Industry Research Fellowships frequently asked questions
How to apply
Who can apply for an Advance Queensland Research Fellowship?
The applicant must be a Queensland-based university, government agency or not-for-profit organisation that conducts research. The Fellow will be employed by the applicant organisation.
What is the closing date for applications?
The closing date for Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships applications is 1:00 pm AEST, Tuesday 21 April 2020.
How are early and mid-career fellowships distinguished?
Early-career fellows must have no more than 5 years post-doctoral research experience as of the closing date for applications; and mid-career fellows must have 5 to 10 years post-doctoral research experience as of the closing date for applications.
The relevant pre-PhD research experience of early-career 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.
The intent of the mid-career fellowships program is to support emerging research leaders - not to support senior academics/researchers who already have an impressive record of research leadership. The assessment process will target emerging research leaders.
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.
Nominated Fellows who have had a position where non-research duties were concurrent with a research role can claim the non-research component as a research gap, subject to a cap. For example, a researcher who has a position that is 70% research and 30% academic, can claim the non-research (academic) component as a research gap. However, the total time claimable for research gaps can not exceed one year in total for all such positions.
Specific non-research positions, i.e. those that are not concurrent with research employment, can be claimed in entirety. For example, if the nominated Fellow worked in a full-time administrative role for two years, those two years can be claimed as a research gap.
Details of any research gaps can be outlined in the application.
How much funding is available per fellowship?
Early-career Fellows receive up to $180,000 (excluding GST) in Advance Queensland funding over three years, and mid-career Fellows receive up to $300,000 (excluding GST) in Advance Queensland funding over three years.
Will applications for part-funding be considered, e.g. $30,000 per year for an early-career Fellowship?
No. Applicants must apply for the full amount of funding. This applies to both full-time and part-time researchers (minimum 50 per cent FTE on the fellowship). The fellowship must be completed over 3 years, irrespective of the Fellow’s FTE commitment to the fellowship.
What are the funding obligations?
The Recipient must spend the funds according to the conditions outlined in the fellowship Agreement and the program guidelines, including the following:
- The Queensland Government Advance Queensland funding must be matched (minimum) by the total Recipient and Partner co-funding.
- The Fellow’s salary, and the salaries of other dedicated fellowship research/technical staff, must be commensurate with their full-time equivalence commitment to the fellowship. For example, if the Fellow is 80 per cent FTE on the fellowship, then only 80 per cent of the Fellow’s salary can be paid/claimed as part of the fellowship. The Recipient cannot claim the remaining 20 percent of the Fellow’s salary as fellowship co-funded cash because it does not support fellowship activities.
- Upon completion of the fellowship (early or full-term), the total project expenditure must be shared equally between the Advance Queensland funding component and the Recipient/Partner funding component, up to the prescribed 1:1 matched funding requirement. For example, the following scenarios apply to a mid-career fellowship, with an Advance Queensland funding commitment of up to $300,000 over three years:
- If at the end of the project the total fellowship project expenses total $600,000 then Advance Queensland will provide their $300,000 contribution as the recipient and partners have matched it with the other $300,000.
- If at the end of the project the total fellowship project expenses exceed $600,000 then Advance Queensland will provide their maximum $300,000 contribution as the recipient and partners have matched the $300,000. The expenses incurred in excess of $600,000 are the responsibility of the Recipient/Partners.
- If at the end of the project the total fellowship project expenses total less than $600,000 (let’s say $500,000) then Advance Queensland will provide half of the total expenses because the amount paid must be matched. So both Advance Queensland and the Recipient/Partners will pay $250,000 each.
- The expenditure rules apply to the Advance Queensland funding component and the Recipient/Partner funding component.
Does the nominated Fellow have to work for the applicant organisation?
Yes. The Fellow must be employed in a minimum 50 per cent FTE capacity by the applicant organisation for the duration of the fellowship.
The proposed Fellow may work in another organisation at the time of application, but must join the applicant organisation to undertake the fellowship if the application is successful.
Can a business/company apply for an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship?
No. Businesses/companies cannot apply directly for fellowship funding. A primary objective of the program is the partnering of researchers with industry. Consequently, businesses/companies are strongly encouraged to partner with researchers based in eligible research agencies..
How many collaborative partners are required to secure a fellowship?
A minimum of one partner organisation is required, provided that partner is a Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation.
There is no limit on the number of additional partners a fellowship project can have, however, applicants are encouraged to only select partners who are essential to the fellowship project. The additional partners can be based in Queensland, interstate or overseas.
Does the industry partner have to be head-quartered in Queensland
Eligible industry/end-user partner organisations do not necessarily have to be head-quartered in Queensland, but they must have a legitimate physical presence in Queensland where the nominated Fellow can be physically hosted as part of the program’s industry co-location requirement.
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 mining equipment company interested in applying a new technology
- a medical device company that wants to test a new device
- a drug development company that wants to develop or test a new compound
- a natural resource management group that wants to develop environmentally sustainable practices.
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.
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 Industry 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.
What is a spin-out company (for the purposes of this program)?
For the purposes of this program a spin-out is defined as a company that has links to the applicant organisation, for example:
- the company was founded by the applicant organisation or current/former applicant organisation staff
- the company employs current/former applicant organisation staff
- the applicant organisation has shares, or is an equity holder, in the company the company uses applicant organisation intellectual property, or technology owned/developed by: 1) the applicant organisation, or 2) current/former applicant organisation staff .
- the company has applicant organisation staff on the management board, advisory panels, or in other senior administrative roles.
How much cash co-funding is required to be eligible for an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship?
The combined applicant and partner organisation cash funding must equal or exceed the Queensland Government Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship funding. For example, at least $180,000 (excluding GST) in combined applicant and partner funding is required to be eligible for an early-career Advance Queensland Industry Research 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 Industry 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. Standard salary remuneration and standard salary on-costs (recreation leave, long service leave, superannuation, workers compensation and payroll tax) can be claimed for the time that is committed to the fellowship project.
The Fellow must spend at least 50 per cent FTE on the fellowship, irrespective of their employment status. The fellowship funding is the same (full amount) irrespective of the Fellow’s FTE on the fellowship. Part-time Fellows can use the funding to engage more technical and research support than full-time Fellows, and the fellowship must still be completed in three years.
Applicant organisations can only use the FTE fellowship time of staff when calculating matched cash contributions. For example, applicant organisations can only claim 80 per cent FTE of a salary as matched cash if they pay this proportion of the salary, and if the Fellow actually spends 80 per cent FTE on the fellowship.
The salary costs for the non-fellowship activities of staff cannot be claimed as a fellowship cash contribution.
Can partner organisations use the salaries of existing or new staff as part of the matched cash funding?
Yes. Partner organisation salary contributions can be used as part of the matched cash funding for research/technical staff. Only the FTE fellowship time can be claimed as “salaries as cash” for standard salary remuneration and standard salary on-costs. Agency overheads or multipliers cannot be claimed. Only the FTE fellowship time of staff can be claimed, for example, if someone works 20 per cent FTE on the fellowship, the agency can only claim 20 per cent of their salary as a cash contribution. The salary costs for non-fellowship activities cannot be claimed as a fellowship cash contribution. PLEASE NOTE: Recipients of fellowships must provide evidence of the partner cash contributions to the fellowship, including “salaries as cash”, when requested by the department.
What other partner cash contributions are allowable?
Actual cash that is received from the partner organisation by the applicant organisation for the fellowship project can be claimed as cash. Access to consumables and equipment in a partner organisation cannot be claimed as a cash contribution – this is regarded as an “in-kind” contribution.
Can a PhD Scholarship be considered as a cash contribution when determining applicant/partner cash contributions?
No. A PhD scholarship cannot be claimed as an eligible expense or as cash co-funding. The aim of the program is to support a specific fellowship.
PhD students can be engaged to work on the fellowship in a technical or research capacity, that is, in a temporary/casual employee capacity. In these cases the FTE time they spend on the fellowship can be regarded as a salary/wages expense, or claimed as cash co-funding if applicant and/or partner funds are used to pay the salary/wages costs.
Can Queensland Government funding be used as matched cash?
Yes. Queensland Government non-grant funding may be used as matched cash, but cannot exceed $90,000 for early career fellowships, or $150,000 for mid-career fellowships.
Can Queensland Government Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship funding be used to pay a PhD Scholarship or another fellowship?
No. The Queensland Government funding must be used to support the Advance Queensland Fellow or dedicated research staff.
Eligibility—the candidate Fellow
How much time must the Fellow spend on the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship?
Fellows must spend at least 50 per cent FTE on the fellowship.
Can an Advance Queensland Industry 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 per cent FTE. A 50 per cent FTE employee would have to spend all of their work time on the fellowship project to meet the required 50 per cent FTE fellowship commitment..
Can interstate or overseas based researchers apply for an Advance Queensland 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, and reside in Queensland.
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 Industry 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 an early-career 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 an early-career 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 an Advance Queensland Industry Research 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.
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 early-career fellowships; and only candidates with 5 to 10 years of relevant research experience will be considered for mid-career fellowships.
Can a researcher who has a project grant receive an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship?
Yes. Candidates can receive an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship if they also have a project grant, as long as they spend at least 50 per cent FTE on the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship, and there is no duplication of activities across the projects being undertaken.
Can a researcher who already has another fellowship receive an Advance Queensland Industry 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 Industry Research Fellowship.
Can a previous recipient of a Queensland Government fellowship receive an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship?
Sometimes. Researchers cannot receive an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship of the same or lower category than that previously received. However, candidates can apply for a higher valued Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship. Example: A researcher who previously received an early-career Advance Queensland Research Fellowship is not eligible for an early-career Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship, but can apply for a mid-career Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship if they meet all of the eligibility criteria.
Conditions of the award
When can the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship project commence?
Fellowships must commence no later than six months after notification of the award. 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 Industry 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 cannot be claimed.
Can fellowship funding be used to pay for administrative support?
No. You cannot use Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship funding for administrative support or institutional overheads, or for costs associated with non-fellowship activities.
Is a fellowship transferable to another researcher?
Individual fellowships are awarded to develop the careers of specific individuals, and are not transferable.
Is an Advance Queensland Industry 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. Transfers between agencies require the execution of a Deed of Novation.
Can fellowship funding be used to extend a current project that is about to finish?
No. Advance Queensland Industry 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 Industry Research Fellowship, including the payment schedule and the reporting requirements. The FIA is comprised of the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships application, the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions, and the Advance Queensland Industry 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 Queensland Government 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 Industry 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.