Medical Research Funding – Australia

The Ian Potter Foundation makes grants across a broad range of sectors and endeavours. Grants are made under the following funding areas:

The majority of our grants are made in response to applications and/or an expression-of-interest (EoI). However, grants may be made in response to a need or opportunity proactively identified by the Foundation. The latter are usually major funding initiatives.

The Ian Potter Foundation rarely awards the full amount of any project.  Please ensure that you have alternative providers of funding, and that your application clearly considers any possible grant from the Foundation in this context.

This section guides grantseekers step-by-step through the process of applying for a grant, starting with confirming your organisation’s eligibility to receive a grant under the Australian taxation laws and checking the suitability of the project before setting up an online account and submitting an application. Please note that most of our funding areas consider applications via a two-stage process – EOI, then full application – that may take from four to six months to complete.

We encourage you to make use of the FAQsTips & Hints and other downloadable documents that provide extra detail, should you need it.

If you can’t find the information you need or have any doubts, please call us. We are happy to answer questions and provide additional guidance.


Eligibility of your organisation

Under the terms of the deed of The Ian Potter Foundation and Australian taxation laws, The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations based in Australia with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.

DGR requirements

There are two distinct types of DGR. This is identified on an organisation’s notice of endorsement from the Australian Taxation Office as either a deductible gift recipient item 1, or item 2.

• The Ian Potter Foundation is limited to funding DGR’s where the ‘provision for gift deductibility’ is “item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997”. That is, we can only make grants to organisations endorsed as DGR Item 1.

• The Ian Potter Foundation is a public ancillary fund and cannot make grants to other public ancillary funds (PuAFs) or to private ancillary funds (PAFs). If your notice of endorsement as a DGR states the provision for gift deductibility is item 2 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, your organisation will be an ancillary fund and therefore not entitled to receive grants from us.

An organisation’s name or ABN can be used to search the Australian Government’s online Australian Business Register to check details of its DGR and TCC endorsements.

Please also note the following regarding DGR status:

• Organisations must be EITHER endorsed by the ATO as a DGR item 1, or they must be specifically named in Subdivision 30-B in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 as being a DGR.

• If an organisation uses more than one name (for example, a legal name and a trading name), then any grant application must be made in the name which holds the correct DGR status.

• Some organisations also hold DGR status only for a fund which they operate, or one aspect of their activities. Applications from such organisations must relate to the fund or activities for which DGR status has been endorsed or approved.

More information about DGR and TCC status can be obtained from the ATO Non-Profit Organisations website.

Eligibility of your project

Please make sure you read the funding objectives and specific exclusions for each of our program areas. These specific requirements can be found under each Program Area in What We Support.


Projects that fall into any of the following categories will not be considered for funding.

• Retrospective funding – projects which are already underway or which will commence prior to the date indicated in our online application information are not eligible for consideration.
• Recurrent expenditure for which there is no future provision.
• Capital or endowment funds established to fund a chair or to provide a corpus for institutions.
• Research for undergraduate, masters or doctoral students.
 Auspicing is not permitted – the organisation applying must be the one that will run the program or project.
• Applications for public charitable purposes outside the Commonwealth of Australia.
• Applications for projects that have previously been declined by the Foundation cannot be resubmitted.
• Applications will not be accepted from organisations that have not successfully acquitted previous grants from the Foundation
• We do not directly support schools.

Please note that in the indigenous sector the Foundation is currently only funding major, strategic programs.

Funding area-specific exclusions

Program areas may also have specific exclusions. Please check the relevant funding area pages.


Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that does not have DGR and TCC status) applying to the Foundation via an eligible organisation. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under the Foundation’s guidelines.

The organisation applying to the Foundation must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.

Geographical constraints on grants

The Foundation is limited to providing money, property or benefits for public charitable purposes in the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Foundation is able to provide a grant for activities outside the Commonwealth if the grant is made for a public charitable purpose in the Commonwealth. For example, a grant might be made to an Australian university to enable it to fund an overseas study tour by an Australian researcher engaged by the university.


Visit funding web page

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