Frequently Asked Questions about Dust Diseases Board grants.

  • Do you have to be an Australian Citizen to apply for a grant?

    The Dust Diseases Board (DDB) will consider applications from Australian permanent residents or citizens. If you are not an Australian permanent resident or citizen, but have applied for permanent residency, the Board may consider your proposal.

    Please provide evidence of the status of your in-progress application with the Department of Immigration. While your funding application for a DDB grant is in progress, you will need to notify us of any change to the processing status.

  • How often do you offer grant funding?

    The Dust Diseases Board runs each funding round once per year, with the exact timeframes being confirmed closer to the opening date. The competitive research funding rounds are usually open from November to January, the Fellowships and Scholarships funding round is open between March and April, the Support Organisation Funding round is usually open between August and September.

    If you are unsuccessful with an application and consider submitting it in the next funding round, please contact us for feedback. 

  • What is the average grant duration?

    Most Ideas to Action and Focus grants range from 12 months to a maximum of three years.

    Fellowships and Scholarships are usually awarded for three years, unless the applicant proposes a shorter duration.

    Support Organisation grants range from 12 months to three years.

  • How much funding is available in each grant round? Is there a limit on individual grant amounts?

    Scholarships and fellowships

    The Dust Diseases Board provides a total of $120,000 for each three-year scholarship and $240,000 for each three-year fellowship.

    Ideas to action and Focus grants

    The Dust Diseases Board intentionally does not place a cap on the grant amount that can be applied for, as each budget differs according to the requirement. Generally, funded projects range between $100,000 to $300,000 for the duration of the grant. However, the Board has previously funded projects that have smaller budgets and also those with budgets above $300,000, if the research project complements the portfolio of already funded projects. 

    Support organisations

    The Dust Diseases Board intentionally does not place cap on the grant amount that can be applied for. A total of $600,000 is available under this funding stream and applicants should apply for the actual amount needed for the project. Please refer to the program guidelines for more detailed guidance.

  • Is funding available for research undertaken outside of NSW?

    Yes, if you or the research institute you work for are located outside of NSW, you are eligible to apply for a research grant as well as a scholarship or fellowship.

    If you are applying for a Support Organisation grant, the head office of your organisation can be located in a different state.

    However, please note that there are five eligibility criteria that must be met. The third criterion specifies that the proposed program will predominantly support people who acquired their dust disease through working in NSW. It also supports their families and dependants. A minimum of 70 per cent of program recipients should meet this criterion.

    If your organisation does not meet all the eligibility criteria, but you believe the Board's funding aims would be met, please contact us to discuss your proposal.

  • If an application is successful, how will the grant funds be distributed?

    The grant funds will be distributed in instalments throughout the grant lifetime, in accordance with the Funding Agreement Schedule 2 "Project Payment and Reporting Schedule".

    The first instalment will be made upon execution of the Agreement. Every other instalment will be made once the required Progress and Financial Reports have been submitted and are considered satisfactory

    A small sum will be withheld until the Final Report and Audited Financial Report have been submitted.

  • Are you permitted to hold more than one grant?

    The Board allows for Chief Investigators and organisations to hold more than one grant at a time, given that they are for distinct projects.

  • Where can I find more information?

    You can contact the Dust Diseases Care Research Team at ddcgrants@icare.nsw.gov.au and also refer to the grant funding guidelines for each funding stream.

  • What diseases does the Dust Diseases Board fund research into?
    Workers’ Compensation (Dust Diseases) Act 1942 – Schedule 1 of Dust Diseases Causal Dust
    Asbestos induced carcinoma - malignant disease of the lower respiratory tract and gas exchange areas of the lung. Asbestos
    Asbestos related pleural diseases - extensive fibrosis of the visceral pleura which is the lining of the lungs and interlobar fissures. Asbestos
    Diffuse dust-related pulmonary fibrosis - fibrotic condition of the lung parenchyma (portion of the lung involved in gas exchange) and is a sub-type of Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease. This condition is distinct from Coal Dust Pneumoconiosis. Coal and Silica
    Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis - an immune-mediated disorder that arises due to sensitisation to one or more organic agents in the workplace. 



    Farmers’ lung

    Thermoactinomyces vulgaris from mouldy sugarcane

    Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula from mouldy hay, grain, silage
    Mesothelioma - Malignant disease of the inside lining of the chest wall (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum).
    Pneumoconiosis (any form) - Diffuse non-malignant interstitial lung diseases typically caused by inhaling different types of dusts including inorganic dusts such as minerals and metals. These dusts cause inflammation which lead to fibrosis or nodule formation. Exposure typically occurs in an occupational setting.


     - may also be classified as granulomatous lung disease.


     - may also be classified as granulomatous lung disease.

    Byssinosis - an asthma-like disorder stemming from exposure to organic dust and has a different pattern of abnormality to other pneumonoconioses; is sometimes grouped with pneumoconioses or alternatively under the classification "An airway disease due to specific organic dust".

    Coal dust pneumoconiosis

    Hard metal pneumoconiosis
     - may also be classified as granulomatous lung disease.

    Silicosis – includes acute, accelerated, chronic (simple; complicated) forms.





    Cotton, flax, hemp or sisal dust

    Coal dust

    Primarily Tungsten and Cobalt


    Silico-tuberculosis - tuberculosis (an infection that usually affects the lungs) in the presence of silicosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in association with silicosis
    Silica-induced carcinoma of the lung - malignant disease of the lower respiratory tract and gas exchange areas of the lung. Silica
    Systemic sclerosis (also known as scleroderma) - an autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue and can cause damage to the lung. Silica

    Note: sometimes occupational interstitial lung diseases can be grouped into overlapping categories. Examples of this include byssinosis, aluminosis and berylliosis.

    Accountability and monitoring

  • How is the grant performance monitored by DDC?

    DDC monitors grant performance through regular progress reports and may also conduct periodic audits. DDB are updated on grant performance four times a year.