New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants - 2019 Round

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government that offers Australian undergraduates who are Australian citizens, opportunities for scholarships and grants for study and internships/mentorships in the Indo-Pacific.

How does it work?

The New Colombo Plan encourages universities to develop undergraduate study programs that are either for academic credit or a mandatory course component, and to apply for funding to support student participation in these experiences.

A range of study options are eligible for mobility grant funding, including semester/trimester based study of up to 12 months, short term study, practicas, clinical placements, internships/mentorships and research. Funding can be provided for single or multi-year projects.

University of Melbourne projects that have received successful funding in the past include:

The following types of grants are available:

  • A short-term grant provides between $1,000 and $3,000 per Student. Minimum of two weeks (14 days) in duration.
  • A semester grant provides between $3,000 and $7,000 per Student.
  • Internship Grants are available for Semester-based Mobility Projects that include an Internship component in addition to Semester study. An Internship Grant will provide $1,000 per Student (which is in addition to a Semester grant).
  • Language Training Grants are available for Semester-based Mobility Projects that include an in-country language training component in addition to Semester study. Language training must be for a minimum of 15 hours per week and a minimum duration of four (4) weeks. A Language Training Grant provides $1,500 per student (which is in addition to a Semester grant).

What are the study locations?

The New Colombo Plan encourages Australian universities to cooperate with regional institutions in new fields and locations, and deepen existing partnerships. NCP study locations includes the following 40 eligible Host Locations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan (China), Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Key changes for the 2019 program

  • Prioritisation in the selection criteria for applications that align to the greatest extent with NCP strategic objectives. Projects that support semester-based and longer-term study, internships, language acquisition and mobility partnerships will continue to be prioritised.
  • Around 25 per cent of total funding available under the 2019 round may be directed to multi-year projects.
  • Under the 2019 round, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is providing approximately $28.7 million for Australian universities and consortia to support 2019 student mobility projects. 
  • Selection will consider the applicants’ track records in meeting reporting requirements and their history in refunding unallocated grants (universities will be punished for poor grant acquittal history).

Lessons learned from previous rounds to assist 2019 applications

The following generic advice might also assist universities in preparing applications.

Responses that have scored well against the key selection criteria in previous rounds have provided concrete examples of how this will be achieved. For example:

    • increased knowledge of the region could take place through direct learning or engagement with local institutions and communities
    • increased student mobility could occur by increasing the number of students able to participate or expanding program types or fields of study.
    • In addition, specific examples have been provided regarding promotional activities in Australia and the host location, for example, proactive promotion of the project through the media, promotion of the NCP to relevant university staff and prospective participants, student outreach and acknowledging Australian Government funding throughout all these types of activities.

What is the time period in which the study needs to take place?

NCP single-year mobility projects must commence between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2020. Multi-year Mobility Projects can continue from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2022.

How can I apply for mobility grant funding for my overseas subject or program?

Global Leadership and Employability will coordinate the University of Melbourne’s 2019 NCP Mobility submission.

Faculties must apply to Global Leadership and Employability for nomination by the University to the Government, using the internal application form below. This form must be submitted to Global Leadership and Employability by 5PM, Monday 30 April 2018.

If you are an academic or professional staff member interested in proposing a project, before submitting an application, you are encouraged to:

  1. Review the 2019 NCP Mobility Grant Guidelines and advice to applicants, and make sure your proposed project fits within the eligibility criteria;
  2. Review the internal 2019 grant application form (docx, 109KB);
  3. Discuss your application with relevant stakeholders in your faculty (ASO, FGM etc);
  4. If you have a program that you think would benefit from the funding and satisfies all the eligibility criteria, contact Grants Officer, Global Leadership and Employability, Jasmine Lim, to discuss your application;
  5. Complete the internal grant application form online and submit your application no later than 5pm on Monday 30 April 2018.

The outcome of 2019 funding applications will be announced by DFAT in late September 2018. Global Leadership and Employability will provide training to faculty recipients on adminisration of the funding.


If you have a program about which you are unsure, please feel free to email Jasmine Lim at Global Leadership and Employability to discuss.


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