Knowledge Grants

Up to $50,000 to build capacity in research and data collection through investigation into a civil legal topic.

What are Knowledge Grants?

Up to $50,000

The 2020/21 Knowledge Grant round has now closed.

Supporting organisations to investigate important legal issues while improving their data collection systems and processes

Knowledge Grants support community legal organisations to develop data and information systems and processes to investigate important community legal issues.

Priority will be given to projects that

  • develop a new understanding of the legal needs of Victorians through collection of data and information
  • improve capability of the organisation to collect, analyse and use data and information about particular audiences
  • share information with other organisations or agencies which results in a better understanding of the target group and ways to address need effectively.

Who can apply?

Knowledge Grant applications are open to community legal centres and not-for-profit community organisations.

We only fund organisations – individuals are not able to apply.

Research organisations may not apply on their own, however, may like to partner with a community legal organisation to provide guidance and advice to undertake a research project.

How to prepare your application

Contact the Grants Manager early to discuss your idea, get grant writing tips and feedback from the Research Team on your proposal.

Submit an application

The 2020/21 Knowledge Grant round has now closed.

Grant guidelines

Guiding principles

You’re more likely to be successful in your grant application if your project demonstrates a connection to our guiding principles.


Projects we fund with Knowledge grants should lead to better programs or interventions for local communities.


The skills you learn or the data you gather as part of your project should be relevant beyond the life of your project.

Assessment process

The Grants Subgroup of the Foundation’s Board makes funding decisions.

In addition to the priority and guiding principles above, the following criteria are also considered as when assessing grant applications:

  • clear identification of the legal issue you will investigate
  • clear description of the difference this will make to your organisation
  • partner organisations or other agencies that might benefit from this work have been identified
  • the budget is realistic and offers value for money.
Grant exclusions

Generally, we do not fund:

  • studies to obtain a degree or diploma
  • government organisations with the exception of independent statutory bodies
  • recurrent or core operational costs
  • purchase of major items of equipment
  • international travel costs
  • commercial or profit-making activities
  • litigation of any kind
  • projects that primarily support political activity and lobbying
  • costs incurred prior to grant approval
  • grant applications previously deemed unsuccessful by the foundation unless invited to reapply.
Conditions of grant

Victoria Law Foundation places conditions on the grants it makes. Some of the grant requirements include:

  • successful applicants enter into an agreement with the Foundation
  • a final report is to be submitted on completion of the project
  • agreement between the parties to share information and data outcomes with the Foundation and other relevant organisations
  • acknowledging the support of the Foundation.
Data collection guidelines

The Foundation has developed data collection guidelines for grant recipients undertaking research projects. It covers key areas to consider when collecting data and information from participants, and what to do with this data.


What are Knowledge Grants about?

Knowledge Grants will provide funding to organisations to build their research capacity and gain a better understanding of the legal needs of the community.

We will fund projects to collect, collate and/or analyse new or existing data and information to explore a civil legal issue, for example tenancy, consumer issues, infringements.

Who can apply?

We are seeking applications from community legal centres and not-for-profit community organisations.

We will not accept applications from organisations which have a primary and/or existing role to undertake research, however they may partner with an eligible organisation to provide skills and expertise.

Can we work in partnership?

Yes, in fact we encourage it! You may want to partner with other organisations or agencies that work with the target audience or issue area, or you can work with a partner with specific skills and expertise. The applicant will be responsible for reporting and financial management.

What do you mean by sustainability?

We want to fund projects that will develop systems, processes or skills that will continue to be used after the project has been completed.

What kind of things can we apply for?

Budget items will depend on your project methodology. Some of the items that you can apply for include:

  • courses or training for staff e.g. focus group facilitation, data analysis
  • consultant fees e.g. evaluation
  • software e.g. data management systems
  • project coordination (salary)
When are Knowledge Grants available?

The 2020/21 Knowledge Grant round has now closed.

How many grants are available?

The Foundation’s grant pool is $300,000 divided between our three grant programs. Unfortunately we are unable to fund many great projects due to limited funding. We aim to fund around 4-5 projects within each grant program.

Contact the Grants Manager to find out if your project proposal meets our selection criteria and if sufficient funds are available, giving your application the best chance of success.

What are my obligations if I am offered a grant?

All successful applicants enter into a funding agreement with the Foundation. Some other general requirements include submitting a final report on completion of the project and acknowledging the support of the Foundation. Conditions for specific grants are included on our guidelines documents.