Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Fellowships frequently asked questions
How to apply
Who can apply for an Advance Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Research Fellowship?
The applicant must be a Queensland-based organisation that employs the Fellow.
What is the closing date for applications?
Applications for the Advance Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Fellowships are open continuously until the funding pool is exhausted.
Can the application be revised after submission?
No. However you must advise the department of any changes that are likely to affect your eligibility.
What qualifies a candidate as an early-career researcher?
Fellows must have up to 5 years post-doctoral research experience as of the closing date for applications.
The relevant pre-PhD research experience of candidates who gained their PhD later in their career will be taken into account when determining eligibility. The intent of the program is to support new researchers in establishing their professional research careers and not to support applicants who have a history of professional research prior to gaining their PhDs.
Allowances will be made for applicants who have had time away from their research, e.g. for parenting, caring, illness, or time in non-research roles. Details of any research gaps can be outlined in the Fellow’s Qualification section of the application.
Where can more information about the Queensland Science and Research Priorities be found?
More information on the Queensland Science and Research Priorities can be found on the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist website (under Strategy and Priorities).
Will an application for an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship be considered if it does not address a Queensland Science and Research Priority?
Should the nominated Fellow’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume be submitted with the application?
No. The nominated Fellow’s CV/resume is not required, as all of the necessary information is provided as part of the application process.
How much funding is available per fellowship?
Fellows receive up to $240,000 (excluding GST) over three years from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships program.
Will applications for part-funding be considered, e.g. $50,000 per year?
No. Applicants must apply for the full amount of funding.
How is the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship funding paid?
The fellowship funding is paid to the applicant organisation (the Fellow’s employer).
What are the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships payment instalments?
There are four payment instalments (excluding GST):
- $80,000 upon execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement.
- $80,000 upon the submission of a satisfactory first progress report - one year after the commencement date.
- $60,000 upon the submission of a satisfactory second progress report - two years after the commencement date.
- $20,000 upon the submission of a satisfactory final report - three years after the commencement date.
Eligibility – applicant organisations
Which organisations can apply for Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships?
The applicant organisation must be a Queensland-based agency that has an Australian Business Number and is registered for GST. This includes universities, research agencies, government organisations, not-for-profit organisations and businesses. There can be only one applicant organisation for an individual fellowship project.
Does the nominated Fellow have to work for the applicant organisation?
Yes. The Fellow must be employed by the applicant organisation for the duration of the fellowship.
Can a business/company apply for an Advance Queensland Research Fellowship?
Yes, provided they satisfy the eligibility conditions. However, the nominated Fellow must have a partner that is a Queensland university or other research agency. The Fellow must still commit to spend at least 50% of their fellowship time physically located with a Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation. In some instances the Queensland based industry/end-user organisation may be the applicant organisation.
Eligibility – partner organisations
How many collaborative partners are required to secure a fellowship?
A minimum of one partner organisation is required, provided that partner is an industry/end-user organisation.
There is no limit on the number of additional partners a fellowship project can have.
What is an industry/end-user organisation?
An industry/end-user organisation is the relevant private, public or not-for-profit organisation that will progress the translation and practical application of the research. Examples include:
- a small mining equipment company and/or a major resources company interested in applying a new technology
- a medical device company and/or a hospital keen to use a new device
- the health department wishing to support the development of a generic technology.
Why are Fellows required to spend time physically co-located with at least one Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation?
Co-location with at least one Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation is required to build relationships; help develop ‘industry savvy’ researchers; focus attention on real-time problem solving; and assist in decreasing the ‘loss in translation’ challenge currently facing Australian research.
Does the 50% co-location requirement apply if the industry/end-user partner is located a long way from the Fellow’s work place?
A co-location concession is possible if the nominated Fellow cannot spend 50% of their fellowship time physically co-located with a Queensland-based industry/end-user partner due to geographical separation. For example, geographical separation may be claimed if the Fellow is in Townsville and the industry/end-user partner is in Brisbane. If this situation applies, the application must outline (under the Partner Organisations section):
- the case for geographical separation
- the amount of time that the Fellow will be physically co-located with Queensland-based industry/end-user partner(s); and
- what the Fellow will do to ensure meaningful and regular interaction with the industry/end-user partner(s).
In cases of geographical separation, Fellows must spend at least 25% of their fellowship time physically co-located with one or more Queensland-based industry/end-user organisations.
What if the industry/end-user partner cannot physically host the Fellow for 50% of the Fellow’s fellowship time?
To be eligible for an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship the Fellow must spend a minimum 50% of their fellowship time physically co-located with one or more Queensland-based industry/end-user organisations. The only exception is geographical separation.
Can the industry/end-user partner be based outside of Queensland?
Physical co-location is required with Queensland-based industry/end-user organisations. However, the fellowship project can also involve additional collaboration with industry/end-user partners based overseas or interstate.
Can a government agency be classified as an industry/end-user organisation?
Yes, depending on the project. For example, Queensland Health may be regarded as an industry/end-user agency if the fellowship involves time in a hospital to conduct clinical research.
Similarly, the Department of Transport and Main Roads may be regarded as an industry/end-user agency if the fellowship involves research on road safety or road construction, and the researcher is physically co-located with the government agency for at least 50 per cent of their fellowship time.
If the applicant organisation is a university, can the Fellow partner with other universities?
Yes. Fellows can partner with one or more other universities, but the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship payments will only be released to the applicant organisation.
Does the Department require the Applicant Organisation to have collaborative agreements with Partner Organisations?
No. The Department does not require copies of collaborative agreements. However, the Applicant Organisation may independently decide to enter into agreements with Partner Organisations to clarify and outline the details of the collaborative arrangements.
Eligibility – cash co-funding
How much cash co-funding is required to be eligible for an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship?
The combined applicant and partner organisation cash funding must equal or exceed $120,000 (excluding GST) over the term of the fellowship.
The matched cash funding may come entirely from the applicant, or the partner(s), or from a combination of applicant and partner funding. Shared co-funding is not compulsory.
Other Queensland Government grant funding cannot be used to match Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships funding.
Can the applicant organisation use the salaries of existing or new staff as part of the matched cash funding?
Yes. Applicant organisation salary contributions can be used as part of the matched cash funding if the salaries are for the Fellow, or for other dedicated fellowship research/technical staff.
The Fellow must spend at least 50% FTE on the fellowship, irrespective of their employment status.
Applicant organisations can only use the FTE fellowship time of staff when calculating matched cash contributions. For example, applicant organisations can only claim 80% FTE of a salary as matched cash if they pay this proportion of the salary, and if the Fellow actually spends 80% FTE on the fellowship.
The salary costs for non-fellowship activities cannot be claimed as matched cash contributions.
Can a PhD Scholarship be considered as a cash contribution when determining applicant/partner cash contributions?
Yes. The entire value of the scholarship can be claimed if the entire PhD project is part of the fellowship research; or a pro-rata cash contribution must be determined. Queensland Government PhD Scholarship funding cannot be used as a cash contribution.
Can Queensland Government Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship funding be used to pay a PhD Scholarship?
No. The Queensland Government funding must be used to support the Fellow or dedicated research staff. Advance Queensland has specific PhD scholarships programs that support PhD students.
Eligibility – the candidate Fellow
How much time must the Fellow spend on the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship?
Fellows must spend at least 50% FTE on the fellowship for the three year duration of the fellowship.
Can an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellow be employed in a part-time capacity?
Yes. The Fellow can be a part-time employee of the applicant organisation as long as they are employed for a minimum 50% FTE. A 50% FTE employee would have to spend all of their work time on the fellowship project to meet the required 50% FTE fellowship commitment.
Can interstate or overseas based researchers apply for an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship?
Yes, provided all of the eligibility criteria are met, and the researcher relocates to Queensland to undertake the fellowship. Fellows must be based in a Queensland agency.
When is evidence of residency required?
Evidence of residency is required if the nominated Fellow is not an Australian citizen, and does not have Australian residency at the time they submit the application. Residency must be secured within six months of being notified of success in securing a fellowship. The fellowship cannot commence until residency is secured.
Is a 457 visa suitable for satisfying the residency requirements?
Yes, as long as it covers the full period of the proposed fellowship.
Can a Queensland Government employee receive an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship?
Yes. Queensland Government researchers can receive fellowships, but must be assessed in the competitive applicant pool with other applicants.
Can a researcher who completed their PhD more than 5 years ago receive a fellowship?
Yes, but only if the candidate has had time away from research. Allowances will be made for candidates who have had time away from their research, e.g. for parenting, caring, illness, or time in non-research roles.
Can a researcher who received their PhD as a mature-aged student receive a fellowship?
Yes, as long as they have less than 5 years of related research experience. Relevant pre-doctoral research experience will be taken into account for applicants who attained their PhD later in life.
Can a researcher who doesn’t have a PhD apply for a fellowship?
Yes, but only if the application demonstrates that the candidate has PhD equivalent research experience, for example, by having a research master’s degree and relevant professional research experience. PhD equivalence will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and should be addressed in the Fellow’s Qualifications section of the application form.
Professional research experience will be taken into account when determining eligibility. For example, only candidates who have less than 5 years of relevant research experience will be considered for fellowships.
Can a researcher who has a project grant receive an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship?
Yes. Candidates can receive an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship if they also have a project grant, as long as they spend at least 50% FTE on the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship.
Can a researcher who already has another fellowship receive an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship?
No. Fellows must not concurrently hold another fellowship. The original fellowship must be completed, or end, before the researcher is eligible for an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship.
Conditions of the award
When can the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship project commence?
The fellowship project must commence within six months of notification of the award, and must not commence before it is approved by the Queensland Government. Please provide an estimated commencement date in the application form, and the actual commencement date will be confirmed if the application is successful. Costs incurred before the fellowship is approved will not be reimbursed.
Can Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship funding be used to employ a research assistant?
Yes, but the funding must only be used to pay for FTE salaries on the fellowship project. Salaries for non-fellowship activities can not be claimed.
Can fellowship funding be used to pay for administrative support?
No. You cannot use Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship funding for administrative support or institutional overheads, or for costs associated with non-fellowship activities.
Is a fellowship transferable to another researcher?
No. Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships are awarded to develop the careers of specific individuals, and are not transferable.
Is an Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship transferrable to another recipient agency?
Yes, but only if there are no changes to the original fellowship, and all eligibility conditions continue to be met.
Can fellowship funding be used to extend a current project that is about to finish?
No. Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship cannot be used to extend an existing project, but can be used to undertake a new project that builds upon previous research.
What is a Financial Incentive Agreement?
The Financial Incentive Agreement (FIA) is the legally binding document that outlines the conditions of the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship, including the payment schedule and the reporting requirements. The FIA is comprised of the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships application, the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions, and the Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowships guidelines. The applicant organisation automatically signs the FIA by submitting a signed declaration page with the application form, but the FIA is not finalised until the DSITI representative signs the FIA execution page.
Are the Terms and Conditions negotiable?
No. The applicant organisation will be bound by the Terms and Conditions (available on the Advance Queensland website when the program opened).
Applicants must ensure that they have read, understand, and accept the Terms and Conditions prior to commencing an application for funding, as they will not be negotiated if a funding offer is made.
Is there an obligation for the applicant organisation and Fellow to acknowledge the Queensland Government’s support?
Yes. Following the announcement of the awards the Fellows will be expected to actively promote the research, provide information and attend media/promotion events if requested.
The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland ATSI Research Fellowship funding must be acknowledged in all relevant published material, media releases and public statements.
When can fellowship recipients openly discuss their awards?
The fellowship award must be kept confidential until it is announced by the Queensland Government, that is, no media statements or public announcements. The Fellows will be able to publicly discuss and promote their fellowships after they have been announced by the Queensland Government.
Will feedback be provided to unsuccessful applicants?
Yes. Feedback will be provided to the Applicant Organisation, but will not be provided to individual researchers.