The Alastair Swayn Foundation is pleased to offer the architecture and design community an enhanced grants program for 2022. The Foundation is now offering grants of $5,000 and $10,000 to successful applicants. After two years supporting outstanding architecture and design research, our grants program has made a real impact on design research.

Grants Program

The Alastair Swayn Foundation continues Alastair’s legacy, supporting and nurturing the Australian architectural and design community through our grants program. The Foundation awards grants to individuals, groups and organisations that promote the advancement of architecture and design through research, education and exhibition. Head to Swayn Open Research for winning research projects.

Design Strategy Grants - $10,000

The Design Strategy Grants support research into specific areas, which the Foundation has identified as priorities for architecture and design. The priorities are designed to focus support for innovation and research on significant challenges facing architecture and design in Australia.

Design Thinking Grants -$5,000

Design Thinking Grants are awarded to successful applicants to conduct research into architecture and design that aligns with one or more of our Guiding Principles.

Guiding Principles

The Alastair Swayn Foundation is committed to five Guiding Principles that inform our funding strategy.



We support individuals, groups and organisations who are outstanding in their respective field of architecture and design.



We seek to fund projects that take a new approach to problem-solving, especially those that can be evaluated and have potential for expansion and further development within architecture and design practice. Supporting research is fundamental to this approach.



Our grants have greater impact when combined with financial or in-kind support from academic institutions, government, and professional industries. The Foundation can be one of a number of supporters of a project. We encourage applicants to collaborate and form partnerships that facilitate combining knowledge and resources to achieve a shared aim.

We collaborate with recipients through knowledge sharing and advancing architecture design in Australia as outlined in our Open Access policy. Foundation fund receivers must publicly commit to this through submitting research publication funded by the Foundation in our open access research repository.



We fund projects that will maximise impact well beyond the period of our grant. Long-term sustainability of the project is an important consideration for the Foundation. The subject of the proposed project is limitless provided a benefit to architecture and design is evident and a willingness to share the research findings with the Australian community through the Foundation’s platforms is displayed.



We aim to cultivate highly skilled leadership in the Australian architecture and design industries, positioning Australia as a leader in global design practice.

Foundation Objectives

The Alastair Swayn Foundation encourages grant applications focused on architecture and design, which emphasise research and promote education, demonstrate vision and innovation, and which have potential for further development and long-term outcomes.

Foundation Objectives

Founded by Alastair Swayn AO, the Alastair Swayn Foundation, was established for the public charitable objective of advancing design development, it continues to support and nurture the Australian architecture and design community by:

  • Exploring, presenting and promoting Australian design and its influences
  • Showcasing Australian leadership in design
  • Building public awareness and appreciation of the value of design
  • Stimulating and fostering research, design education and the exchange of ideas about design
  • Building international design exhibition connections
  • Complementing and extending the portfolio of national cultural exhibitions in Australia and overseas
  • Promoting, supporting and advising on the collection, conservation and display of design records

Grants will be awarded accordingly to research, education, exhibition, or development activities, which demonstrate:

  • Innovative approaches that build knowledge in design
  • Implementing design ideas into practice
  • Future thinking for the design industry
  • Maximising national and global outreach

Current Funding Opportunities

The Alastair Swayn Foundation encourages grant applications focused on architecture and design, which emphasise research and promote knowledge-sharing, demonstrate vision and innovation, and which have potential for further development and long-term outcomes.

Design Thinking Grants – $5000

Research Grants are awarded to successful applicants to conduct research that aligns with one or more of our Guiding Principles.

Round One Dates

Applications are closed


Design Strategy Grants – $10000

The Foundation has identified areas of priority research in architecture and design. The priorities are designed to focus support for innovation and research on significant challenges facing architecture and design in Australia.

The priority topics are:

  • Workplace design
  • Sustainability
  • Housing (public, private, multi-residential)
Round One Dates

Applications are closed





Information for Grant Applicants

  • Grants are offered to applicants over the age of 18 years.
  • All grant applicants must have an ABN.
  • Grants are awarded for the purpose of the advancement of architecture and design through research, education and exhibition. Grants are awarded to individuals, groups and organisations.
  • Grant applications that focus solely on personal academic studies, or are for activities that are part of assessable coursework are unlikely to be successful. We do not support applications requesting the costs of academic fees or courses.
  • Ensure that the grant reporting requirements have been met for any Foundation grants you have previously received.

Yes, successful candidates for the Research and Strategic Grants are expected to complete their research and provide the Foundation with the final research paper (or pre-approved equivalent output) ready for publication, within a six (6) month timeframe, from the signed date on the Grant Agreement.

*Please note, due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Foundation will be open to extending this timeframe to account for the needs of projects impacted by government restrictions. The Foundation will enter a discussion with affected grantees to agree to reasonable and appropriate extensions for projects that would otherwise be disadvantaged by the mandated timeframe.

  • Read the guidelines and criteria carefully and make sure you are eligible to apply.
  • Applications are only accepted online using the grants application form on our website. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact
  • We recommend composing your responses in a separate document and cut and paste into the online application to avoid the possibility of losing your work due to a dropped internet connection or accidentally closing the browser window. The narrative sections of the form have fixed word limits.
  • Keep your writing style clear and concise
  • Request people to read your application before submitting. (Are there any errors? Does it make sense?)
  • Make sure the budget is accurate and realistic.
  • Applications that are easy to read are more likely to be successful. In general applications that are poorly presented and are difficult to read will not score as well against the assessment criteria.
  • If you submit your application online, you will be emailed a confirmation that it has been received.
  • Check carefully on the application form which material you need to include and complete the form in full. We cannot process your application without all criteria being addressed and the right supporting material.
  • You must submit your application by the deadline, applications not submitted by closing date will not be considered.

You must submit a budget for your proposed project and the CVs of those who will work on the project as part of your grant application. The budget should detail any in-kind support or other funding sources for your project.

We also accept other documented material in support of applications that provide further insight and context into your proposal.

Preferred maximum file size is 10MB

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, please contact the Foundation.

We suggest that you apply to the funding area that seems to fit your proposal best and if necessary, our staff will redirect the application to a different funding area.

Only one application per grant type, per proposal will be accepted. If you are unsure which funding area will best suit your proposal please contact our office at

All applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • The project has clearly defined aims
  • The project clearly demonstrates it meets the Foundation’s Objectives (and in the case of Research, align with one or more of the Guiding Principles)
  • The architecture and design community benefit from this research/project
  • The organisation or individual has demonstrated their understanding of the project output requirements
  • The organisation or individual has demonstrated that the research/project output aligns with our Open Access Policy
  • The organisation or individual has demonstrated their capacity to successfully complete the research/ project within the six (6) month timeframe
  • The budget is realistic, balanced and complete
  • The project has high academic merit

No, the applicant/s must be the one/s that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.

Please note this does not extend to tertiary institutions.

The successful grantee agrees to having their research outcomes made publicly available on the Swayn Open Research repository as an open access resource for the architecture and design community through the Foundation’s website. Please read our Open Access Policy below.

The successful grantee is required to author a comprehensive research paper at the conclusion of their project. The Foundation would expect grantees to produce a comprehensive research paper relative to the funding amount.

A project may also have complimentary output such as public presentations, further publications or an exhibition.

Please note, the Foundation will consider modifications to the research output based on evaluation of the unique subject and scope of successful proposals. This will generally be accepted in the form of equivalent output such as, but not limited to, other publications, podcasts, or exhibitions.

The Foundation retains authority to promote and circulate research funded by our grants, the grantee retains the intellectual property rights to their work.

  • You will be sent a Grant Offer and a Grant Agreement which outlines the responsibilities of the grant recipient and the Foundation. Read this carefully and make sure you set up adequate accounting and reporting systems to manage the funds.
  • All grant applicants must have an ABN. The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds.
  • You will need to complete all Foundation Grant Reporting Requirements within the timeframe specified when you receive the grant.

Applications are considered by an internal Grant Selection Committee and recommendations are presented at the next Alastair Swayn Foundation Board meeting for final determination.

Successful applicants for Round One will be notified in May 2022.

No, online applications close at 5pm (AEST) on the closing date. Grants received after this date will not be considered.

No, a decision made about grants funding is final and the Foundation will not enter discussion for an appeal.

If you are unsuccessful in obtaining a Foundation grant, we encourage you to seek feedback. Please contact for advice and information to assist with future applications.

If circumstances change during the life of the project, for example the scope of the project is modified, the project is delayed or the budget needs to be varied, the Foundation must be informed as soon as possible. The Foundation will consider all amendments to approved grants. If the requested amendment is significant, it will be considered by the Directors at the next available Board meeting.

Yes, it is a condition of your grant that you must acknowledge the Foundation’s support or your research and any output resulting from our funding. The details of acknowledging the support o the Foundation will be found in your Grant Agreement. If you have any questions, please contact

Yes, if you cannot find the information you need on the website, our staff can be contacted by phone or email to discuss your project and application.

Foundation staff are happy to assist with queries regarding clarification of eligibility, and the application process.

If you have any questions about Foundation grant opportunities, guidelines, application forms, or reporting requirements, please contact the Foundation at

Our office is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm (Canberra), Monday to Thursday.

Open Access Policy

The Alastair Swayn Foundation is a not for profit organisation with the purpose to advance knowledge and innovation for the benefit of the Australian architecture and design community through funding high-quality research.

The Foundation funds research and researchers through our grants program. The Foundation is committed to information sharing and transparency. We believe that research resulting from our grants program funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated. We have adopted an Open Access policy that enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all research funded, in whole or in part, by the Foundation, including any underlying data sets.

Research funded in whole or in part by a Foundation grant are to be made discoverable and accessible online through our online repository. Publications will be deposited in the Foundation’s digital repository with proper tagging of metadata.

What are the requirements of the policy?

Research papers, journal articles or book chapters produced by individuals, groups or organisations who are funded in whole or in part by the Foundation must be published by depositing the accepted author manuscript into the Foundation’s digital open access repository.

Publications will be on ‘Open Access’ terms. All publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required. Appropriate attribution to the grantee and Foundation will be required and changes made to the work appropriately indicated.

If grantees or other funders of a multi-funded grant are concerned about adhering to the policy, the Foundation will engage in a discussion with the other funder to understand their concerns. Grantees can contact the Foundation at

Publications will be accessible and open when received by the Foundation, without any embargo period.

The aims of the Open Access policy are to mandate the open access sharing of publications and encourage innovative open access to research data. When sharing data, researchers should ensure that appropriate metadata accompany the datasets. This will allow users of the data to wholly understand the data, the curation strategies, assumptions, experimental conditions and any other details relevant to the interpretation of the data.

Adopted by the Board of Directors on 20th April 2020

This policy is subject to regular review by the Board of Directors

* Awarding of grants is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors.
** The Alastair Swayn Foundation grants program is subject to review at the discretion of the Board of Directors
The Alastair Swayn Foundation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on the land of which we work, the Ngunnawal people of the ACT. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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