Strategic priority grant (SPG)

Strategic priority grant (SPG)

  • Projects may vary in scope and budget; may be based on work that has already commenced
  • Pilots should be scalable and sustainable
  • Applications should clearly articulate the relevance of each project and demonstrate strategic alignment and thinking beyond expected business as usual improvements
  • Broad, institutional benefit will be prioritised.

SPG process

Consultations

  • At least one month prior to grant deadlines, staff interested in applying must contact their Associate Dean Learning and Teaching and/or Director to discuss options for project development and application to the grants scheme
  • Depending on the scope of the project, other areas of the university (Property, IT, Learning Innovation Hub) may also need to be consulted. The Office of PVC L&T can also be contacted for advice about project development and planning.
  • Pitch

    Initial ideas are submitted in summary online. Faculty ADs/Directors endorse and give rankings in terms of strategic importance to a maximum of four projects each round. Interdisciplinary/portfolio projects are excluded from that count but capped at two per project lead area.

    Endorsed projects are invited to pitch their idea to the Assessment Panel. A PowerPoint template will be provided for this. The Three minutes pitch should include:

    • the problem(s) you’re going to solve, the challenge you’re going to overcome
    • the proposed solution and impact
    • the team
    • the project plan – budget, any significant project components and any additional support requirements
    • strategic links to priority areas.

    Tip: avoid technical terms or abbreviations. Members of the Assessment Panel often span discipline areas and include professional staff.

    The Assessment Panel may raise questions or seek clarity from presenters following each pitch.

    Full application

    Project leaders of Panel supported pitches will be invited to submit a full application that reflects any feedback from the Panel e.g. budget, partnerships, equipment etc. The panel may recommend amendments to scope, budget and partnerships.

    Tips:

    • select a project title that is both interesting and self-explanatory – this is the first item Panel members read, so ideally the title will encourage them to want to read more
    • anchor your writing to the criteria – use criteria headings provided to assist ease of panel assessment
    • the project summary should be succinct - state the problem(s), impact and specific aims; describe the project design and methods, why the proposal is significant, and worth supporting; make reference to the strategic objectives of the grant scheme
    • keep within (or less than) word count / pages permitted and use templates provided.

    Budget

    Project budgets should be developed in excel under major account areas: recruitment, equipment, events etc. Budgets should be well documented with supporting narrative to justify budget line items.

    Example items and Justification
    1. Personnel includes specialist expertise: why the position is needed and the length of time it is required
    2. Teaching relief: why the absence is essential to the project, and why it is not possible to schedule absence during non-teaching weeks
    3. Events to support the project: how the event(s) will drive project outcomes.

    Budgets should be prepared for expenditure at increments of 40% of the total, then an additional 40% and finally 20%. A $50,000 grant that is made available in April for 9 months would have the following example timelines*:

    First payment April $20,000 Upon return of signed contract
    Second payment July $20,000 Upon evidence of progress of project including a Teche blog
    Final payment October $10,000 Upon evidence of progress of project including a Teche blog

    *Project payment schedule will be mapped to milestones to ensure efficient grant management.

    Outcomes

    The Assessment Panel meeting is generally held within two weeks after full applications are received. Applicants will be notified of the outcomes within a week after the Panel meeting.

    Assessment The panel will assess each project against the SPG selection criteria and provide feedback to all applicants. Grants will be made available based on final panel deliberations. The panel reserve the right to defer grant schemes if there are no suitable recipients.
    Notification The project leader(s) of successful applicants will receive a short contract from the Office of PVC L&T outlining the terms of the grant, payment schedule, deliverables and dissemination requirements. Project leader(s) need to obtain the required signatures and return it to the Office of PVC L&T within the specified time frame.

    Upon acceptance of the terms outlined in the short contract, the first installment of the agreed grant will be made available at the Faculty or Office level by the Office of PVC L&T within a month of grants being approved.

    Project management

    Project leader

    The project leader has ultimate responsibility for the delivery of the project as outlined in the short contract including (but not limited to):

    • obtaining access to budget and managing expenditure
    • recruiting and monitoring team members
    • obtaining ethics (if required)
    • establishing an evaluation framework
    • collating final report including budget acquittal
    • promoting and dissemination of project progress and outcomes
    • engaging with the Office of PVC L&T in relation to project progress and any variation.

    Budget management

    The Office of the PVC L&T will check expenditure each month and contact project leaders in cases where budgets are not being expended as planned and discuss options for either assisting to get the project back on track, and/or amend timelines and budget installments and/or cancel grant commitment for that financial year.

    The Office of PVC L&T must be informed if difficulties arise which may substantially alter the project, or if the project's duration is likely to exceed the committed period.

    • Where variations to a panel approved budget may be required, project leader(s) must email the Office of PVC L&T to discuss options. Associate Deans L&T or Office Directors should be cc'd in the correspondence
    • Unspent funding cannot be ‘carried-over’.

    Reporting

    The timeline and reporting due dates for the project are set out as part of the terms of the grant.

    • Progress updates: The Office of PVC L&T will check-in with you to see how your project is progressing throughout the funded period and to offer advice and support as required
    • Final Report: due on project completion. A final report reminder will be sent to project leader(s) prior deadline with report templates attached.

    Dissemination

    Project dissemination strategies should be part of the grant application with budget portion assigned to support the efforts. Use dissemination avenues appropriate to the targeted community.

    Dissemination of project progress and outcomes may include (but are not limited to):

    Conference/seminar presentations, Q&A forums, group training, workshops, peer reviewed and/or other publications and reports, blogs (Teche), newsletters and other social media.

    The Learning Innovation Hub are available to assist in developing strategies for dissemination and wider engagement across campus.

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