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Career and Education

AIS Elevate Learning Grants Program

To deliver a systematic approach to the education and professional development of the Performance Pathways workforce

The purpose of the Program is to invest in education and professional development opportunities for a sport-specific learning experience to improve the ability of the workforce to identify, develop, support and progress talented athletes (i.e. Categorised by the NSO).

The cost of education, professional development opportunities and associate expenses can be supported.

The AIS Elevate Learning Grants Program targets:

Performance Pathway Coaches currently working directly with Performance Pathway athletes categorised as Emerging, Developing or Podium Potential; and
Performance Pathway Practitioners and Performance Support Team members currently working directly with Performance Pathway athletes categorised as Emerging, Developing or Podium Potential.
The AIS Elevate Learning Grant Program will be run from 23 December 2020 through to 31 May 2021. The program will be held across three rounds.

AIS Elevate Learning Grant Guidelines

Important dates

Successful applicants of round 3 notified: Late June 2021

Past rounds

Round 3
- Applications opened: 13 April 2021
- Applications closed: 31 May 2021
- Successful applicants notified: Late June 2021

Round 1
- Applications opened: 23 December 2020
- Applications closed: 21 February 2021
- Successful applicants notified: Early March 2021

Round 2
- Applications opend: 22 February 2021
- Applications closed: 12 April 2021
- Successful applicants notified: Mid April 2021

Grant amount awarded

The maximum grant available to any individual is $5,000 (exclusive of GST).

The final grant amount will be determined by the AIS as part of the assessment process. The amounts may vary between applicants and may not be the full amount applied for.

Applicants are encouraged to advise if there will be a co-contribution of costs towards the learning opportunity from the NSO or NIN partner (where applicable). This is favourable but not an essential requirement for the application.

What can the grant money be used for?

Activities and opportunities that will be supported may include (but are not limited to);

  • Coaching Accreditation and sport-specific learning courses
  • Mentoring and training with peers (within and/or across disciplines)
  • Attending conferences
  • Observations at key sporting events of development camps
  • Participation in Network activities
  • Professional work
  • University or other educational based qualification
  • Travel, accommodation or incidental costs associated with the above activities

Funding is NOT available to support education and professional development opportunities that are already in progress.


The applicant must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  1. Be either a coach or practitioner working with nationally categorised pathway athlete (Emerging, Developing or Podium Potential categories), or working directly in a performance pathway environment (i.e. SIS.SAS)
  2. Be endorsed by their NSO (Performance Pathway lead) and/or an appropriate NIN Personnel from an AIS categorised sport
  3. Apply for grant support for an activity commencing in 2021 but has not been commenced at the time when the application is submitted.
  4. Currently not a full-time AIS or Sport Australia employee with the role to support a particular sport.

An applicant can receive only one AIS Elevate Learning grant in 2021. If an applicant receives a grant in Round 1, the applicant is not eligible to apply again in Round 2 or Round 3.

How to apply

Before applying for an AIS Elevate Learning Grant in 2020/2021, individuals will need to ensure they have met all eligibility criteria and have received endorsement from their NSO and/or the appropriate NIN personnel.

Applications will be accepted from 23 December 2020 until 31 May 2021, or until the grant program funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Applications are required to be submitted within the allocated timeframes for each round.

Individuals will be required to apply via an online form, linked at the top of this webpage.

The submission will require a 600-word summary of the Specific Long-Term Development Goal that will be achieved with this grant, that will support the development, identification, support and progression of talented athletes to achieve medal winning performances in the future. It should include information regarding how this learning experience will impact the categorised performance pathway athletes (Emerging, Developing and Podium Potential).

Individuals will need to upload a copy of the required endorsement from their NSO and/or the appropriate NIN personnel when submitting the application.

Applicants will receive an automated email receipt if the application is submitted successfully. Participants are responsible for ensuring that the information within the application is complete and accurate. Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence under the Criminal Code 1995 and may result in your application being excluded from further consideration

Assessment of applications

All applications will initially be assessed by a small internal AIS pre-Assessment Panel against the eligibility criteria. Eligible applications will then proceed to the Assessment Panel. The Assessment Panel is a group of individuals with significant Performance Pathways experience, including people capability development, pathways coaching and coach education, performance program management and performance service provision.

The Assessment Panel includes representatives from the Sports Strategy & Investment (SS&I) Team, AIS People, Development & Well-being (PD&W) team, NIN and an independent member.

To support applicants in better understanding the Moderation process, below is a list of considerations that will guide decision-making by the Assessment Panel. This is purely a framework of consideration (as opposed to mandatory requirements) and applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. No weighting will apply to the Assessment Considerations and each applicant will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions, please contact

Assessment Panel Consideration Framework
Submission review
  • Does the application clearly outline the purpose, impact on performance pathway athletes, risk if not funded and budget of the project?
  • Does the Coach/Practitioner application align to the NSOs performance pathway strategic plan?
  • Does the project comply with the grant program purpose?
Project sustainability
  • What is the NSO level of need for the project against their strategic priorities?
  • Has the NSO offered similar opportunities in the past?
  • What will the opportunity provide that is not currently accessible (affordable?) by the Coach/Practitioner? Does the expected outcome of the project align with the desired objective of the AIS Performance Pathway?
  • What is the impact/benefit of the proposed course/training to the applicant, the supporting organisation or the sport?
  • Demonstration of how the proposed project/training will benefit the applicant to progress the performance pathway.
Risk identification
  • What level of risk is associated with the project completion?
  • To what extent does the applicant have the ability to successfully carry out the project given their role within the NSOs performance pathway?
  • How appropriate is the grant application in terms of dollars requested?
  • Has the grant application received the endorsement/support of the NSO?

Who will approve the grants

The Assessment Panel will make recommendations to the AIS CEO who makes the final decision including:

  • The approval of the grant
  • The grant amount to be awarded
  • The terms and conditions of the grant

There is no appeal mechanism for decisions to approve or not approve a grant.

Grant recipient responsibilities

Grant recipients are required to:

  • Accept the grant agreement and abide by the Terms and Conditions of the agreement;
  • Complete an acquittal and report (see below) using the templates provided by the AIS and return them to the AIS within 30 days of the completion of the supported activity;
  • Return any unused grant funds to the AIS within 30 days of the completion of the supported activity; and
  • Promptly notify and seek approval from the AIS if no longer involved in the supported activity, if the supported activity has been delayed/postponed due to circumstances, and/or there has been a change of activity type.

Participant Reflection Report

On completion, the participant is required to provide a 600-word reflection report and learning summary to their NSO and/or appropriate NIN Personnel (copying in the AIS). This reflection should specify how their named categorised athlete(s) or sport program (for practitioners) will benefit from the learning grant activities, how the learning grant activity was relevant to one of the four pathways pillars (identify, develop, support and progress), what is needed for their continued development, and what experiences from the learning grant will be shared with their organisation and whom will it be shared with.

If you need further guidance on the application process or wish to withdraw a submitted application, please contact:

Phone: 02 6214 1186

Notification and agreement

All applicants will be notified by email of the outcome of their application including:

  • Any funding amount to be awarded; and
  • The specific terms and conditions of any funding.

Successful applicants will enter into an agreement with the AIS in relation to the grant funding, which will be substantially based on the sample terms and conditions to these guidelines. This agreement will be made available to prospective applicants on request and will be supplied automatically to successful applicants.

Disclosure of information

The AIS will treat any personal information in accordance with the Privacy ACT 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.

Personal information can only be disclosed to someone for the primary purpose for which it is collected unless an exemption applies.

Personal information submitted via the online application is collected by the AIS for the purpose of considering applications for and administering the Program.

The personal details of successful applicants (including name, home state, sport, the value of the grant awarded and a brief description of the purpose for the program) may be released by the AIS to the public and the media for the use of promotional and educational purposes.

View the AIS Privacy Policy.

Conflict of interest

Any conflicts of interest could affect the performance of the grant opportunity or Program. There may be a conflict of interest, or perceived conflict of interest, if AIS staff, any member of the Assessment Panel, a committee or advisor, and/or you or any of your personnel, for example:

  • has a professional, commercial or personal relationship with a party who is able to influence the application selection process, such as a AIS officer, or a member of an external panel
  • has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation which is likely to interfere with or restrict the applicants from carrying out the proposed activities fairly and independently or
  • has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation from which they will receive personal gain because the organisation receives a grant under the grant Program.

Applicants will be asked to declare, as part of your application, any perceived or existing conflicts of interests or that, to the best of your knowledge, there is no conflict of interest. If you later identify an actual, apparent, or potential conflict of interest, AIS must be informed in writing immediately.
Conflicts of interest for AIS staff will be handled in accordance with AIS’s Conflict of Interest Policy. Assessment Moderation Panel members will also be required to declare any conflicts of interest.

Further information

If you have any questions regarding the AIS Elevate Learning Grants Program, please contact

If you wish to lodge a complaint regarding the program this can be done using the AIS complaints form.

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