Environmental Research

Grants of up to $200,000 for collaborations undertaking applied research in priority environmental themes.

This program is now open for applications, closing 3pm, Monday 31 May 2021.


The Environmental Research program supports applied research in identified priority environmental themes. The objectives of the program are to:

  • generate new knowledge or information to help local solutions to environmental problems
  • discover new methods of operation for NSW industries that are less harmful to the environment and enhance the public good
  • knowledge and advance techniques to solve general environmental problems in New South Wales
  • assess and test application of innovative solutions to decrease environmental degradation in New South Wales.

Who can apply?

We offer grants to collaborations that:

  • show the capability to undertake applied research
  • include the end-user of the proposed research.

Collaborating entities can be:

  • community groups and organisations
  • universities
  • government entities.

2021 program themes and priorities

In line with the NSW Environmental Trust Strategic Plan 2020-2024, one theme (Post Bushfire Flora Recovery) will be offered this year under the 2021 Research round. Further information on this round is available in the program guidelines (PDF 1.6MB).

Post Bushfire Flora Recovery

Following the devastating 2019–20 bushfire season, more than 100 native plant species have been identified as high priority for post-fire survey work to determine their response and current conservation status. Grants funding survey work to determine the current status of these species is available to eligible groups. Data collected through this program will be used by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to inform recovery strategies and actions for these species.

Applicants must nominate species from must nominate species from the list provided (PDF 111KB) in their proposal. Proposals which demonstrate coordination of survey work to maximise the number of species for the funding requested, will be prioritised.

Grantees will require a scientific licence under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. Research projects funded under this round will be required to submit data to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to inform recovery management actions.

The program is now open to applications.

To apply, first read these documents:

Then complete these forms:

Reference materials

The following documents are in draft format and for applicant reference only. They provide an indication of the expected process for collection of survey data by grantees. These are a work in progress:

Planning and reporting


Grantees under the 2020 round onwards must implement a project management framework that includes a Workplan (previously known as Monitoring and Evaluation Plan and Project Measures Table).

The Workplan and project measures help you to define what your project will deliver, including:

  • the outcomes to be achieved, i.e. environmental, social and project management (mandatory)
  • what and when activities will be undertaken to achieve each outcome
  • how activities will be implemented, monitored and evaluated.

Your Workplan will also require you to build a strong monitoring and evaluation framework into your project so that environmental improvements can be measured and demonstrated.

Evaluating each activity as you implement your project will allow for adjustments to be made to improve the project outcomes.


The Trust expects effective and consistent monitoring of project activities across the program. The use of monitoring methods will vary depending on the nature of the work being carried out.

We ask you to ensure that minimum standards are created by establishing the following:

  • Consistent monitoring methods are used to measure activity implementation and progress, e.g. photo monitoring, mapping, participant surveys, etc.
  • Benchmarks/baseline data is captured at the commencement of projects and individual activities that may be used to demonstrate the outcomes your work is achieving over the life of the project.

These monitoring methods will also help to provide evidence of change.


These methodologies also vary between projects. They should be part of your project's annual review (incorporating adaptive management concepts) and reporting process.

This may involve people from your organisation, with relevant stakeholders/partners, examining the implementation of your Workplan over the previous stage, assessing strengths and weaknesses then integrating improvements/changes (for both activities and timing) into a revised work plan for the following year.

Progress reports and final report

As you move through your project, you will have to submit progress reports. These will outline what you have achieved and what you will do next.

Progress reports are reviewed by technical experts who can ensure you are on the right track and give you feedback or advice. After your report is reviewed and accepted, we will pay your next grant instalment.

When your project finishes, you will have to submit a final report that says what it has achieved.

Research grantees under the 2022 round onwards will submit progress and final reports using the online Grants Management System.

Research grantees under the 2021 round and prior should use the progress and final reporting form (DOCX 83KB) template for your reports.

Financial reports

You must submit an updated and authorised financial report with all your progress reports. You also need to submit a certified financial report as a part of your final project report.

If you need to rearrange your project's budget, you should apply for a budget variation.

Research grantees under the 2022 round onwards will submit financial reports using the online Grants Management System.

Research grantees under the 2021 round and prior should use the forms provided on the financial reporting page.

Other documents

You may also have to submit some other documents or evidence. They will be listed in the grant agreement we send you.

Where to send reports

Grantees under the 2021 round and prior should email reports and other documents to info@environmentaltrust.nsw.gov.au (50MB limit).

Acknowledgement requirement

Please acknowledge the funding you have received from the Trust in all publications and materials related to your project. We ask that you say:

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

You also need to use the New South Wales Government logo. See Funding acknowledgement and logos for details.

The successful 2020 projects have now been announced. In the 2020 round, we:

  • received 20 expressions of interest
  • invited 12 candidates to submit full applications
  • approved 6 applications, totalling $1,197,911.

Project summaries