COVID-19 FAQ

COVID-19 FAQ

INTERNAL FUNDING SCHEMES:

Q1) What should I do, if my Internal Grant is impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and inhibits my ability to spend the grant funds by the approved project end date.

If your grant is due to finish at the end of 2020 or beyond, please hold the Variation request until July 2020 or when further information becomes available at the later stage to predict an accuracy of the estimated time for your project completion.

If your grant is due to end in June 2020, please submit your Variation request online by visiting Service Now**.

Q2) I have received my successful MQ Internal grant in Dec 2019 and because of COVID-19 restrictions on social distancing imposed by the Australian Government, I would like to re-allocate my funding from field work to purchasing equipment and maintenance.

Please contact your Faculty Research Office to discuss individual concerns and talk through the available options. If they support the change, please submit your Variation request online by visiting Service Now **.

Q3) My Internal Grant project involves face-to-face interviews with vulnerable group (age care services) and the project has been suspended until further notice. I would like to extend my grant for another 1 year until the group is ready to resume contact for the research.

Please refer to answer at Q1.

Q4) My MQ Internal Grant was allocated for an International Conference and laboratory visits Overseas. This activity must be put on hold until the COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted. I would like to request an extension for my grant until the next Conference date is announced by the host organisation.

Please refer to answer at Q1.

Q5) A research team of undergraduate students were recruited to participate a competition event overseas in Oct 2020 but the event is most likely to be cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis. I need to roll over the funding to next year for them to participate the competition in 2021 and re-budget the personnel recruitment.

Please contact your Faculty Research Office to discuss individual concerns and talk through the available options. If they support this, please submit your Variation request online by visiting Service Now**.

** If you were awarded an MQ EPS Grant or MQ Co-Funding, please obtain a letter or email from the Industry Partner confirming their support before starting your variation request in Service Now. The partner’s supporting letter/email must be uploaded to your online variation request.

EXTERNAL FUNDING SCHEMES:

ARC

Q1) I heard that the ARC wants to support researchers who are working on current projects that have been impacted by COVID-19. Where do I find further information?

The ARC is introducing flexibility and streamlining its post award processes. They now allow a range of variations to be approved at the discretion of Administering Organisations and notified to the ARC in the 2020 End of the Year Report submitted in March 2021. For further information go to the ARC Post Award Guidance web page or email Macquarie University Post Award.

Q2) I am the lead CI for an ARC grant that is due to finish in December 2020. Due to COVID-related unforeseeable delays I am unable to expend my budget and finish the project on time. There are no changes to the research plan or budget, but my work will proceed more slowly.

Please send a brief email to Post Award including the grant ID, revised end date and brief explanation. In most cases we will extend the end date in PURE and ask OFS to update the account. If your request doesn’t align with the ARC guideline, we will seek clarification.

Q3) I am CI on an ARC grant that is led by another university. The project is expected to finish in December 2021. Due to COVID-related unforeseeable delays I am unable to spend my funding allocation this year.

The lead university has overall responsibility for managing the grant. Please discuss your circumstances and concerns with the lead CI so that they can inform their research office. If the lead university approves an extension, please forward their email to Post Award for purpose of updating internal records (PURE and account).

Q4) My ARC Fellowship (or DECRA) was awarded at full-time but I need to change to part-time to manage family responsibilities during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Please send an email to Post Award including the grant ID, proposed part-time rate (FTE), and explanation. We will review the proposed variation and provide specific advice.

Q5) I have been funded a Discovery International Award (DIA) which can only be used for international collaboration, but I can no longer use it for this purpose.

Projects nearing completion with unspent DIA funds may seek a Budget Change variation to re-purpose the funds towards the grant. If a project has only recently commenced, the DIA funding can be carried over to be used at a later time.

Q5) My ARC Linkage Project is due to commence in 2020. Negotiations with the partner organisation have stalled, which is significantly delaying contract negotiations and project commencement.

The ARC has extended the period for negotiation of partner agreements. Research Services Contracts Team and Post Award will monitor the agreement process and contact you if required. Should you have any concerns about the delay, please email Post Award for a status update.

Q6) My ARC Fellowship (or DECRA) is due to commence in 2020 but I am unable to travel to Sydney due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Can I commence work on the project remotely?

Please negotiate the work arrangements with your Macquarie University Head of Department then forward details to Post Award for updating internal records.

NHMRC

Q1) The NHMRC has stated that they will support researchers who are working on current projects that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Where do I find further information?

If your project circumstances have changed or progress is delayed, you can apply to vary your grant. The NHMRC will seek to accommodate all reasonable requests for variation. For further information go to the NHMRC COVID-19 web page or email Macquarie University Post Award.

Q2) I am the lead CI for an NHMRC grant that is due to finish in December 2020. Due to COVID-related unforeseeable delays I am unable to expend my budget and finish the project on time. There are no changes to the research plan or budget, but my work will proceed more slowly.

The NHMRC does not allow funding to be spent after the approved grant end date so it is important to submit a variation request before the grant expires. Variations that may be relevant for current grants are: Deferral of an in-progress grant or extended leave requests; Extended end date; Change to a research plan; and Change in Full-Time Equivalent (People Support Schemes only).

If you are familiar with using RGMS, please prepare and submit your variation request using that system. Alternatively, please send an email to Post Award including the grant ID and explanation so that we may assist you.

Q3) I am CI on an NHMRC grant that is led by another university. The project is expected to finish in December 2021. Due to COVID-related unforeseeable delays I am unable to spend my funding allocation this year.

The lead university has overall responsibility for managing the grant. Please discuss your circumstances and concerns with the lead CI so that they can inform their research office. If the lead university confirms that an extension is approved by NHMRC, please forward their email to Post Award for purpose of updating internal records (PURE and account).

Other Funding

Q1) Work on my partner-funded contract is significantly delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. I am unable to complete the project milestones/deliverables on time.

If you have a good working relationship with the partner organisation, please feel free to contact them directly to discuss delays and negotiate a revised schedule for the project. The agreed changes should be emailed to Post Award for updating internal records.

Should you prefer Post Award to liaise with the partner organisation, please send us the PURE Award ID, explanation of delays, and proposed changes (end date, milestone schedule). We will forward the information to the partner organisation and let you know their decision.

Q1) My project is funded by an external grant (excluding ARC and NHMRC). Progress is significantly delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Every funding organisation has different requirements. Please send a brief email to Post Award including a reference number (external grant ID or PURE Award ID), revised end date and brief explanation. We will forward the information to the funding body and let you know their decision.

SCHOLARSHIPS:

Please email your MQRES-related questions to the HDR Scholarships team, hdrschol@mq.edu.au.

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