Smart and Skilled Behavioural Insights Grant

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smart and Skilled Behavioural Insights Grant Program has been temporarily paused while the NSW Government focuses on responding to this unprecedented crisis.


The Smart and Skilled Behavioural Insights Grant Program (Grant) is an initiative of the NSW Skills Board and the NSW Department of Education (Department).

The Grant will support Applicants to leverage behavioural insights to improve outcomes for Smart and Skilled (NSW government-funded) VET students. Grants are available to support Applicants and other VET stakeholders to trial and evaluate innovative approaches to influence Smart and Skilled student behaviour to increase completion rates of VET and successful transitions to work from VET. It may also be possible to achieve these outcomes by targeting the behaviour of other stakeholders, such as trainers, employers, parents, teachers, or other relevant stakeholders.


The outcomes of the Grant are to:

  1. increase completion rates of students in Smart and Skilled VET qualifications (excluding Apprenticeships and Traineeships); and
  2. improve Smart and Skilled VET completers’ success in transitioning to work (excluding Apprenticeships and Traineeships).

Projects need to achieve one or both of the Outcomes. 

What the Department is looking for

The Grant is looking to fund projects that identify, develop, implement, test and evaluate the best behaviour-based ideas to motivate action to achieve the Outcomes. The Grant will not fund awareness raising (education campaigns), theoretical research projects or investments in capital assets or infrastructure.

The Department is looking for projects that:

  • identify and assess relevant Behavioural Influences and Mental Shortcuts;
  • remove or reduce relevant Barriers to Action to achieve Outcomes;
  • apply one or more of the Behavioural Insights Tools;
  • collect and review data to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of behaviour-based approaches to achieve the Target Outcome; and
  • produce a report that captures the results, evidence, knowledge and insights gained, in order for the Department to promote adoption of successful Interventions throughout the VET sector.

Available funding

The total funding for the Behavioural Insights Grant program is $500,000, which is intended to fund multiple individual grants. Projects with in-kind support or additional funding secured from other sources are encouraged, as are projects that have already secured the co-operation of Smart and Skilled (S&S) Registered Training Organisation(s) (RTO) and other relevant stakeholders.

Applicants are advised to make submissions requesting funding up to the value of $150,000 (GST exclusive). If, however, Applicants are able to better achieve the Target Outcome or add a further comparison Intervention or cohort under the same approach, but require additional funding, then Applicants may make a separate additional submission requesting funding in excess of $150,000 (GST exclusive), i.e., make two submissions, one submission for less than or equal to $150,000 and a second submission for more than $150,000.

This is a one-off grant and projects that require recurrent funding will not be considered.


Stage 2: Full Grant Application deadline 11:59 PM 20 March 2020

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to apply for a Grant, you must be invited to Stage 2 and:

  1. be an eligible entity (see Grant Guidelines);
  2. have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or be willing to obtain one prior to execution of the Funding Deed;
  3. be registered for the purposes of GST or be willing to register prior to execution of the Funding Deed;
  4. if a Person or Sole Trader, be a permanent resident of Australia; and
  5. have an account with an Australian financial institution.

Documents to review

  1. Updated Grant Guidelines [Pdf]
  2. FAQs [Pdf]

Stage 2: documents

Expected timeline

Stage 1: completed

Stage 2: open to invited applicants

  1. Selected applicants are invited to complete and submit a Full Grant Application
    Timeframe: 4 weeks 24 February 2020 – 20 March 2020
    Cumulative Timeframe: 16 weeks

  2. Assessment of Full Grant Applications
    Timeframe: 6 weeks 23 March 2020 – 1 May 2020
    Cumulative Timeframe: 22 weeks

  3. Notification of outcome of your Full Grant Application
    Timeframe: TBA
    Cumulative Timeframe: TBA

Final Steps

  1. Negotiations and signing of Funding Deed
    Cumulative Timeframe: On execution of the Funding Deed

  2. Commencement date
    Cumulative Timeframe: On execution of the Funding Deed

  3. Completion date
    Cumulative Timeframe: Subject to individual Funding Deeds

Contact us

NSW Skills Board Secretariat


Cynthia Cherian, Senior Project Officer, mobile: 0439 519 288

Page last updated: 11 June 2020