Regional Collaborations Programme

Programme fact sheet

Frequently asked questions

Status

Applications are now open for eligible Australian research organisations and businesses who wish to apply for funding through Round One of the Regional Collaborations Programme.

The deadline for applications is 9am (AEDT) Monday 16 January 2017.

Details

The Australian Academy of Science (the Academy) invites Australian research organisations and businesses to apply for funding under the Regional Collaborations Programme. This funding initiative is part of the Australian Government's Global Innovation Strategy under the National Innovation and Science Agenda. The programme will fund Australian participants from eligible organisations to collaborate with regional and international science, research and innovation partners on solutions to shared regional challenges within the Asia–Pacific regions.

The programme is designed to be flexible, with no set minimum or maximum funding requirements for project applications. This approach has been adopted to help foster innovative ideas and collaborations.

Although there is no set minimum or maximum total project cost requirement, projects much include matched funding of 1:1 (cash only). For example, if an applicant seeks $25,000 of programme funding, then the project proponents would need to contribute another $25,000 (cash), bringing the total value of the project to $50,000.

The $3.2 million four-year programme will support single-year or multi-year collaborative, multi-partner projects and non-project aligned collaborative workshops.

The programme aims to support the Australian Government’s commitment to:

  • assist in the removal of barriers for researchers and businesses seeking to collaborate on issues of regional and national significance
  • support technical and research mobility
  • build research capability, facilitating Australia’s access to global science and research networks and infrastructure.

Priority areas

Although there are no mandated priority areas from which to draw research topics, please consider the national Science and Research Priorities and associated practical research challenges, along with regional challenges identified through multilateral fora such as eAsia, Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit.

Multi-partner project guidelines

Eligibility

Applicants must be either an Australian research organisation or Australian business (see Glossary for definitions) willing to form collaborative multi-partner teams with participation from at least two other countries, with the intention of building strong international linkages within the Asia–Pacific region in science, research and innovation.

Note: Non-corporate Commonwealth entities (as defined under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013) are not eligible under this programme.

Eligible project activities must:

  • address a shared regional challenge of national interest, via science, research and innovation collaboration
  • demonstrate a benefit to Australia through the collaborative work proposed
  • include at least two non-Australian partner countries
    • Note: Although collaborative multi-partner teams must include at least one partner country from an Asia–Pacific economy, providing they meet key eligibility criteria and have a focus on the Asia–Pacific region, their composition can also include non-regional countries.
  • have evidence of being able to provide 1:1 leveraged cash contribution
  • feature workshop and mobility components, either led by Australia or a regional project partner, or facilitated through multi-lateral fora.

Partnering arrangements

  • Collaborative partnerships can consist of any combination of research and business organisations, as long as the collaboration includes at least two non-Australian partner countries (at least one being from an Asia–Pacific economy (PDF, 110KB)) and addresses a shared regional challenge of benefit to Australia.

Funding arrangements

  • Projects must include matched funding of 1:1 (cash only). That is, the total leveraged cash funds from the Australian and international partners must be greater than or equal to the value of funding being sought through this programme. In-kind contributions will not form part of the 1:1 matched-funding calculation.
  • It is not permissible to duplicate support available from other sources, including other Australian Government funding mechanisms, with Regional Collaborations Programme funding. Where applicants already receive Australian Government funding for their core activities, they will only be eligible if they can demonstrate that the activity for which funding is sought is additional to their core activities.
  • Upon submission of an application, a letter of intent will be required giving appropriate evidence that each project partner is genuinely committed to, and prepared to collaborate in, the project.
  • A formal declaration will also have to be signed by all partners outlining any cash contributions and funding sources.

Eligible budget items

  • Salaries (including direct salary on-costs) for Australian personnel (researchers, support staff, fellowships and postgraduate students).
  • Direct support costs of research, translation and promotion of outcomes.
  • International travel expenses (economy class airfare, associated living expenses, visa and insurance) for Australian personnel specifically engaged in project activities. This component should not exceed 20% of the awarded funds.
  • Project-associated workshop costs (room hire and catering).
  • Other costs as agreed in writing with the Academy.

Ineligible budget items

  • Salaries and travel related costs for non-Australian personnel, including consultants.
  • Capital expenditure for the purchase of assets such as office furniture and equipment, motor vehicles, computers, printers or photocopiers; and the construction, renovation or extension of facilities such as buildings and laboratories.
  • Costs involved in the purchase, upgrade or hire of software (including user licences) and ICT hardware.
  • Activities that would be undertaken in the normal course of business, such as website development, or the purchase, development and/or integration of standard software for core purposes (e.g. accounting, financial management, business planning, sales and promotional activities).
  • Retrospective activities (where expenditure is incurred prior to the award of programme funding).
  • Any costs incurred prior to the signing of a funding agreement with the Academy.
  • Institutional overheads and administrative charges.
  • Costs associated with the internal preparation of finance and audit statements.
  • Any activities, equipment or supplies that are already being supported through other sources.
  • Indirect costs of research, not listed in eligible expenses.
  • Costs associated with market research for products or research carried out by surveys to assess the size of the market and the price of a particular service or product.
  • Costs associated with marketing projects (activities aimed at creating demand for goods and services of consumers, businesses and government).
  • Costs such as rental, renovations and utilities.
  • Fees for international students, or the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) liabilities for students.
  • Insurance costs (project partners must maintain adequate insurance or similar coverage for any liability arising as a result of their participation in the programme).
  • Staff recruitment and relocation costs.
  • Debt financing.
  • Costs of Australia’s membership of international science and technology projects.
  • Other costs as determined by the Academy as not meeting the programme’s objectives.

Application and selection process

  1. Applications submitted for assessment
  2. Applications assessed for impact and eligibility
  3. If required, external stakeholder consultation undertaken on alignment of select applications with Australia’s strategic priorities
  4. Applicants advised of final assessment outcome
  5. Successful applicants announced and collaborative project funding allocated

Please complete the application form. The Academy may contact you to discuss your application prior to a final decision.

Application DEADLINE – 9am (AEDT) Monday 16 January 2017

Merit criterion 1: Aims, significance and outcomes

  • The project addresses a shared regional challenge, with regard to Australia’s national interests, along with building and enhancing regional science, research and industry relationships
  • The aims and key objectives the project and activities will achieve are clearly outlined, including the scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or industry/innovation to be advanced
  • The project is likely to result in ongoing collaboration which supports the objectives of the programme

Merit criterion 2: Design and feasibility

  • The design, approach and methods outlined in the application will help achieve the anticipated outcomes of the project
  • The benefits to Australia and flow-on effects to the region are clearly demonstrated
  • Measures to ensure that the outcomes are sustainable after programme funding ceases have been outlined
  • The partnership meets the matching cash contribution requirements

Merit criterion 3: Capacity of partnership to deliver project’s goals

  • The capacity of the lead applicant and partners to undertake the proposed project is clearly demonstrated
  • Indication of how existing networks and linkages will be leveraged to strengthen collaboration is provided
  • Indication of how the project will facilitate access to resources including infrastructure, capital equipment, technology, intellectual property and required regulatory and other approvals is provided
  • The experience and expertise of the lead applicant and partners in delivering similar projects involving multi-partner collaborations is demonstrated

Completed applications, including supporting documentation, must be submitted electronically (preferably in PDF format) to grants@science.org.au.

For further inquiries, please contact the Academy directly (see Contact below for details).

Materials to be submitted (in the following order)

  1. Application form (RTF, 644KB)
  2. Supporting documents:
    • CV of project manager (no more than 3 pages)
    • CV of lead researcher and key personnel for each partner, including Australian and lead partner (no more than 3 pages each)
    • Signed letters of intent of support and verification of indicative cash contributions from project partners (see example (PDF, 134KB))

Note: Applicants may be contacted by the Academy and provided with feedback to assist in clarifying aspects of their application.

Assessment

Applications will be assessed on merit by an expert panel constituted by the Academy.

Assessments will be based on the merit criteria outlined above. Relevant government agencies may also be approached to assist with assessment considerations, in particular, alignment with Australia’s strategic priorities.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing and be given the opportunity to discuss the outcome with the Academy.

Notification of final outcome: early June 2017

Reporting requirements

Successful applicants (funding recipients) will be required to submit an annual report and a final report of their project as per reporting templates provided by the Academy.

The Academy reserves the right to reduce, recall or terminate funding where a report indicates that funds have not been used in accordance with the funding agreement.

Funding recipients will also be required to participate in an exit survey.

Upon completion of the project, funding recipients will be required to provide a summary of project outcomes in plain English for public use by the Academy and the Australian Government.

Contact

International Programs
Australian Academy of Science
GPO Box 783
Canberra ACT 2601

Email: grants@science.org.au

This programme is supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Disclosure of information for certain purposes

Without limitation, the Academy and the Australian Government may publish the following information for activities supported through the Regional Collaborations Programme on the Academy’s website or the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science website, or in media releases issued by the Government:

  • the project title
  • name of successful lead applicant
  • the names of the partner organisations
  • the contact details provided by the recipient organisation
  • a project summary
  • the amount of Australian Government funding awarded.

Glossary

Research organisations

Research organisations will be incorporated and registered for GST and have an ABN number. Universities will be registered as exempt from income tax.

Research organisations include Australian:

  • tertiary education institutions (as per the Higher Education Support Act 2003)
  • cooperative research centres
  • Publicly funded research agencies
  • state or territory-funded research organisations
  • public research companies
  • private research companies
  • not-for-profit research organisations.

Australian businesses

Australian businesses must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be incorporated and registered for GST
  • not be engaged in any litigation, arbitration, administrative proceedings, investigations, of or before any court, tribunal, commission, arbitral body or other agency in any jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Australia (for enterprises based in Australia) or in their nominated economy.

Australian personnel

  • Australian personnel are considered Australian citizens or permanent residents.

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science

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