting success.
  • Develop sustainable relationships and/or build new networks with research programs/teams to help strengthen research quality and impact on sport.

The total budget for the AIS Research Grants program in 2021-22 is $500,000 [exclusive of GST].

Grant amount awarded

Applicants may seek funding to develop a partnership with the AIS to address a practical challenge from the NHPSRA. It is anticipated that the funding could be used to engage PhDs and / or Post-Doctoral students who will work in collaboration with their supervisory teams, the AIS and its stakeholders. Funding will be provided as follows:

  • at a minimum $30,000 (exclusive of GST)
  • at a maximum $125,000 (exclusive of GST).

The final grant amount will be determined by the AIS as part of the assessment process. The amounts may vary between applicants and may not be the full amount applied for, and the project duration may differ from that requested in the application. The total duration of the proposed research activities might extend to a maximum of three years.

Each organisation listed in the application is required to make a commitment of significant resources to the proposed research application. The level of contribution from organisations must take into consideration the total cost of the proposed grant application and the relative contribution of each participant at the organisation. We do not specify the type or level of contribution.

Application process

The application process is a two-stage process:

Stage 1 – Applicants to submit an application form by the deadline. No applications will be accepted after the published deadline.

Applicants to this grant opportunity should propose research activities that addresses one or two of the practical challenges within the same priority theme. An application may only be submitted to one of the above four priorities. The four priority themes have equal priority, while practical challenges are listed in order of priority. Applicants must specify the Priority and Practical Challenge(s) to which they are applying in their application.

Stage 2 – Successful applicants will engage with the AIS to enter a ‘Collaborative Research Agreement’ as the preferred partner to address a priority of the NHPSRA. The Agreement will set out the terms of the partnership, with provision of specific research projects to be undertaken within ‘Project Schedules’ of the Agreement. Funding will be granted upon signing the Agreement, but specific project funding will be allocated by mutual agreement in accordance with the relevant provisions in the Agreement.

Eligibility criteria

The AIS will only accept applications from Eligible Organisations.

Eligible Organisations can submit more than one application if there are groups within the organisation who have expertise in more than one of the areas of the NHPSRA.

The Eligible Organisation that submits the application will be the ‘Administering Organisation’ and all other Eligible Organisation(s) listed on the application will be an ‘Other Eligible Organisation(s)’.

Eligible Organisations

To be eligible, the Administering Organisation and Other Eligible Organisation must:

  • Not be an organisation named by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse ( on its list of “Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme”.
  • Have an Australian Business Number.
  • Able to demonstrate capabilities to undertake quality research to deliver outcomes aligned to the NHPSRA, in particular activities addressing the research practical challenges.

The AIS encourages collaboration with ‘value add’ partners including National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) or National Sporting Organisations for people with a disability (NSOD) as recognised by Sport Australia, State Institutes and Academies of Sport, other research organisations and other industry partners. The AIS is focused on optimal outcomes, so any partners that can deliver on the objectives are encouraged to apply.

Joint applications are also eligible and encouraged.

All items for which grant money is sought must be justified in the application to the AIS’s satisfaction.

The AIS may, in its absolute discretion, determine whether any project costs involve items not permitted. If such a determination is made, then the AIS may, in its absolute discretion, decide to not support part or all of the application for funding.

Additional information

For more infomation

If you have any questions regarding the AIS Research Grants Program, please contact the AIS Research Office via

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