Skip to main content
Top of the Jane Foss Russel Building

Blue Sky project

Promoting exploration and research into innovative ideas
The Trust's Blue Sky project grants foster innovative ideas and concepts that enable modern cities to function effectively.

The Blue Sky project grants provide researchers with the opportunity to apply innovative ideas to current social and community problems.

The grants provide funding of up to $25,000, however past projects have received funding of between $10,000 to $15,000. Successful Blue Sky projects are also eligible to seek funding in subsequent Strategic Partnership grants.

Eligibility criteria

The project grants encourage multidisciplinary research teams and at least one member should have an academic position at the University of Sydney. Projects normally run for up to 12 months.

Our selection criteria include:

  • The project's strategic alignment with the Trust
  • Uniqueness and novelty of the research
  • Quality of the project application
  • Value for money
  • Relevance and potential impact of the idea to public policy
  • Whether the research team has a prominent role for early-career researchers
  • How multidisciplinary the research team is
  • Risk of the project not being able to be completed and a risk mitigation strategy (including support for early-career researchers)

Please note that projects examining marginal improvements to existing policies and processes are not eligible for funding.

How to apply

Applications are currently closed. For enquiries please contact:

Kim Beecroft
Administration Manager

Past projects

Resident-led master planning in Sydney: community responses to the proposed redevelopment of Waterloo

What does meaningful community engagement look like? This research project will evaluate the effectiveness of a resident-led master planning process in Waterloo, Sydney. The process was initiated by residents in collaboration with architects, artists and researchers, as a response to the NSW State government’s plans to redevelop the public housing estate in the area.

Grant: $16,052

Urban design and health: towards causal inferences through investigation of residential relocation

Despite the large body of literature on built environments, health behaviours and outcomes, to date almost all studies have been cross-sectional and therefore do not provide causal evidence. Only prospective evaluations of environmental interventions and relocation studies, in which the same individuals are exposed to different environments, can establish a temporal sequence of cause and effect between exposure to environments and subsequent health behaviour and outcomes.

Grant: $23,805

Urban design and health: a large scale natural experiment of residential relocation

Using the largest cohort study in the Southern Hemisphere, this project analyses urban design impacts on health through a natural experiment of residential relocation to provide early causal evidence in this area. Identifying environmental determinants of population health will inform policy and interventions that could result in health, economic, environmental and social benefits for Australia and elsewhere.

Grant: $18,605

Resident Involvement in Urban Development in Sydney

This Blue Sky study explores a new conceptual approach to community involvement in planning that responds to contemporary critiques of participatory planning. Blue Sky projects are focused on exploring innovative ideas and concepts. This research explores a new conceptual approach that rethinks how local citizenries are involved in the politics of urban development.

Mass-movements: what are the impacts of rapid greenfield development on wellbeing, connection and crime?

The population of Camden local government area is projected to increase by 192.67% between 2015 and 2036, the largest forecasted increase in any local government area in Australia. This project will explore the impacts of this growth on social connections, guardianship, supervision of children and crime.

Grant: $24,396

Nature in cities: can urban planners enhance human wellbeing using biodiversity?

This project aims to identify the specific components of landscapes and biodiversity that are associated with enhancing wellbeing and create guidelines for promoting evidence-based and ecologically informed approaches to planning nature in cities.

Grant: $23,465