The Early Intervention Innovation Fund is part of the NSW Drug Package and is $8 million over four years. It aims to build the evidence base for early intervention models to support people at risk, with a particular focus on young people who are vulnerable to using drugs or are already participating in risky drug use.

Round 2 is now open

NSW Health is calling for expressions of interest to Round 2 of the AOD Early Intervention Innovation Fund. The Fund consists of two grants schemes.

Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Evaluation Grants Scheme (EGS)

These grants focus on building the capacity of NGOs to evaluate existing programs to build an evidence base and ultimately improve program delivery. Grants are for $30,000 to $150,000 over two years.

More information about who is eligible and how to apply for this grants scheme is available in the:

The NGO EGS follows a one-stage application process - expression of interest only (refer to key dates below).

AOD Innovation Grants Scheme (IGS)

These grants are for NGO's and their partners, including NSW Local Health Districts/Specialty Health Networks/the Ambulance Service of NSW/NSW Health Pathology, to specifically drive AOD innovation, with a particular focus on young people who are vulnerable to using drugs or are already participating in risky drug use. Grants of $50,000 to $1 million over two years will be awarded with the purpose of testing innovative approaches to prevention, early intervention, harm reduction and aftercare/relapse prevention.

More information about who is eligible and how to apply for this grants scheme is available in the:

The AOD IGS follows a two stage application process: expression of interest and then full application development upon invitation only.

Key dates

Stage 1 (both grants schemes)

  • Expressions of interest open August 2017.
  • Information sessions via webinar will be held on 12 and 15 September 2017 (see below for more details).
  • Expressions of interest close 27 October 2017.
  • AOD Review Panel assessment period occurs November 2017 – January 2018.
  • All applicants notified of outcome of EOI late February - early March 2018.

Stage 2 (AOD IGS only)

  • Full application development period (by invitation only) occurs 5 February 2018 – 13 April 2018.
  • Full applications close 13 April 2018.
  • IGS Selection Panel assessment period occurs April 2018 – May 2018.
  • Applicants advised of ouctome of full application in June 2018.

Information sessions

Three information webinars were delivered in September 2017:

Support resources

A range of resources have been developed for applicants to assist with the program intent to build research capacity and capability.

Translational Research Framework

The Sax Institute has developed a framework to assist grant applicants when refining research questions and identifying feasible research methods to answer these questions. AOD IGS applicants are strongly encouraged to consider proposals at all stages of the Framework.

Idea generation- What form of innovation coudl solve the problem
Feasibility- Is this innovation practical to implement and accepatbale
Efficacy- Can the innovation deliver expected outcomes under best possible circumstances?
Replicability and adaptability - Can the innovation reproduce the same outcomes under different conditions?
Effectiveness - Does the innovation deliver expected outcomes under normal operationa; conditions in the helathy system?
Scalability - How can the innovation be integrated in to wider health system
Monitoring- Does the innovation acive sustained outcomes once integrated in to helath system?
© Sax Institute. Image sourced from Sax Institute Translational Research Framework.

For more information on the Framework watch Professor Don Nutbeam's presentation at Introduction to the Translational Research Framework.

Exemplar expression of interest examples

The Office of Health and Medical Research has developed a number of 'exemplar' application examples for the Translation Research Grants Scheme. The examples cover a number of different study types, spanning the stages of the Translational Research Framework. The examples do not cover AOD content. However, they do demonstrate the type of information required at the expression of interest stage, particularly for the AOD IGS.

They are intended as a guide only.

Technical research support

For the NGO EGS, once a proposal is successful, 1-2 days research support will be provided to develop an evaluation framework. This may include attending a workshop with other grant recipients.

For the AOD IGS, once a proposal progresses from the expression of interest stage to full application development stage, research support will be provided to develop a full application. If awarded funding, further research support will be provided.

Round 1 grant recipients

NGO Evaluation Grants

Chief investigator Host organisation Project title
Mark Ferry Ted Noffs Foundation Evaluation of Ted Noffs Foundation Street University Program
Mark Buckingham Kedesh Rehabilitation Services Client directed care: an evaluation of the new client centred care model used at Kedesh Rehabilitation Services
Sarah Lambert ACON Supporting best practice for sexual and gender minority AOD clients: evaluation of ACONs Substance Support Service
Gabriella Holmes Mission Australia Evaluating the effectiveness of a modified Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) group program in treating adolescents and young adults experiencing substance misuse
Julie Babineau Odyssey House Program evaluation - Odyssey House

AOD Innovation Grants

Chief investigator Host organisation Project title
Ryan McGlaughlin SMART Recovery Routine outcome monitoring (ROM) plus feedback in SMART Recovery Australia: a feasibility study examining SMART ROM
Julaine Allan Lyndon Community Feasibility of adolescent AOD interventions in headspace centres
Gerard Byrne The Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust A randomised controlled trial of a continuing care telephone intervention following residential substance abuse treatment
Adrian Dunlop &​ Kate Hall Hunter New England Local Health District ERIC (Emotion Regulation and Impulse Control): a sustainable program for vulnerable young people with AOD mental health issues

Other research funding

Round 3 of the Translational Research Grants Scheme (TRGS) is currently open and funds research projects that will translate into better patient outcomes, health service delivery, and population health and wellbeing. The scheme provides grants to staff within NSW LHDs, SHNs, the Ambulance Service of NSW and NSW Health Pathology.

AOD proposals submitted to TRGS round 3 may be eligible for the AOD Innovation Grants Scheme if the proposal includes an NGO partner. Please refer to the AOD IGS Guideline for Applicants for other eligibility criteria for this grants scheme. If you decide to submit your TRGS proposal to the AOD IGS, you are required to complete and submit the AOD IGS expression of interest form by the closing date. If your proposal receives funding under TRGS, it will not be eligible to receive funding under the AOD IGS.

More information

All enquiries should be directed to​

Page Updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017