Early planning

Early planning

Where can I find information about grant and fellowship funding opportunities?

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) Research Support team produce a FMHS Grants Update newsletter that includes details of research funding opportunities and other news and information that may be of particular interest to FMHS researchers. It is emailed directly to all researchers approximately monthly. Please email fmhs.researchsupport@mq.edu.au if you have not received the newsletter.

In addition, Macquarie University staff can use the Research Professional (RP) database to search for funding opportunities that align with their specific research interests. Log into Research Professional using your Macquarie University email address; you may need to request a new password. Email fmhs.researchsupport@mq.edu.au if you have any questions about using the RP database.

Forecast and current Australian Government grant opportunities and grants awarded are now available in one central location, on their GrantConnect website.

The University’s Research Services website (fellowship and grant opportunities) lists the major grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), some other major external funding schemes, and internal schemes, including links to funding rules, contacts, key dates, application deadlines and resources. It also provides a Major Grants Round Calendar under Research Grant Resources, which contains important internal and external deadlines for ARC, NHMRC, Cancer Australia and Cancer Council funding opportunities.

Which funding organisations will potentially support research in the FMHS?

In today’s world, securing grant funding from the major government funding organisations such as NHMRC and ARC is highly competitive and researchers will need to explore a range of funding options.

The type of research funding that will be available to researchers will depend on a variety of factors including their career stage, field of research, previous opportunities and so on.

Potential funding sources might include:

What are the available options to fund research through non-grant funding sources?

The Research Partnerships team from the University Research Services can help you with non-grant funding sources, including the identification, development and management of relationships with external partners. This advice and support includes the partnership aspects of grant schemes such as ARC Linkage Projects.

For contact details of Research Partnership Managers.

The University also offers partnership funding through its Enterprise Partnerships Scheme to encourage initial research engagement with commercial, government and philanthropic organisations. This can help fund your first pilot research project with external partners.

A Trusts and Foundations specialist from the University’s Office of Advancement can assist with knowledge and support around philanthropic funding for research. Please contact the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) Research Support team (fmhs.researchsupport@mq.edu.au) for more information about this type of research support.

What factors should I consider when deciding whether to apply for a specific grant or fellowship?

The first thing to assess is whether you and your research fit with the overall aims of the funding scheme. Carefully check the funding announcement and any other available information so that you fully understand what they are hoping to achieve by funding research under the scheme.

Next, read through any Funding Rules or Guidelines for the scheme. Broadly speaking, these rules or guidelines provide details about specific eligibility requirements, scheme objectives and the selection and assessment criteria that the funding organisation will use to ensure that any funded grants are likely to achieve the desired outcomes of the scheme. The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) Research Support team are happy to assist you with advice about applying for particular funding schemes and to discuss whether the scheme is an appropriate choice for you and your research project. For an overview of considerations, please see the FMHS Research Support guidance document Identifying appropriate funding opportunities for researchers and projects.

Who can I approach for strategic advice about whether to apply for a specific grant or fellowship opportunity?

It is advisable to discuss your plans with your supervisor, other mentor(s), and colleagues before you even start to draft a grant application. Academic mentors and peers are a source of strategic advice in terms of whether you, as a candidate, and the proposed research are likely to be competitive for specific funding opportunities.

You are also strongly encouraged to engage in an early discussion of your plans with the Faculty Research Manager and Research Support team (fmhs.researchsupport@mq.edu.au). They can review your team Track Record and provide advice about key priorities and requirements for specific funding opportunities.

See also: Research Support Contacts for Grant Applicants

Do I need approval from the Head of Department to apply for a grant?

Yes, your Head of Department (HoD) needs to give approval for you to apply for a grant because it commits your time and, potentially, other resources to a project if the grant is successful. Early discussion is important so that your Head of Department is fully aware of the implications of the project for you and your department and so that these can be accounted for in forward-planning processes at departmental or faculty level. For example, if the grant is successful, additional lab space may be needed to accommodate new staff, new equipment or other infrastructure for the research project.

Please talk to your supervisor and/or your HoD about your intention to apply for research funding, noting that the completed funding application must be approved by the HoD and the Associate Dean of Research or Dean of the Faculty before it is submitted to the funding organisation.  The latter approvals are obtained via the Pure Research Management System (Pure RMS).

Why do I have to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) for some grant and fellowship applications?

Some external funding organisations and internal Macquarie University funding schemes request that applicants submit a formal EoI as part of the assessment process. Successful EoI applicants are subsequently invited to submit a full application to the funding organisation.

Occasionally an external funding organisation will specify that only a specified number of applications for a specific scheme can be submitted from each administering organisation. If the Application Guidelines indicate that application limits apply, the University Research Services will set up an internal EoI and selection process to decide which applications will be put forward from Macquarie University. Information about the EoI process will be distributed by the Faculty research support team by email or through the FMHS Grants Update newsletter; however, please contact the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Support team (fmhs.researchsupport@mq.edu.au) if the Application Guidelines for a specific grant or fellowship stipulate a maximum number of applicants from any given administering organisation.

What do I need to consider when applying for a grant to fund new equipment or infrastructure?

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, (DVC(R)) expects each faculty to have a three-year plan for research infrastructure needs. Plans are updated annually to remove funded items, add new ones and update prioritisation.

Information about future infrastructure needs, whether for new or replacement equipment or upgrading of existing infrastructure, are gathered from an annual, mid-year survey and presented to the Faculty Research Committee for review and prioritisation under the Guidelines for Prioritisation of Faculty Infrastructure Needs – link to be added here

Applications to both internal (Macquarie University internal research infrastructure scheme) and external funding schemes in support of research infrastructure and equipment, including applications for co-funding towards external infrastructure schemes, are drawn from the faculty's current research infrastructure plan: see link to Prioritised List of Faculty Infrastructure

Equipment requests are allowed under both the NHMRC Project Grants and the ARC Discovery schemes but there are strict guidelines in place around these requests (see Funding Guidelines for individual schemes available from the Australian Government GrantConnect website).

Please talk to the Faculty Research Manager about your infrastructure needs and further details about how to submit a research infrastructure request to the faculty.  In addition, if you are thinking about requesting new items to fit into the PC2 labs, please talk with the Lab Operations team first (email FMHS Lab operations)

Who can I talk to about protecting the existing/background Intellectual Property (IP) and/or the potential for partnering with industry and/or the commercialisation of my research?

Information and assistance regarding the protection of existing/background Intellectual Property and working with commercial partners is available from the Macquarie University Commercialisation and Innovation Office, Research Partnerships Managers (Research Partnerships) and/or the Research Policy and Contracts Team (researchcontracts@mq.edu.au).

For further information, please see the Macquarie University IP policy.

For information and assistance regarding commercialisation, researchers should seek advice from the Macquarie University Commercialisation and Innovation Office.

Sources for grant funding of research that has the potential for commercialisation include:

The Australian Government Global Innovation Linkages programme

Biomedical Translation Fund

The National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation

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