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LG Research & Development Scheme - How to apply

The Local Government Research and Development Scheme funds specific projects that are "strategically for the benefit of Local Government as a whole". Since 1998, research funded by this Scheme has delivered real benefits to SA communities, in the form of increased efficiencies, improved service delivery, and greater accountability.

With resources exceeding $1.8 million annually, this South-Australian-based scheme is unique in Australia. No other State has anything like this available for the benefit of Local Governments or their communities.

Two Funding Calls per year

A funding call in March each year is confined to projects initiated by the LGA.  In June-July each year, a funding call is opened to eligible applicants, being:

  • Local Governments;
  • Regional Local Government Associations;
  • Universities & other educational institutions;
  • Local Government Professional Bodies;
  • Local Government Unions;
  • State or Federal Government Agencies; or
  • Any other organisation interested in collaborating with Local Government.

Decisions regarding funding for proposals are made in accordance with the Principles and Purposes of the Scheme by the LGA Board (acting on advice from an Advisory Committee) in May and September each year.

Guidelines - How to Apply for Scheme Funding, 2020

Please note that the application dates for 2020 are yet to be finalised. 

Please feel free to view the guidelines below for the 2019 funding round.  Please note that these guidelines will change prior to the 2020 round.

For further information please see LGRDS Guidelines for Applicants - June 2019(334 kb)

Project applicants should also have regard to the LRGD Annual Business Plan for 2019-20  - LGR&DS 2019-20 Annual Business Plan - APPROVED(149 kb)

2020 Funding Rounds

The 2020 LGA Internal Funding Round (only open internally for the LGA secretariat) will open on 17 March 2020 and and close on 7 April 2020.

The 2020 External Sector Funding Round will open 25 May 2020 and close 21 July 2020.


(Please note that we will only accept electronic applications through Smarty Grants)


Research your topic!

Project proponents are expected to undertake research on their project topics to ensure that their proposals build on previous work carried out locally, nationally and internationally in their topic areas - rather than reproducing work already available.  The Guidelines document contains a list of web addresses which may assist proponents to carry out this research.

Previous round, 2019

On 16 May 2019, the LGA Board set a budget for all applications for Scheme funding in 2019-20.

The global budget included:

  • $595,000 for 12 proposed projects by the LGA Secretariat to commence on 1 July 2019; and
  • $483 580 for external 'sector' projects

In 2019 we had 30 applications for external 'sector' projects seeking a total of $1 116 million in funding. These 30 applications were considered by the Local Government Research and Development Scheme Advisory Comittee at its meeting on 23 August 2019. Recommentations from the Advisory Committee ware put to the LGA Board at its meeting on 19 September 2019. Applicants were advised of the Board's decitions shortly afterwards with 13 successful applicants recieving a total of $391 676 in funding. 


Other Grants

The Local Government Research & Development Scheme is available for Local Government "development purposes".

For information regarding general grants available to Councils for community projects, see the Grants Page.

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