Women's Research Assistance Program (WRAP) guidelines

About the program

The Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative 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 Women’s Research Assistance Program (WRAP) underpins this strategic objective by supporting women in maintaining their research momentum following approved maternity or adoption leave, and encouraging the retention of female researchers in their chosen profession in Queensland. This will be done by providing funding to employ another researcher, technician or research/laboratory assistant while the Primary Researcher is on maternity or adoption leave. 

The WRAP is administered by the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (the department).


The WRAP will assist researchers in maintaining their career momentum when they are on the following leave from work:

  • maternity leave
  • adoption leave that is treated as being equivalent to maternity leave by the applicant organisation.

The program:

  • encourages Queensland-based female researchers to return to their research careers following maternity leave
  • ensures that the investment made in researchers and their research is maximised, by supporting continuity of research and career momentum
  • supports gender equity in research, where female researchers are under-represented in senior roles
  • fosters continued support through networking and mentoring opportunities for awardees beyond the period of maternity or adoption leave.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are invited from Queensland universities or research institutes/organisations based in Queensland that:

  • are registered for GST
  • have an Australian Business Number
  • have maternity and/or adoption leave programs for their staff
  • will provide a proportion of the funding as outlined in these guidelines under 'Funding'.

The applicant organisation can apply for WRAP funding to support female researchers who:

  • are employed by the applicant organisation
  • are Australian citizens, or have Australian residency (permanent or temporary)
  • have a PhD research qualification
  • are commencing approved maternity or adoption leave on or after 1 January 2019
  • conduct research as all, or part, of their duties
  • intend to resume research duties following maternity/adoption leave.

Queensland Government departments, including Queensland Government funded hospitals and health services, are not eligible to apply for WRAP funding to support their researchers. 


The Advance Queensland WRAP is open continuously with applications considered and assessed as they are submitted.  Applications will continue to be accepted until the funding pool is exhausted, or until 31 December 2021 if the funds are not exhausted.

The WRAP is designed to provide research assistance for the Primary Researcher while she is on, or returns from, approved maternity/adoption leave. The funding provides assistance only and may not support backfilling of a full-time position, depending on the pay classification of the replacement officer. 

Funding up to $26,000 (excluding GST) will be available through the program to support the nominated Primary Researcher. This funding will contribute to the salary of a replacement researcher, research technician or a research/ laboratory assistant to maintain the research momentum of the project while the Primary Researcher is on approved maternity/adoption leave, or when she resumes her research following approved maternity/adoption leave.

The funding cannot be used to substitute the salary (part or full) of an existing person employed to assist the Primary Researcher prior to the approved maternity/adoption leave. However, the funding can be used to extend the hours of an existing staff member to assist in managing the Primary Researcher's project.  

Applicants can apply for WRAP funding as soon as the Primary Researcher’s maternity or adoption leave has been approved. The latest timeframe by which an application can be submitted is the date six weeks after the Primary Researcher’s return to work date as per the maternity or adoption leave approval. The applicant (employer) organisation is required to co-fund the WRAP, with increasing contributions over time to assist in transitioning the funding of this or similar initiatives to the employing organisation. The applicant organisation co-funding requirements are specified in Table 1.

TABLE 1:  The Applicant Organisation and Queensland Government Advance Queensland WRAP co-funding contributions.

Calendar Year of Leave #                            WRAP co- funding contribution

2019                                       Applicant Organisation - 25%

                                              Queensland Government - 75%

2020                                      Applicant Organisation - 50%

                                             Queensland Government - 50%

2021                                     Applicant Organisation - 75%

                                            Queensland Government - 25%

# The year that the first day of approved leave commences.

EXAMPLE:  If a researcher has 26 weeks of approved maternity leave commencing in 2019 and is 100 per cent allocated to research activities they would be entitled to $26,000 (excluding GST) in WRAP funding. In this case Advance Queensland funding would contribute $19,500 (excluding GST), and the employer would contribute $6,500 (excluding GST). 

The funding entitlement will be calculated on a pro-rata rate of up to $1,000 per week (excluding GST) for approved maternity/adoption leave of 13 to 26 weeks duration. For example, a researcher who is employed in a 50 per cent FTE research capacity for 26 weeks maternity leave is entitled to $13,000 (excluding GST) in WRAP funding. 

The Advance Queensland component of the funding will be paid to the applicant organisation as follows:

  • 80 per cent of the funding following the funding approval
  • 20 per cent of the funding following the submission of a satisfactory report within the reporting timeframes.

Should the Primary Researcher return to work early, the funding amount will be re-calculated and the applicant organisation must repay the department any received funds that they are not entitled to. 

The Primary Researcher will be expected to fully utilise the funding, and submit a report outlining the use of funds and outcomes achieved within:

  • six months of returning from maternity/adoption leave if the total funding is up to $13,000 (excluding GST), or
  • 12 months of returning from maternity/adoption leave if the total funding is more than $13,000 (excluding GST). 

Application evaluation

Applications will be assessed in order of receipt to determine if they meet the eligibility conditions for funding. All eligible applications will be funded until the allocated Advance Queensland funding is exhausted, or until 31 December 2021 if the funds are not exhausted.

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

Terms and Conditions

The Advance Queensland WRAP Terms and Conditions will be available on the department’s website while the program is open. Applicants must read, understand and accept these Terms and Conditions before applying for funding as they will not be amended. 

The Advance Queensland WRAP Terms and Conditions take effect on the date the applicant is formally notified of the success of their funding application.

If the application is successful, the applicant organisation listed in the application form becomes the recipient organisation.

The recipient organisation must acknowledge the Queensland Government's support in any material published in connection with the WRAP funding.

The Primary Researcher may be invited to participate in post-funding review discussions of the program, and/or in networking events to connect WRAP recipients. 


The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers 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 applications, such as the recipient agency name, the Primary Researcher’s name, funding amounts, duration of leave, and an overview of how the WRAP funds were used, may be published by the Queensland Government to promote funded projects.

Information about the Primary Researcher will not be disclosed to any other third party without the Primary Researcher’s 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. 

How to apply

A WRAP application consists of:

  • a completed on-line application form
  • scanned evidence of approved maternity/adoption leave (13 weeks minimum)
  • a scanned, signed Terms and Conditions Declaration Page.

Applicants must notify the department of any changes that may affect funding eligibility within 20 business days of the change.

Note:  Applicants can apply for WRAP funding as soon as the Primary Researcher’s maternity or adoption leave has been approved. The latest timeframe by which an application can be submitted is the date  six weeks after the Primary Researcher’s return to work date as per the maternity or adoption leave approval.


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