LG Research and 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.

Eligible applicants

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

  • Local Government Councils
  • Regional Local Government Associations
  • Education institutions and Universities
  • Local Government Professional Bodies
  • Local Government Unions
  • State and Federal Government Agencies
  • 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 of Directors (acting on advice from an Advisory Committee) in May and September each year.

2020 -LGR&DS funding round

LGA Secretariat (internal) applications

On 21 May 2020, the LGA Board approved:

  • The LGR&DS Budget for 2020-21.
  • The 2020 LGR&DS (internal) secretariata applications for 9 projects totaling $785,000 to commence on 1 July 2020.

Sector (External) applications

The LGR&DS External round will close on 21 July 2020 and will be assessed by the LGR&DS Advisory Committee on 21 August 2020 and the LGA Board of Directors on 17 September 2020.

2019 – LGR&DS funding rounds

LGA Secretariat (internal) applications

On 16 May 2019, the LGA Board approved:

  • The LGR&DS Budget for 2019-20
  • The 2019 LGR&DS (internal) secretariat applications for 12 projects totaling $595,000 for 12 project to commence on 1 July 2019; and

Sector (External) applications 

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 Committee at its meeting on 23 August 2019. Recommendations from the Advisory Committee were put to the LGA Board for approval.

On 19 September 2019 the LGA Board approved:

  • The 2019 LGR&DS (external) sector applications for 13 successful projects receiving a total of $391 676 in funding.

2020 – LGR&DS Sector (external) funding round

The 2020 External Sector Funding Round will open at 9am on Monday 25 May 2020 and will close at 4pm on Tuesday 21 July 2020.

The applications will be assessed on a competitive basis against the:

  • Principles and purposes of the Scheme
  • Key research and development priorities of 2020-21 as identified in the LGR&DS Annual Business plan.
  • Potential impact on the project on Local Government Sector.

Please make sure you read the following prior to applying for the Local Government Research and Development Scheme:

(Please make sure that you read the guidelines carefully as some of the application and reporting requirements have changed.)

Apply for the LGR&DS External Round

(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 first step should be to search existing current projects int the Local Government Research Library.

Project preparation

Please note that  there is an expectation that the application contains clearly formulated measurable outcomes that are achievable within the budget and timeframe limitations.

All applicants are expected to embrace the SMART approach to think through the key elements of their application prior to the submission.

  • Specific – Clear and well defined
  • Measurable -The need for a measurable criteria for evaluating the progress and to know when it has been achieved.
  • Attainable – Is there a realistic path to achievement.
  • Relevant – Choosing results that matter within the constraint of resources, knowledge and time.
  • Time-bound – Reasonable timeframe to achieve the research and development goal.

Project evaluation

The LGR&DS has recently adopted a tiered approach to project evaluation. Please make sure that you dedicate sufficient funding to project evaluation as per the schedule below:

At the completion of the project the recipient will be prompted through Smarty Grants to provide the Scheme with the Final Report and Evaluation.

  • Projects with LGR&DS funding under $10 000
    • The outcome of the project needs to be summarised at the end of the project.
  • Projects with LGR&DS funding between $10 000 and $50 000
    • A measurable evaluation criterion must be included in in the project submission
    • The budget must have allocated funding for the project evaluation.
  • Projects  with LGR&DS funding between $50 000 and      $100 000
    • A measurable evaluation criterion must be included in in the project submission
    • The budget must have allocated funding for the project evaluation.
    • The evaluation report must be completed by a suitable and independent evaluator.
  • Project with LGR&DS funding of $100 000 or more 
    • A measurable evaluation criterion must be included in in the project submission
    • The budget must have allocated funding for the project evaluation.
    • The evaluation report must be completed by a suitable and independent evaluator.
    • Cost Benefit Analysis to be included with the project proposal.