Environmental Research

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

Following a call for expressions of interest for the 2023 round, this program is now open to applications by invitation only. Applications close at 5 pm on Monday 4 September 2023.

The program will reopen for new expressions of interest in 2024.


The Environmental Research program provides funding for applied research in priority environmental themes to help address contemporary environmental problems in New South Wales.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • increase 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
  • discover new methods of operation for NSW industries that are less harmful to the environment and enhance public good.

Who can apply?

We offer grants to eligible applicants who work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders. Eligible applicants include:

  • universities
  • government agencies (including councils)
  • incorporated community organisations or groups
  • Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have the capability to undertake the applied research. See the Program Guidelines for an extensive list of eligible applicants.

Applicants must also include relevant collaborators and end-users as project partners for the proposed research. Collaborators are partners who can help deliver the project. End-users are partners who will use the research findings in a meaningful way. See the Program Guidelines for more information on collaborators and end-users.

Priority themes

Since 2020, the Trust has been implementing its Strategic Plan 2020–24. Expressions of Interest for the 2023–24 round are required to focus on at least one of the following immediate funding priorities:

  • supporting threatened species recovery
  • addressing climate change impacts on the natural environment – both mitigation and adaptation.

Grants are available for biophysical, social, or economic research relating to these priority areas.

The Environmental Research application process has 2 stages:

  1. Expressions of Interest for the 2023–24 round opened on 11 April 2023, and closed on 15 May 2023.
  2. From these Expressions of Interests, following assessment by an independent Technical Review Committee, we invite selected candidates to submit a full application.

The program is now open to these invited applications until 4 September 2023. Please read the below documents then log on to the Grants Management System to complete the online application form.

Then complete the online EOI form:

Apply here

Planning and reporting

From 2022–23 onward, all aspects of planning, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting (including expenditure) will be managed through the online Grants Management System. Instructions for using the Grants Management System are available through either:

More information on planning and reporting can be found on the Trust's planning and reporting page.


Grantees under the 2022–23 round onwards must implement a project management framework that includes a workplan (previously known as Monitoring and Evaluation Plan).

You will develop a workplan that builds on information you provided in your application. The workplan:

  • assists grantees to plan and manage their projects over the duration of the grant
  • improves grantee and Trust understanding of what projects will deliver and how, and sets indicators that tell us whether projects have achieved their intended outcomes
  • outlines how activities will be implemented, monitored and evaluated
  • provides a basis for annual reporting.

If you are awarded a grant, your workplan will be further developed in consultation with your Grant Administrator and the Trust's Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting officer.


The Trust expects and supports effective and consistent monitoring of project activities. 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.


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.

Milestone reports

Grantees from the 2022–23 round onwards will submit milestone reports at the end of each milestone 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.

Reports provide an opportunity to reflect on the implementation of the project and identify opportunities for adaptive management.

Each report is reviewed by a representative of the Trust with technical expertise relevant to your project. If your report demonstrates that your project is progressing well, the next instalment of your grant will be authorised, and your Grant Administrator will provide you with feedback from the reviewer.

When your project finishes, you will submit a final milestone report detailing the project outcomes.

Financial reports

You must submit a current financial report with progress and milestone reports.

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

Research grantees under the 2022–23 round onwards will submit financial reports via the workplan section in the online Grants Management System.

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

You will need to submit a certified financial report as a part of your final project report.

Where to send reports

Grantees under the 2022–23 round and onward will submit milestone reports directly through the Grants Management System.

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

If you have any questions about the reporting process or requirements, please contact your Grant Administrator by emailing info@environmentaltrust.nsw.gov.au

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 2022–23 grants have now been announced.

In the 2022–23 round, the Trust:

  • received 56 expressions of interest
  • invited 19 organisations to submit full applications
  • received 17 applications requesting a total of $3,055,656
  • awarded funding to 11 projects totalling $1,992,942.

Project summaries