Young Pacific Leaders Grants Program

The Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) Small Grants Program is a competition for seed funding to implement innovative programs throughout the Pacific region. The program provides funding opportunities for YPL alumni to carry out projects focused on improving their communities, countries and region. Selected projects will address issues or opportunities related to the four core themes of the Young Pacific Leaders Program:

  • Education
  • Environment and Resource Management
  • Civic Leadership
  • Economic and Social Development

Cultural Vistas and U.S. Embassy Canberra are pleased to announce the YPL Small Grants Program is now accepting applications for the 2018 grant competition.

Applications for small grant funding are due March 16, 2018.

Apply Now


Who Can Submit a Proposal?

To submit a proposal, the team must meet the following requirements:

  1. At least one team member must be a former YPL Conference Attendee. This includes:
    • 2018 Conference: Honolulu, Hawaii
    • 2016 Conference: Honolulu, Hawaii
    • 2015 Conference: Independent State of Samoa
    • 2014 Conference: Auckland, New Zealand
    • 2013 Conference: American Samoa
  2. All core team members must be between the ages of 20-35
  3. Project must address at least one of the following themes:
    • Education
    • Environment and Resource Management
    • Civic Leadership
    • Economic and Social Development
  4. U.S. Citizens must demonstrate that their project is regionally focused outside of the United States, or be part of a cross-country team.

Does My Proposal Have to be in English?


Does My Project Need to Affect or Have Members From More Than One YPL Country?

No, however cross-border collaboration is encouraged.

Does Our Team Need to List a Project Leader, a Secretary, and a Treasurer at Time of Application?

Yes, not only will this make your proposal stronger but will designate specific tasks.

Is There a Maximum or Minimum Number of People on a Team for a Proposal?

Yes, each team must have at least three core members (a Project Leader, a Secretary, and a Treasurer). There is no maximum number, however, you should only submit resumes for the three core team members. If you have more team members, submit an additional document listing them.

What Makes a Successful Project Proposal?

A successful project proposal is one that is feasible, reproducible, and scalable making a tangible difference in a local community and impacting at least one of the four YPL themes.

How Do I Come Up With a Budget?

Budgeting is one of the hardest and most critical parts of your proposal. You must list all appropriate and applicable costs while remaining cost-conscious and feasible. The most successful projects are realistic in their costs. Budgets can be submitted in either USD or local currency.
YPL Budget Template.xlsx

When Will I Know If My Project Was Awarded Funding?

Determinations of grant funding will occur in April 2018. Your project should plan to be six months starting in late May 2018. Projects must be completed by November 2018.

How Will Funding Be Dispersed?

If selected, you will receive 60 percent of your funds after the kick off workshop in May. You will then receive 35% of funds after submitting your monthly reports and your mid-term report. Finally you will receive the last 5% of the project funds after submitting your final report with project results.

What is the Kickoff Workshop?

In May 2018, two members from each team (Project Leader and Treasurer) will be required to attend a kickoff workshop in Auckland to learn valuable skills, improve their project plans, and meet fellow grant recipients.

What is the Debriefing Workshop?

In November 2018, one member from each team will be required to attend a final program debriefing to deliver a presentation on the team’s project outcomes, successes and challenges, and opportunities for the project’s sustainability or replicability.

What is Cultural Vistas' Role?

Cultural Vistas will be your point of contact for the entire process and serve as your mentor to implementing your project. Any questions you may have on administration, budgeting, planning etc. Cultural Vistas will work with you on. Additionally, Cultural Vistas will host online mentorship webinars to assist you in different aspects of your project from before, to during, to after the grant has completed.

How Will Projects Be Evaluated?

Projects will be evaluated by Cultural Vistas staff in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy Canberra staff and U.S. Department of State.

Can I Submit More Than One Project Proposal?

No, you may be listed only on one 2018 YPL Small Grants Program proposal.

Can My Project Receive Funding Outside of the 2018 YPL Small Grants Program?

Yes, all projects will be encouraged to seek crowdfunding and additional funds through the private sector to create as much impact as possible.

What is the Maximum Amount a Project Can Apply For?

Projects can apply for up to $13,750 USD.


Cultural Vistas will host four mentorship webinars to assist interested applicants in completing their application. These webinars will help applicants articulate their project ideas; assigned team roles and organizational structure; guidance on budget creation and management; and additional support as needed prior to the application deadline. At the conclusion of each webinar, Cultural Vistas will post the video recording on this webpage.

About YPL

Launched in 2013, the Young Pacific Leaders Program (YPL) is a U.S. government-funded initiative to strengthen leadership development and networking throughout Independent Pacific states, Australia, New Zealand, and American-affiliated Pacific. YPL works to build leadership capabilities of young professionals in the region and strengthen ties with the United States as a partner to address common issues.

YPL strengthens linkages between emerging leaders across the Pacific and the United States, reinforcing the U.S. commitment to the Pacific region. These relationships with the younger generation of government, civic and business leaders help to harness the extraordinary potential of youth in the region to address critical challenges and expand opportunities.

The YPL community consists of bright young leaders, 20-35 years old, from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the American-affiliated Pacific.

The YPL Small Grants Program is sponsored by U.S. Department of State and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Embassy Canberra. Cultural Vistas will administer the program through 2018.

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