How applications are assessed

The Australia Council Grants Programs are assessed by peers from the arts sector.

The Australia Council Grant Programs that are peer assessed are: Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups; Arts Projects for Organisations; Career Development for Individuals and Groups; Fellowships; Four Year Funding; Playing Australia; Contemporary Touring Initiative; Contemporary Music Touring Program.

Peer assessment and arm’s length funding have been guiding principles of the Australia Council for more than 40 years. Peer assessors bring expertise, knowledge of the arts, and independence from Government to grant decision making. The process ensures that grants are offered to artists and arts organisations whose proposals, in competition with those of other applicants and within budget constraints, demonstrate the highest degree of merit against the published assessment criteria.

Eligible applications are assessed by the arts practice panel of peers you select when applying. Peers reach their decisions using a deliberative decision-making model of peer assessment. Under this model:

  • The decision making standard is how well the applicants meeting the published selection criteria
  • The decision making method is mutual agreement of the panel, based on reasoned arguments put forward by the peer assessors.

Peers base their deliberations primarily on the information supplied in your application and support material. Peers may also consider information from other sources including:

  • their attendance at performances and other events
  • any previous Australia Council grant acquittal reports and performance agreements you may have completed
  • communication with state and territory arts agencies.

Please note: For the grant programs listed above, the Australia Council does not redress errors in applications or supporting material. If your application is eligible, your application form and any supporting material will be assessed as it has been submitted.

While your application may meet the stated assessment criteria, you are not guaranteed a grant. The Australia Council receives many more applications in these grant categories than it can support. Even if successful, your application may not be funded to the amount you have requested.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Other grants and opportunities

In addition to the grant programs listed above, the Australia Council offers other grants and opportunities which are not peer assessed. Please refer to the relevant grant or opportunity guidelines for more information on how they are assessed. 

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