Environmental Research

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

This program is now open to expressions of interest (EOIs). 
Closes at 3pm, Monday 1 June 2020.

Purpose

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 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.

Funding available

Grants of up to $200,000 are available for the 2020 round to support projects researching Eucalypt dieback. A total of $1 million is available.

2020 program themes and priorities

The Trust is currently conducting a strategic review of its programs and funding themes for future rounds. One theme (Eucalypt dieback) will be offered this year under the 2020 Research round. This theme was approved through the Trust's prospectus process. Further information on this round is available in the program guidelines (PDF 1.0MB).

Eucalypt dieback

1. Investigating management interventions

This includes research on the effectiveness of management interventions to suppress dieback or interrupt trophic cascades.

Research may focus on (but is not limited to):

  • nutrient supplementation
  • soil amendments
  • environmental manipulation
  • modification of the soil microbiome
  • animal and plant control.

2. Investigating historical relationships

This includes retrospective research that explores the temporal relationship between dieback events and contributing environmental and biotic factors.

Research may include (but is not limited to):

  • time-series analysis of spatial data
  • oral history and Indigenous knowledge of incidences of mass eucalyptus dieback
  • dendrochronological analysis or other methods of measuring tree age
  • climatic and fire record analysis (including Indigenous fire regimes).

3. Investigating species resilience and vulnerability

Dieback affects eucalyptus species, with some species being more vulnerable and others more resilient to dieback events.

Understanding the functional attributes that drive these differences can help identify causal mechanisms, inform models of future projected impact, and inform management practice and conservation policy.

Responding to dieback needs adaptation of forest composition and structure.

Research may include (but is not limited to):

  • comparative analysis of vulnerable and resilient eucalyptus species in mixed stands
  • identification of the critical thresholds of key species to water and/or heat stress
  • the cultural values of vulnerable or less susceptible eucalyptus species
  • susceptibility to invertebrate pests
  • susceptibility to pathogens.

4. Investigating soil factors

This theme focusses on research that investigates the role of soil factors and processes in eucalyptus dieback.

Research could focus on (but is not limited to):

  • anthropogenic disturbance, for example, compaction, drainage or loss of burrowing animals
  • soil pathogens, nematodes, viruses, bacteria and fungi
  • nutrient and micronutrient availability
  • role and impact of mammals as soil engineers
  • soil biota and mycorrhiza
  • allelopathy.

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.

When can you apply?

The 2020 round is currently open for EOIs until 3pm, Monday 1 June 2020.

Successful applicants to the EOI process will be contacted with an invitation to submit a full application in late July 2020.

The Environmental Research application process has 2 stages:

  1. you submit an expression of interest
  2. we invite selected candidates to apply.

The guidelines and forms below should be used to prepare your 2020 expression of interest.

Planning and reporting

Workplan

Grantees under the 2020 round onwards are required to implement a project management framework referred to as a Workplan (previously known as Monitoring and Evaluation Plan and project measures).

The Workplan seeks to assist grantees to define what their projects 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 require you to build a strong monitoring and evaluation framework into your project so that environmental improvements can be measured and demonstrated.

The implementation and evaluation of each activity will allow for adjustments to be made to improve the project outcomes.

Monitoring

The Trust seeks to establish 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 aim 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 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.

Evaluating

These methodologies also vary between projects. They should occur as 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.

Grantees under the 2020 round onwards will submit progress and final reports using the online Grants Management System.

Grantees under the 2019 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.

Grantees under the 2020 round onwards will submit financial reports using the online Grants Management System.

Grantees under the 2019 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 2019 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.

For the 2019 round we:

  • received 98 expressions of interest
  • invited 31 candidates to submit full applications
  • approved 6 applications, totalling $1,068,003.

Project summaries