Seed Funding

STATUS: Closed. The next funding round will take place in 2022

The Indigenous Knowledge Institute (IKI) aims to advance research and engagement in Indigenous knowledge systems. The IKI is one of five current Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, which aim to promote research linkages and collaboration across the University and play a lead role in articulating University research to external audiences.

The IKI invites proposals for innovative and interdisciplinary research projects with a focus on Indigenous knowledges. Indigenous knowledge, sometimes called traditional or local knowledge, refers to the understandings and practices developed by Indigenous peoples through thousands of years of experience. Indigenous knowledge systems are characteristically holistic, relational, and rooted in a strong and continuing connection with the land, sky and waters. The research project should address an identified need or gap in the field of Indigenous knowledge research.

All University of Melbourne researchers are eligible to apply for this seed funding opportunity for projects up to a maximum of $20,000. Proposals will be assessed against five selection criteria:

  1. Advances research in Indigenous knowledges
  2. Commitment to partnership
  3. Feasibility and impact
  4. Interdisciplinarity
  5. ECR development

Key dates for this seed funding opportunity are set out in the table below:

Applications open

Monday 5 July 2021

Information/drop-in sessions

  • Thursday 8 July 2021 (12:00-1:00pm AEST)
  • Thursday 15 July 2021 (3:00-4:00pm AEST)
  • Tuesday 20 July 2021 (2:00-3:00pm AEST)
  • Tuesday 3 August 2021 (11:00am-12:00pm AEST)

Applications close

Monday 30 August 2021 (COB)

Assessor reviews

13-17 September 2021

Funding outcomes

Week commencing 27 September 2021

Funding commences

October 2021

Guidance on equitable remuneration of community research participants can be found at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's website.

Download the Seed Funding Information Pack Download the Application Form


Project lead: Dr Joe Greet (School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences)
Birrarung’s billabongs: understanding their past to better manage them today

Project lead: Dr Candice Boyd (School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Social and Emotional Well-Being among Custodians of Australian Indigenous Knowledge

Project lead: Dr David Sequeira (Faculty of Fine Arts and Music)
YOYI (dance)

Project leads: Dr Andrea Rawluk, Maddison Miller, Professor Rod Keenan (each School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences), and Dr Gillian Howell (Faculty of Fine Arts and Music)
Revitalising and sharing knowledge through creativity: developing interdisciplinary research practice

Project lead: Professor Marcia Langton (Melbourne School of Population and Global Health)
Indigenous knowledges in the criminal “justice” context

Read more about the 2021 seed funding recipients here.


Project lead: Dr Justin Wejak (Asia Institute)
“If you look after nature, the land will look after you”: Indigenous knowledge of medicine and food in Lembata, Eastern Indonesia

Project lead: Associate Professor Duane Hamacher (School of Physics)
Aboriginal Astronomical Knowledge of the Kulin Nation

Project leads: Enterprise Professor Bruce Pascoe and Associate Professor Kate Howell (Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences)
Developing a food safety roadmap for commercialising Cumbungi

Project lead: Dr Erin O’Donnell (Melbourne Law School)
Yoongoorookoo: First Law, legal comparison, and a Martuwarra/Fitzroy River creation story

Project lead: Daniel Riley (Victorian College of the Arts)

Read more about the 2020 seed funding recipients here.

For more information about seed funding, please contact:

Kirsten Clark
+61 3 9035 9511

Or attend one of our seed grant information sessions.