Funding opportunities

The UOW Global Challenges Program has developed a range of funding opportunities to support research addressing local and global challenges. While we provide financial support, our team also acknowledges the complexities of working on interdisciplinary teams and solving complex problems, which is why we support our researchers by assisting with team building, project development, mentoring, media and marketing, impact tracking and a variety of other research support mechanisms.

Seed funding

Seed funding rounds run annually and open in March. Interdisciplinary teams of UOW researchers can apply for Seed Funding for projects from up to $15,000 for: Project scoping/proof of concept Research exchange (short term visits) Events (UOW based conferences, workshops, seminars) Engagement with end-users, policy makers Pilot studies The application process involves a short online application, including a 2-page project proposal. Successful applications will then progress to a second stage where they will do a 5 minute presentation to the Global Challenges Executive Committee, followed by a discussion of their proposal.

Project funding 

Project-level funding rounds run annually and open in March. These projects may have already received Seed funding, although this is not a requirement. Project funding will be up to $50,000. 

Seed and Project priority research initiatives:

Olivier Ferrer Fund

Olivier Ferrer was a French artist, musician, painter and philanthropist. Through the distribution of his estate, his family have made a generous and significant gift to enable researchers at the University of Wollongong to address some of the most pressing issues facing our global communities.

As part of the Global Challenges Program, researchers will have the opportunity to seek funding for impactful global research in the areas of climate action, community transformation and the prevention of inequality and injustice at the level of root causes.

Find out more on the UOW Intranet

Disaster and crisis response in our region

Over the last few months our region has seen terrible drought and bushfires, and now the world is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Global Challenges dedicated up to 50% of funds to interdisciplinary projects addressing disaster response in our region.

This priority research initiative stems from a strong belief within Global Challenges that we have a civic responsibility to our communities and region, and that UOW is well positioned to facilitate initiatives that will engage with affected communities in an appropriate and sensitive manner.

Take a look at the successful projects

Due to UOW’s current financial situation, Global Challenges grants are on hold until further notice with more information about the future of our program and funding to be released mid-year. In the meantime, we will continue to provide non-financial support to our researchers and teams as we strive to engage the next generation of research leaders and promote the impact of their research.


Keystone Funding

Due to the current financial restrictions across the University due to COVID-19, we are unable to run the Keystone funding round in 2020.

Keystone projects provide a strategic, whole-of-UOW approach to fund larger projects, with the support of Faculties. For those projects currently working toward a Keystone this year, we are currently identifying ways in which we could introduce a formal mentoring and project building initiative. Global Challenges will continue to provide ongoing non-financial support mechanisms for all current projects, including media and marketing, external grant support, mentoring, team building and other research support to potential future teams, to help establish their existing projects and potentially develop external funding opportunities as an alternative.

If you and your team were considering applying for a Keystone, please contact or your challenge leader.


Travel support


PhD Scholarship Video Challenge

The enables current students undertaking a research degree at UOW to travel to a destination of their choice to support their research. Students are asked to describe the 'big picture' problem their PhD is addressing and how it aligns with one of the Global Challenges. The video challenge runs annually and entries open in October.

Knowledge Exchange Network (Asia)

Over the coming decades society will face many challenges and transformations in the way we live. The University of Wollongong's Global Challenges Program recognises the interconnected nature of these transformations and is launching a Global Challenges , which will support the exchange of knowledge between UOW researchers in Australia and their counterparts’ campuses across Asia.


Current Researchers

Visit our intranet page for more information and resources including annual reporting templates, induction packs and program guidelines.