Variations and transfers

Variations and transfers

Variations are changes to a project’s funding or completion time. Variation requests should be considered carefully before submission, as the procedures differ depending on the funding organisation. Your faculty research office should be consulted to discuss proposed variations.

Variations may also require new integrity or ethics approvals.

Transfers are when the administering institution of the project must change. Whichever way the transfer is going, both institutions should be contacted early to minimise delays in funding transfer.


ARC carry forward and progress report

All ARC grants require an end of year financial report detailing the amount of unspent funds as of 31 December. The report is prepared by the Post-Award team with input from the Office of Financial Services (OFS) and the grant holders, with a deadline for submission of 31 March.

Significant issues affecting the progress of the project must also be included.

The Chief Investigator (CI) must confirm the project start date, and provide a revised end date if progress has been delayed. If there are unspent funds to be carried to the next year, the CI must select one or more unspent reasons. Unspent reasons are:

  • late project start
  • late student start
  • late staff start
  • leave/suspension of Investigator, students or support staff
  • staff resignation
  • work hours change
  • project transfer
  • seasonal fieldwork
  • equipment issues
  • late invoicing
  • task rescheduling
  • other (requires a report)

If the total unspent amount is greater than 75% of the annual budget or includes portions of previous carryovers, a justification of up to 750 characters must be provided.

ARC variation

Variation occurs when a successful grant needs modification from the original plan or agreement. Reasons may include personnel withdrawing, a change in partner organisation or delays.

The CI must provide a formal letter to with proposed variations, reasons for change and the impact on the project. Any necessary supporting documentation (outlined by ARC) must be provided.

Macquarie carry forward request

A carry forward is an extension beyond the approved end date of the project. Carry forward of funding is not permitted for some grant schemes and is generally discouraged. These requests are only considered in exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the researcher.

Requests must be made to the research office at least one month prior to the end date of the funding period.

If a carry forward request is needed, it must first be discussed with the faculty research manager. If the decision is to proceed with the request, a carry forward request form must be completed and signed by the CI, submitted to with any supporting documentation.

Post-award will refer the request to the relevant panel Chair for recommendation and then the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) for a decision. The CI will be notified of the outcome and any action required.

Macquarie variation request

A variation request is used to request a change in the use of Macquarie University grant funds. It cannot be used to request additional funding or extend the end date.

The CI should first discuss their proposed variation with the faculty research manager. If the decision is to proceed with the request, a variation request form must be completed and signed by the CI, submitted to with any supporting documentation.

Requests must be made at least one month prior to the proposed variation, and do not double as carry forward requests.

Post-award will refer the request to the relevant panel Chair for recommendation. The CI will be notified of the outcome and any action required.

OSP variations require the submission of an OSP variation form.

NHMRC carry forward request

Before the final year, justification for carry forward of funding is not required. OFS simply reports any unspent funding as at the end of the calendar year to the NHMRC by 30 April.

In the final year, the CI must submit an ‘extend grant duration’ variation request in RGMS prior to the end date.

The NHMRC provide further details.

NHMRC Variation

If a grant needs modification for a new project plan or change of personnel, a request should be placed at least four weeks prior to the effective date of change. The CI must prepare the request in RGMS by selecting “Grantee Variation” and selecting “New”. Requested details and supporting documents such as agreements from all persons/organisations involved must be submitted.

The Post-Award Team will receive an automated message from RGMS to review and submit the variation request to NHMRC. The CI will be contacted with the outcome and any action required.

Further details on the  NHMRC website.

Other funding

Each organisation that provides research funding will have their own terms and conditions. The CI should review the agreed terms and conditions as described in guidelines, award letters, contracts, and the organisation’s website.

Proposed changes to the project, extension requests and carry forward requests should be first raised with and your faulty research manager.


Transfer from Macquarie

If you are transferring from Macquarie, it is important you notify Macquarie early. As the administering institution, we are responsible for submitting the transfer request to the funding body.

The CI must notify as soon as possible with the intent to transfer to reduce delays in the funding transfer. The Post-Award team will need:

  • name, project title and ID number
  • effective date of transfer
  • reasons for transfer
  • impact on the project (benefits should be highlighted)
  • confirmation from all Chief/Partner Investigators and Partner Organisations of the transfer

Once all documentation is received, Post-Award staff will:

  • liaise with receiving institution
  • arrange for the OFS to complete the transfer acquittal
  • submit the transfer request to the funding body
  • notify the CI and receiving institution of the outcome

Transfer to Macquarie

If a project is being transferred to Macquarie, the relinquishing institution must submit the request to the funding body. The CI should notify as soon as possible of the intent to transfer.

It is important to begin the process before joining Macquarie to minimise delays in the transfer of funding.

Once notified, the Post-Award team will:

  • create an official database record of the project to be transferred.
  • seek confirmation from the head of department that they accept the transfer.
  • organise a letter indicating that Macquarie will accept administration of the project, signed by the DVC (Research) and sent to the relinquishing institution for on-forwarding to the funding body.

Once the funding body has approved the transfer, Post-Award team will organise for the Office of Financial Services to open an account to enable the researcher to commence at Macquarie University.

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