Industry Research Fellowships guidelines

Industry Research Fellowships guidelines

About the program

Advance Queensland focuses on growing the economy and creating jobs. This includes investing in science and innovation in order to:

  • build Queensland’s reputation and capacity to conduct innovative research and development
  • deliver new products and services for Queenslanders
  • establish new industries that will provide jobs for the future.

The Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships program supports researchers undertaking original work that will have a positive impact on Queensland. A key purpose of the program is to attract and keep talented researchers in Queensland, and to develop the professional careers of early and mid-career researchers.

The following fellowships grants are available:

  • early-career fellowships - $180,000 over three years (excluding GST)
  • mid-career fellowships - $300,000 over three years (excluding GST). 

The fellowship funding is paid to the applicant organisation (the Fellow’s employer). 

The program is managed by the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (the department).


The Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships program:

  • provides opportunities for researchers to pursue and continue their research careers
  • assists in retaining the state’s best and brightest research minds in Queensland
  • attracts talented researchers from interstate and overseas
  • supports increased linkage and closer collaboration with industry organisations to foster the translation of research into practice
  • delivers tangible benefits and practical outcomes for Queensland by supporting applied research and development.

Investment Areas

The Queensland Government invites applications in the following investment areas that demonstrate collaborative applied research arrangements in partnership with industry:

  • protecting the Great Barrier Reef and other key ecosystems
  • understanding and mitigating the impacts of climate change
  • developing affordable, sustainable energy
  • ensuring sustainable water availability and use
  • improving the quality and speed of regional internet services
  • developing innovative mining practices to target new resources and extract minerals from old mine tailings
  • utilising robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems (including drones) in Queensland’s priority industries (refer to the Queensland Government Roadmaps to view the priority industries)
  • improving health care services through precision medicine, tele-health and smart devices
  • developing management practices for natural disasters, including droughts, floods, cyclones and bushfires
  • developing best management practices for agricultural industries, and using innovative technology to facilitate transformational change
  • using technology to improve and/or enhance tourist products or experiences in Queensland.

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant organisation

  • The applicant organisation must be a Queensland-based agency that conducts research and includes, but is not limited to:
  • universities
  • research agencies
  • government organisations
  • not-for-profit/charitable organisations
  • businesses.
  • The applicant organisation must be registered for GST and have an Australian Business Number.
  • Applicant organisations must not submit more than one application in a given round of funding for any nominated Fellow.

The proposed Fellow

  • The Fellow must be an Australian citizen, or secure Australian residency for the duration of the fellowship. In cases where the Fellow does not have residency at the time of application, if successful, they will have up to six months from the date of notification to obtain residency covering the duration of the fellowship.
  • Applications nominating Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers are encouraged. 
  • The Fellow must have a PhD research qualification with:
  • up to 5 years post-PhD research experience for early-career fellowships
  • 5 to 10 years post-PhD research experience for mid-career fellowships

     as of the closing date for applications.

  • Allowances will be made for time taken away from research when determining the number of post-doctoral research years. For example, time away from research for parenting, caring, illness, or time in non-research roles will be considered as gaps in research. Applicants cannot claim standard recreation leave, sick leave or long service leave as a research gap.
  • Researchers with 0-5 years post-doctoral research experience will not normally be considered for mid-career fellowships unless they have substantial, relevant pre-doctoral research experience - excluding PhD studies. 
  • A nominated Fellow in the process of completing a PhD must have their thesis submitted by the closing date for applications. In these cases the fellowship cannot commence until the PhD has been approved.
  • The Fellow must be employed by the applicant organisation in a minimum 50 per cent FTE capacity.
  • The Fellow must spend a minimum 50 per cent FTE on the fellowship. The fellowship funding is the same (full amount) for both full-time and part-time Fellows. Part-time Fellows may decide to use the funding to engage more technical and research support to enable the project to be completed in three years.
  • The Fellow must have not previously received a Queensland Government fellowship of the same or higher level. 
  • Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellows must not concurrently hold another fellowship.

Matched cash funding

  • The fellowship project must have combined cash funding from the applicant organisation and/or partner organisation(s) that equals or exceeds the Queensland Government Advance Queensland funding sought. 
  • Cash is a combination of:
  • funding directly contributed to the fellowship by the applicant organisation and/or the partner organisation(s)
  • “salaries as cash”. This includes the standard salary remuneration and salary on-costs of the Fellow and other dedicated fellowship research/technical staff. Salaries as cash can be claimed for the FTE time that staff spend on the fellowship project for applicant and partner organisation staff. The non-fellowship time of these staff cannot be claimed as a cash contribution. 
  • Queensland Government non-grant funding may be used as co-funded (matched) cash, but cannot exceed $90,000 (excluding GST) for early career fellowships, or $150,000 (excluding GST) for mid-career fellowships from all sources (applicant and/or all partner funding). 
  • Queensland Government grant funding cannot be used as co-funded (matched) cash.

The fellowship project

  • The fellowship proposal must address at least one of the investment areas outlined in these guidelines.
  • The fellowship must be undertaken in Queensland, and the Fellow must reside in Queensland for the term of the fellowship.
  • Fellows are expected to complete the fellowship research over three continuous years, irrespective of their FTE commitment to the fellowship (which must be 50 per cent FTE or higher).

Industry partner

  • The fellowship project must involve at least one Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation, that is, a private, public or not-for-profit organisation that will progress the translation and practical application of the research. 
  • Fellows must spend some of their fellowship physically co-located with one or more Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation(s).
  • For non-industry/end-user organisation applicants, the industry/end-user partner must be a separate entity from the applicant organisation, that is, not a parent or subsidiary, or a spin-out established for less than 12 months.
  • In cases where the applicant is an industry/end-user organisation, the Fellow must spend some of their fellowship time physically co-located within that organisation. 
  • Company/business based Fellows must have meaningful collaboration with a Queensland-based university or research organisation throughout the fellowship. 

Other partners

The fellowship may involve collaboration with other partner organisations that can make significant contributions to the project.

Other conditions

  • Fellowships must commence after notification of the award, and no later than 30 June 2020.
  • The fellowship is not transferable in cases where the approved Fellow cannot complete the fellowship.
  • When requested by the department the applicant organisation must provide a financial acquittal statement containing details of:
  • Queensland Government funding received and expended
  • their cash contributions to the fellowship
  • the cash contributions of the partner organisation(s) towards the fellowship.
  • Fellows should actively promote their research; provide broad fellowship information if required; and attend media/promotion events, if requested by the department.
  • The Fellow and applicant organisation must acknowledge the Queensland Government’s funding in all relevant published material, media releases and public statements.
  • The department must be advised of any changes that are likely to impact on the fellowship, including changes that may impact on eligibility, research milestones, project funding or reporting. Please also advise the department of changes to the contact details of the proposed Fellow.

Using the fellowship funds

The Queensland Government fellowship payments will be released to the applicant organisation to administer the grant funding. The funding may be used for the following costs:

Salary costs

Salary costs, including standard on-costs (leave loading, superannuation contributions, worker’s compensation contributions, and payroll tax) for key research staff, including:

  • the Fellow. The Fellow’s claimed salary must be commensurate with the FTE percentage committed to the fellowship. A Fellow is not entitled to a full-time salary unless they spend 100 per cent FTE on the fellowship
  • the FTE fellowship time of other dedicated fellowship research/technical staff, including post-doctoral research staff.

Other costs

Project costs directly related to the fellowship, including:

  • consumables required specifically for the fellowship project
  • small equipment (up to $10,000 per item) required specifically for the fellowship project
  • travel to conduct research for the Fellow and dedicated fellowship research/technical staff
  • contract research for services that cannot be performed by the applicant organisation, but are integral to the fellowship project
  • conference travel for the Fellow.

Only eligible expenditure incurred on or after the commencement of the fellowship can be claimed.

Ineligible expenditure and cash contributions

Items not eligible for funding, or to be regarded as matched cash funding, include:

  • institutional salary on-costs above standard salary on-costs
  • institutional overheads and operational costs, including general facility and accommodation related costs
  • costs associated with non-fellowship projects/programs of the sponsor or partner organisations
  • the salary costs of non-fellowship activities for the Fellow or other dedicated fellowship staff
  • the salary costs of the Fellow’s supervisor
  • scholarships, including PhD scholarships, or other fellowships
  • grants or prizes
  • costs associated with administrative support staff
  • contract research for services that can be performed by the applicant organisation.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria below will have equal weighting in the assessment process.

1.Project relevance and merit

The application must:

  • describe the reasons why the proposed research is important to Queensland 
  • outline how the proposed research is aligned to an investment area 
  • outline the research plan, which must have scientific merit, and be well planned and achievable.

2.Meaningful collaboration

The application must demonstrate:

  • meaningful engagement and participation, including physical co-location, with at least one Queensland-based industry/end-user organisation #
  • the involvement of other people and/or organisations that can make significant contributions to the fellowship project.

# Meaningful engagement with industry/end-user partner organisations can involve:

  • spending some of the fellowship physically
    co-located with one or more Queensland-based industry/end-user partner organisations (compulsory)
  • cash-contributions from the industry/end-user partner organisation(s)
  • access to specialist equipment and supplies owned by the industry/end-user partner organisation(s)
  • access to professional or technical expertise in the industry/end-user partner organisation(s)
  • access to a mentor in an industry/end-user organisation.  

Note:  The letters of support from the applicant and partner organisations will be considered as part of this assessment criterion.

3.Clear outcomes and benefits for Queensland

The application must demonstrate:

  • clear, quantified, outcomes/benefits for Queensland within the next five years, with a well-defined path to translate the research findings into outcomes and benefits. Please refer to economic, social, environmental and/or regional benefits
  • how the research addresses an industry/end-user need, and the expected benefits for each industry/end-user organisation
  • how the success of the research will capture value for Queensland, including through adoption and/or commercialisation.

4.Track record

The application should demonstrate that the Fellow has the professional, research, project management and industry engagement skills to undertake and complete the proposed fellowship.

Assessment process

Applications will be assessed in a competitive, merit based process against the program’s assessment criteria by panels comprised of members with scientific, research, and/or industry background. 

Applicants may be contacted during the assessment process to clarify information provided in the application and/or to request additional information to enable the appropriate consideration of the application.  

The assessment process will take into account the need to balance the Queensland Government’s research investment to support a diversity of capability across scientific disciplines, geographic regions and research groups.

Fellowship Agreement

For successful applications, the applicant organisation will enter into a legally binding Financial Incentive Agreement (FIA) with the Queensland Government. 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 authorised departmental representative signs a separate FIA execution page. This occurs after the applications have been assessed and the successful applicants approved. 

The FIA consists of the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships terms and conditions; the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships guidelines; and the application, including supporting information.

The applicant organisation and the nominated Fellow must not enter into any legally binding arrangements with other parties which prevent them from meeting obligations under the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships FIA. 


The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers and approved grant assessors have access to this information under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 for the purpose of assessing the application for funding.

Applicants should note that broad details of successful proposals, agreed outcomes, progress and the level of funding awarded may be published by the Queensland Government.

Some information may be used to promote funded projects.

The Fellow’s personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without their consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of Information Privacy Act 2009.

For audit purposes, the Queensland Government is required to retain the applications and other supplied support material.

The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of the Queensland Government. 

Key Documents

How to apply

Applications for the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships close 1:00 pm AEST, Tuesday 30 July 2019.

Applicants must apply online. Each application must contain:

All scanned documents can be submitted as part of the on-line application process.

Applications cannot be revised after submission. 

Letters of support

Letters of support from the applicant and partner organisations should clearly outline:

  • their commitment to, and reasons for supporting, the fellowship project
  • the likely benefits to be gained by participating in the fellowship
  • the annual cash contributions they will make to the fellowship.

Note:  The letters of support from the industry/end-user partner organisations should outline the amount of time the Fellow will be physically co-located with them over the course of the fellowship. 

Last updated 20 Sep, 2019
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