Submitting a Research Grant Application
The Grants team in Research Services provides support to University of New England researchers who apply for research grants. Let the Grants team know as soon as possible if you intend to submit a grant application, because:
- Each year, the Australian Government provides universities with funding for research and research training, dependent on their yearly research income and outputs. If we don’t know about your projects, we cannot report on them and UNE misses out on additional government funding;
- You cannot use external grant information on your promotion applications if Research Services has no record of your funding;
- The Grants team can provide compliance advice and assist with polishing your application, so the sooner you contact the team, the stronger your application should be.
Step 1. Plan and prepare the funding application
Apply for funding
See our information about funding schemes and opportunities
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As soon as you have found a research fund scheme for which you are considering applying, please contact us: email@example.com. The earlier you notify us the better prepared we are to help you when you need assistance, for example, with determining eligibility, interpreting the funding rules and planning your budget.
Grant Application Internal Timeframes
|When you Contact us||What we can achieve|
|4 weeks before funding body's deadline|
|2 weeks before|
|1 week before|
|24-48 hours before|
|12 hours or less|
Talk to your Faculty early in the process
Your Faculty needs to give approval for you to apply for a grant because it commits your time to a project if the grant is successful. Discussing your application at an early stage is important so that your Faculty is fully aware of the implications of the project for you and your Faculty. You may also need to discuss possible Faculty financial support to be included in your application budget, and the sooner this is discussed the better.
Step 2. Writing the application
Read and understand the application submission guidelines and timeframes.
Work within the submission guidelines and internal and external timeframes.
Seek advice from the Research Office grants team, your Faculty Resource Manager and your academic peers.
Use the resources, particularly for your budget, available on the Grant Forms and Resources webpage
If the grant you are applying for is classified in the Australian Government's Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) system as Category 2 or Category 3 funding, do not forget to include the DVCR's Research Sustainability Fee of 20% in the budget. For more information, contact the Grants team.
Become familiar with the Australian Government's and UNE's research priorities.
The ARC has useful information if you need to include the non-academic impact of your research in your application. UNE also subscribes to a useful resource called Epigeum, which is all about enhancing research impact and is accessed via Moodle. Email the Grants team to arrange access.
Step 3. Submitting the application
When your draft is ready, the grants team will:
- review the application
- provide final feedback
- (normally) submit the application to the funding body on your behalf. Researchers submitting the application directly to the funding body should cc firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standard grant applications: For full compliance checking and feedback, the grants team needs your final draft application at least two weeks before the funding body's application deadline.
ARC and NHMRC: A much longer review period is needed so you should let the grants team know well ahead if you plan to submit to one of these nationally competitive schemes.
In cases where the funding organisation's submission process is via an online system where the proposal needs to be submitted online directly by the applicant — as happens with SmartyGrants — a final version should be emailed through to the grants team. We will advise if further changes are required or if the applicant can go ahead and submit the proposal. Once the proposal has been submitted, please email confirmation of submission and any other future correspondence regarding this proposal to the grants team.
Project approval form
Your application, even if it is only at the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage, needs to be accompanied by a completed Project Approval Form (PAF) before the application can be signed/submitted by Research Services. The PAF captures necessary details to record the grant activity and comply with mandated government reporting and auditing requirements. Your Faculty Dean will need to have seen the application and signed the PAF before the application can be submitted.
Step 4. Application outcome
The grants team emails grant outcome advice to the first named investigator. If you are contacted directly by the funding body about the application outcome, please inform the grants team as soon as possible.
If your grant is successful:
- The funding body usually sends the draft Agreement to the Grants team which will liaise with the UNE Legal Office and the lead investigator in the Execution of the Agreement. The Agreement is signed by UNE, not the investigator.
- Before the agreement can be executed, the Legal Office asks that a Request for Legal Approval (RLA) Form, which includes a Budget and Acquittal Form, be completed and signed by the lead investigator and the Dean of the Faculty or Delegate. The RLA confirms that both have read, and agree with, the terms and conditions in the Agreement, paying particular attention to the terms on Intellectual Property and accessing the project research data. The Legal Office cannot proceed to have the Agreement fully Executed until it receives the signed RLA and the completed Budget and Acquittal Form.
- Delays in receiving the relevant approvals and finalising the Agreement can be significant and may have adverse repercussions for the project funding and/or start date.
- If a successful project needs ethics approval, this should be obtained before the Agreement is signed. (If this is not possible, please discuss options with the Legal Office). Please download the latest ethics approval form via the Research Services’ Ethics and Grants website
Step 5. Grant administration and additional assistance
The Research Services grants team can assist in collating information for Agreement execution and keeping track of, and providing reminders for, any milestones that are due.
Please contact the grants team if you have any queries regarding Agreements or any reporting involved with your successful application.
For information and advice regarding Post-Award Financial Management of Research Grants, go to Financial Services' Management Accounting/Research Accounting.