APEC administers two project approval sessions per year for APEC member economies to apply for funding. Project sessions are very competitive – there are more applications than there is funding available. Members are encouraged to think deeply about their project, and consult widely with their colleagues, to ensure that they have the best possible chance of receiving funding. Funding is approved by APEC’s Budget and Management Committee (BMC).

There are two stages to each project approval session:

  1. Concept Note Stage: The process starts with the submission of a three page concept note outlining the intention of the project by the dates specified below. Only approved concept notes proceed to the next stage.

  2. Project Proposal Stage: This stage only applies for approved concept notes. A concept note is developed into a longer and more detailed project proposal that specifies precisely how the project will work. Project proposals must be submitted for BMC approval by one of the project proposal dates specified below.

Dates for Project Session 2, 2016
1. Concept Note Stage Submission Date Notification Date of BMC Decision

Internal Submission Deadline (Submit to Your Group)

22 June N/A 
Final Submission Deadline (Submit to APEC Secretariat) 15 July 19 September
What does this mean?

By the Internal Submission Deadline, submit your concept note to your group through your Program Director, so that it can be:

  • endorsed, assessed and scored by your group; and
  • checked for compliance with the Guidebook on APEC Projects (eg sufficient co-sponsors; maximum number of pages not exceeded)
  • if applicable, considered for eligibility for one of the ASF project sub-funds.

By the Final Submission Deadline, submit your concept note to the APEC Secretariat’s Project Management Unit through your Program Director. It must be endorsed and assessed by your group, and be compliant with the Guidebook on APEC Projects.

Concept notes can’t be accepted after the Final Submission Deadline.

2. Project Proposal Stage Submission Date to APEC Secretariat Notification Date of BMC Decision

First Submission Deadline

14 September 7 October
Second Submission Deadline 10 October 1 November

Final Submission Deadline 

26 October 30 November
What does this mean?

You can submit your project proposal to the APEC Secretariat through your Program Director by any one of the submission deadlines advertised above. The deadline when you submit will affect the date when you can expect to be notified about BMC’s decision on your project. Please take this into consideration when planning you project activities.

By the submission deadline, your project proposal must comply with the requirements in the Guidebook on APEC Projects. This includes:

  • endorsement of your proposal by your group;
  • a quality assessment (QAF) by at least two economies in your group.

Project Proposals can’t be accepted after the Final Submission Deadline.

Please note:        

  • All deadlines above expire at midnight, Singapore time.
  • Dates are subject to change, upon approval of the APEC Budget and Management Committee.


Concept Note Development

A project originates from an economy or economies, and is considered and delivered through APEC fora (committee, working group, etc.). Individuals affiliated with APEC fora are eligible to apply for APEC funding, provided their concept note and proposal are endorsed by their forum. This individual, called a ‘Project Overseer’ (PO), will lead the design and delivery of the project on behalf of their economy.

The PO must prepare a three-page concept note describing the project’s objectives, relevance, methodology and alignment to APEC’s goals. POs must also identify the funding source to which they are applying – see APEC Project Funding Sources. The project must secure the requisite number of co-sponsors (check with the program director for your forum for the required number). Concept notes then need endorsement by the forum. Forum members must also assess the concept notes and give them a score against a set of assessment criteria. The scores serve as a non-binding recommendation to Committees, reflecting the forum members’ priorities.

Concept Note Approval

All concept notes then move from their originating forum to the Committee that oversees the forum’s work (SCE, CTI, EC or SFOM). Committees also assess the concept notes and give them a score against a set of assessment criteria. If there are more concept notes submitted than funds available, Principal Decision Makers (PDMs, who are individuals nominated by each APEC economy) create a final list of all projects to determine the order in which concept notes qualify for the available funding. APEC’s Budget and Management Committee (BMC) approves the final list of concept notes that can be funded, based on their priority and the funds available. To understand the process in detail, consult Chapter 4 of the Guidebook on APEC Projects.

Project Proposal Development

Once concept notes are approved by BMC, the Secretariat will notify POs of the outcomes. Successful POs will be invited to expand their concept note into a full project proposal. The proposal must be endorsed by the relevant forum and at least two members from other economies must peer review the proposal. The PO must then submit the proposal and peer review to the APEC Secretariat. The Secretariat’s Project Management Unit also assesses project proposals according to the Quality Criteria for Assessing APEC Projects: relevance, impact, effectiveness, sustainability and efficiency. The Secretariat provides advice and assistance, as needed, until the proposal meets satisfactory quality on all criteria.

Final approval

Once proposals have reached satisfactory quality, the Secretariat recommends them to BMC for approval. If the proposal is approved, the project moves to the implementation stage. 

For further information on specific projects and the process for applying for APEC funds, please review the Guidebook on APEC Projects or contact the relevant APEC Secretariat Program Directors.

For further details, please contact:

Andrew Lloyd (Mr) arl14@apec.org