Research Support

The CBF is interested in supporting research relevant to the maintenance and development of Australian community broadcasting. We currently support a biennial National Listener Survey and a biennial community radio industry census. The CBF has also supported academic research into the community broadcasting sector as an industry partner and through the provision of direct funding support. From time to time, the CBF also directly engages consultants, usually through a tender process, to carry out specific research or to conduct independent reviews of sector projects and grant programs.

The CBF will consider partnering and supporting researchers and research projects if the project demonstrates that there will be a practical benefit relevant to the operations of community broadcasting in Australia. While the CBF aims to support research that has a benefit for Australian community broadcasting, it also recognises that the current growth areas for community broadcasting globally are in underdeveloped nations. If the Australian community broadcasting sector has the opportunity to make available our experience and resources with little cost, the CBF will encourage and facilitate the sharing of this knowledge where appropriate.

Research support – industry partner

The CBF will, from time to time, assist academic researchers through in-kind research support, including as an industry partner if there is the capacity to do so. For instance, the CBF may provide interviews, relevant contacts, feedback and background information relevant to the operations of the CBF and its role within the community broadcasting sector. In rare instances a CBF staff member or Director may work as a Partner Investigator on a research project. Industry partnerships are available at the discretion of the CEO.

If the CBF determines that it does not have the capacity to meet the additional in-kind commitments required of an industry partner (such as providing a partner investigator) the CBF may instead consider funding other sector organisations to participate as a cash contributing industry partner. Academic researchers are expected to demonstrate institutional backing, such as through Universities, and to be able to provide information on other confirmed or expected funding sources such as the Australian Research Council.

In deciding whether to participate in research projects, including funding provided through other sector organisations, the CBF will consider whether the project meets identified research priorities. These research priorities are developed in collaboration with the sector, with the assistance of selected experts from a broad range of relevant research disciplines where possible. Researchers should contact the CBF to discuss current research priorities. Examples include:

  • Research relating to how the community broadcasting sector is responding to technological change, convergence and expansion into multiplatform broadcasting.
  • Projects analysing and investigating how the diversity and independence of community broadcasting can best be maintained and developed.

The CBF is unlikely to support research that duplicates existing projects or requires CBF support for overseas travel. Research funds may be drawn from a relevant grants program, or from CBF reserves.

Securing the support of peak national community broadcasting sector representative organisations as industry partners for your research project is recommended prior to seeking direct funding support from the CBF.

Research support – direct funding

If funds are available, the CBF may support research projects with direct funding. While there is no specific limit, grants are unlikely to be greater than $25,000 plus GST given the many other pressures on the limited funds available.

How to apply

Research providers interested in the Australian community broadcasting sector are invited to discuss the possibility of CBF involvement in their research project by contacting our CEO Jo Curtin on 03 8341 5900. Applicants must be associated with an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, such as a University.

Researchers seeking funding support will submit a written proposal for consideration by the Board. Applications are accepted at any time.

Assessment of proposals

Consideration of Research Support proposals is the responsibility of a sub-committee of the CBF Board made up of the President, Vice-President and CEO with recommendations for funding considered by the Board quarterly.
Proposals are assessed against the following criteria, where applicable:

  • Need – The project will solve a problem or meet a need with a practical application for the community broadcasting sector
  • Priority – The project addresses any research priorities identified by the CBF
  • Planning – Your proposal demonstrates thorough planning of the project.
  • Value – The methods you choose to conduct this project are appropriate and cost-effective for the outcomes to be produced.
  • Capacity – You demonstrate that you have access to the skills and resources to undertake and complete the project, including a strong track record in the relevant field.
  • Stakeholders – You identify people / partners who will contribute to and benefit from the project.
  • Impact – You identify how the project will provide outcomes of practical benefit for the community broadcasting sector.
  • Outputs – A clear statement on the proposed outputs of the project, including academic papers, non-academic outputs intended for a general audience, and industry briefings and reports.
  • Evaluation – You identify how you will measure the success of the project.

Policy approved by the CBF Board on 15 November 2012. Download the CBF Support for Research Policy (PDF, 322KB). Please contact us if you require a Microsoft Word version of this document.