Guidelines - Science and Innovation Awards

Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Grant program guidelines July 2015

Grant programme process flowchart

  • Applicant prepares an application using guidelines and information pack
  • Applicant submits application to the industry award category
  • Assessment panel for relevant industry award category uses programme guidelines and assessment criteria to assess applications
  • Assessment panels advise the Approver on merits of each application and recommends the preferred application.
  • Approver decides whether application will be funded and advises applicant of the decision
  • Applicants successful in the industry award category are invited to apply for the Minister for Agriculture’s Award
  • Applicant prepares an application using guidelines and information pack
  • Applicant submits application
  • Assessment panel for the Minister’s Award uses programme guidelines and assessment criteria to assess applications
  • Assessment panel advises the Approver on merits of each application and recommends the preferred application
  • Approver decides whether application will be funded and advises applicant of the decision
  • The department and successful applicants for the industry and Minister’s Award categories (through their host organisation) negotiate funding agreement which both parties sign
  • Department makes payment and monitors progress. Applicant undertakes activities as agreed in the funding agreement.
  • Department evaluates programme outcomes using information provided by the applicant and others.

Programme overview

The Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the Science Awards programme) is a competitive, annual grants programme to support young people aged between 18 and 35 years (the applicant) to undertake a project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue, including biophysical and social sciences, that will contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of Australia's agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries. The Science Awards programme is targeted at innovators, early career researchers, scientists and others to recognise big ideas from young rural innovators that will contribute to the success of Australia’s agriculture sector.

The Science Awards programme aims to encourage science, innovation and technology in rural industries and help to advance the careers of young scientists, researchers and innovators through national recognition of their research ideas.

The programme is administered by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

An applicant for the purposes of these guidelines is a person between 18 and 35 years, who is working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management). Applicants may include young producers (farmers, fishers, foresters etc), scientists and researchers, extension officers, students or industry advisers.

There is one funding round anticipated per year. There are two components to the programme:

A. Industry Award

There is an award for each industry award category sponsored by a research and development corporation or industry association. Applicants may apply for an award in one or multiple categories. An applicant, if successful, can only receive one award. Each award will be for a maximum of $22 000 (GST inclusive).

Successful applicants will be expected to complete their project within 12 months of the execution of the funding agreement.

An industry award sponsor retains the option to support more than one application in the current round in that award category. In this instance, the sponsor will provide the additional grant funding amount while the department (as the programme organiser) will undertake the grants and administration management.

The programme will run from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018 with one funding round anticipated per year.

B. Minister for Agriculture's Award

One individual industry category award recipient will also receive the Minister's Award, with additional funding to undertake an extended research project.

Only the Science Award recipients for each industry category award are eligible to apply for the Minister’s Award (provided they have accepted that industry award). Industry Award recipients will be invited to apply for the Minister's Award using a separate application form and with additional time to complete it. Industry Award recipients are not obliged to apply for the Minister’s Award and this does not jeopardise their industry award. The successful applicant will be expected to complete their extended research project within the same 12 month period.

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The Awards aim to

  • assist primary producers to develop more competitive, technologically adaptive and self reliant industries
  • advance the careers of successful applicants through national recognition and funding of their research ideas
  • encourage participation and uptake of science, innovation and technology in rural industries
  • attract innovative research proposals that will lead to longer term innovation in the sector
  • improve the connection between research and on-farm application with practical benefit.

The Science Awards programme is a public and active reflection of the commitment by government and industry to improve the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of portfolio industries and in fostering innovation.

Benefits to industry from these innovative research projects include improvements to productivity, sustainability and adaptability through the provision of science and innovation in research, development and extension.

Benefits for early career researchers include financial support, career and skills development opportunities, opportunity to build strong networks across their industry, national and international exposure for their work including conference participation, publishing opportunities as well as the potential for career progression.

The Science Award categories for the next funding round are listed below. Each category is supported exclusively by one sponsor. The categories may change from round to round depending on the support of the sponsor. Sponsors are confirmed annually and will be published on the department’s website at scienceawards prior to each round being called.

Categories and sponsors for the 2015 funding round
CategorySponsor
Viticulture and oenologyAustralian Grape and Wine Authority
Red meat processingAustralian Meat Processor Corporation
PorkAustralian Pork Ltd
CottonCotton Research and Development Corporation
BiosecurityCSIRO Health and Biosecurity Flagship
DairyDairy Australia
Fisheries and aquacultureFisheries Research and Development Corporation
GrainsGrains Research and Development Corporation
HorticultureHorticulture Innovation Australia Ltd
Meat and livestockMeat & Livestock Australia
New and emerging rural industriesRural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Monitoring and evaluation for this programme will be undertaken in the final year of the programme and with consideration of the objectives, the number of applications received for each round, the number of sponsors secured for each round, the timeliness of milestone reporting, the networking opportunities between applicants and sponsors and budget expenditure.

A review will be undertaken at the end of each grant round in order to determine whether existing grants administration processes, practices and requirements remain applicable.

The Science Awards programme is a competitive merit based process. There are two components of the Awards:

  1. Industry Awards and
  2. Minister for Agriculture’s Award.

Each Industry Award is sponsored by a research and development corporation or industry association. The Minister’s Award is funded by the Department of Agriculture. The grant funding as provided by the sponsors, will flow from the department to the grantee (the host organisation) on execution of the funding agreement.

A successful applicant's research project will be funded to a maximum of $22,000 (GST inclusive). The research project is expected to commence and conclude within twelve (12) months of the execution of the funding agreement. Applicants should be aware that if successful, the department will enter into a funding agreement with the employer (referred to as the host organisation), on behalf of the applicant, as the grantee. A copy of the funding agreement can be found at www.agriculture.gov.au/scienceawards.

At the start of each programme round, the Minister for Agriculture will be invited to launch the Science Awards via a ministerial media release. At the launch, the department will publish the guidelines, application form and supplementary information on the department’s website. The department may promote each round of the programme through advertising in various public media, social media and through email newsletters to past applicants and others who have requested information.

Once an application round closes, the department will review the received applications against the eligibility criteria. The department will then distribute eligible applications to the relevant sponsor-convened assessment panels for the Industry category awards.

The sponsors each convene an assessment panel to undertake the assessment process. The individual assessment panels will undertake a merit assessment of applications for their category award then provide recommendations to the department. The department will incorporate those recommendations into an Assessment Report provided to the Approver ie the Department of Agriculture’s Chief Scientist.

The department will notify successful applicants by phone call and confirmation letter prior to their details being published on the department’s website. Applicants will be conditionally offered an award (conditional on the execution of a funding deed between the department and the host organisation). If applicants accept the conditional offer, the department will progress negotiations with the applicant’s host organisation (commonly their employer). On execution of a funding agreement with a host organisation, the successful applicant will be recognised as the relevant Industry Award and/or Minister’s Award winner and project funding will be provided.

Only recipients of the industry category awards are eligible for the Minister’s Award. They will then be invited to apply for the Minister’s Award once they are offered (and accept) their Industry Award. An application is optional and does not affect the status of the individual Industry Award. The Minister’s Award provides additional funding to extend the Industry Award project.

Applications will be assessed by an assessment panel led by the department’s Chief Scientist. The panel will comprise three members recruited internal and external to the department and includes the Chief Scientist. The applications will be assessed against the same assessment criteria as the industry category awards and using the same scoring. The panel will provide an Assessment Report that includes its recommendations to the Minister for Agriculture. The Minister for Agriculture will approve the Minister’s Award.

Unsuccessful applicants will be advised of their application outcome and offered the opportunity for feedback once the assessment process has been finalised.

The department will manage the subsequent administration of the grants.

Applicants who are successful in one round are eligible to apply for future rounds with new projects. Applicants who are unsuccessful in a round are encouraged to apply in future rounds.

There is no requirement for matched or co-funding. The sponsor’s assessment panel reserves the right to support more than one application if merited. In this situation, it is the responsibility of the sponsor to provide the funding for the additional grant amount. If no applications are received for a category or are assessed as unsuitable (for example, of poor quality) for funding, the sponsor’s assessment panel reserves the right not to select a recipient or award any grant funding. The assessment panel may be assisted by technical, financial, legal and other experts as required. The experts are not members of the panel, but are, if requested by the assessment panel, to analyse applications and prepare factual reports against one or more of the assessment criteria for the panel’s consideration.

Milestone

Anticipated Dates

Industry award category applications open (round number if applicable) (refer to ABARES website)

third quarter 2015

Industry award category applications close

fourth quarter 2015

Initial assessment by department for Industry Award to determine eligibility.

fourth quarter 2015

Applications distributed to relevant sponsor assessment panels.

fourth quarter 2015

Assessment by panel for the relevant industry award.

fourth quarter 2015

Sponsors provide advice to the department for recommendation to the Approver.

fourth quarter 2015

Award recipients approved.

fourth quarter 2015

Successful industry category award applicants advised of the outcome and invited to apply for the Minister’s Award.
Unsuccessful industry category award applicants advised of the outcome.

fourth quarter 2015

Minister’s Award applications close.

fourth quarter 2015

Minister’s Award applications assessed by Department of Agriculture assessment panel.

first quarter 2016

Recommendations made to the Minister for approval.

first quarter 2016

Minister’s Award approved and recipient notified.

first quarter 2016

Award applicants advised of the decision – Minister’s Awards.

first quarter 2016

All award recipients attend ABARES annual Outlook conference to be presented with their awards. Their details published online.

first quarter 2016

Funding agreement between the grantee (the host organisation) and the department finalised and signed.

second quarter 2016

Decision next round – refer to website www.agriculture.gov.au/scienceawards.

third quarter 2016

Applications are open to young people between 18 and 35 years, who are working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management). Applicants may include young producers (farmers, fishers, foresters etc), scientists and researchers, extension officers, students or industry advisers.

To be eligible, applicants must meet all the requirements below:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) by the closing date for each round.
  • be Australian citizens or permanent residents (proof is to be provided) by the closing date for each round.
  • be working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management). Proof such as a letter of employment, scholarship or current pay slip may be requested by the organiser if this information is not immediately discernible.

An applicant is ineligible if they are:

  • employed by a sponsoring organisation in the award category they are applying for.
  • have an immediate family member (a sibling or parent) who is employed by a sponsoring organisation in their selected award category.
  • employed by a Non Corporate Commonwealth entity.

Note: Employees of entities that are classified as Corporate Commonwealth entities are eligible for the Awards, while employees of entities classified as Non Corporate Commonwealth entities are ineligible for the Awards.

Note: Corporate Commonwealth entities are legally separate from the Commonwealth, whereas non-Corporate Commonwealth entities are part of the Commonwealth (see PGPA Act, Section 11).

For further clarification on the PGPA Act and the relevant entities, visit the Department of Finance website and the document List of GGS, PNFC and PFC entities under the PGPA Act.

New Zealand citizens currently permanently residing in Australia prior to 26 February 2001 and have been living in Australia permanently since then, are eligible to apply.

New Zealand citizens who arrived on or after 26 February 2001 are not eligible unless they hold an Australian permanent resident visa. New Zealand citizens are generally granted a Special Category Visa (subclass 444) on arrival in Australia. This visa allows you to remain indefinitely and live, work and study in Australia. However, it is a temporary visa and does not afford you permanent residency status. Under the bilateral social security arrangement between Australia and New Zealand on 26 February 2001, the Australian Government announced that New Zealand citizens who arrive in Australia on or after 26 February 2001 must apply for, and be granted, Australian permanent residency. For more information please visit Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The age range of 18–35 years for the Awards is considered to have an exemption under the Age Discrimination Act 2004.

In the Science Awards programme, a project is defined as a specific body of work which demonstrates innovation in scientific or technological approach or process and:

  • is related to a significant, long standing or emerging issue in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management) and
  • demonstrates dedication to the future of rural and regional industries with a commitment to promoting science and innovation as an integral part of that future.

Project activities may include specific research activities, further study, industry visits, presentations at conferences or workshops, attending such events, publishing in journals etc. Further information about the projects that succeeded in the previous round and the scope of activities can be found on the Science Awards programme website.

The project funding amount is to a maximum of $22,000 (GST inclusive). While there is no minimum amount, applicants are reminded that their project should demonstrate value for money.

There is no requirement for co–contribution from an applicant, sponsor or host organisation. Funding is provided only for new work projects and does not include retrospective funding. Funding, once approved, cannot be increased for unbudgeted and/or unanticipated costs.

Examples of ineligible projects / activities that will not be funded include:

  1. projects that are undertaken as part of any TAFE or undergraduate tertiary course of study, pre–existing PhD research projects which are funded by an industry/university scholarship where the applicant wishes to use the Science Award project funding for this purpose (projects that complement or contribute to a postgraduate course of study may be eligible provided that they are not excluded under (ii) and (iii) below).
  2. projects that are funded by other Commonwealth or state government programs.
  3. projects that include activities that have commenced or completed before the funding agreement is executed.
  4. project funding is not available to support salary costs, stipends, living allowances or other similar expenses.
  5. project funding is not available to support any corporate or administration costs of the grantee.

Applicants must adhere to the application process:

  • Read these Guidelines, the application form, questions and answers, information for applicants and the standard funding agreement template.
  • Correctly complete and lodge the application form for the current round, following the instructions in the application form.
  • Submit one electronic application via email to scienceawards@agriculture.gov.au - in either Microsoft Word or pdf format - per category award to the department by the closing date and time.

All applications must:

  • use the application form relevant to the current round.
  • be lodged by 5.00pm AEDT on the date of closing.

Applications that do not meet these deadlines may not be accepted.

The department may consider the submission of late applications under extenuating circumstances provided an alternative timeframe has been agreed to prior to the closing date. Any requests for an extension of time to lodge an application must be made in writing to the programme coordinator for a decision via email scienceawards@agriculture.gov.au prior to the closing date.
Applicants may submit more than one application in the same round in more than one Award category. Each application must be submitted separately and it must be specific to each category.

An applicant will only be eligible to receive one industry category Award and associated grant funding. Should two Award sponsors select the same application, the department will liaise with each sponsor to determine the primary recipient and the strength of the next highest ranked application.

A conflict of interest arises where a person makes a decision or exercises a power in a way that may be, or may be perceived to be, influenced by either material personal interest (financial or non-financial) or material personal associations.

Applicants are required to advise whether any actual or potential or perceived conflicts of interest exist in relation to their application.

Actual or potential conflicts of interest include any relationship, either personal, financial or professional; with any sponsor of the award(s) for which the applicant is applying such that the sponsor, the applicant or a member of the applicant's direct family could benefit personally in some way from the outcome of the Awards. All parties involved in this programme, for example departmental staff and assessment panel members, will also disclose a conflict of interest if it arises.

If a conflict of interests arises, or appears likely to arise, the applicant must:

  • make full disclosure of all relevant information relating to the conflict in their application; or
  • bring it to the attention of the department’s programme area in writing if the conflict arises after the application has been received; and
  • outline the steps the applicant intends to take to resolve or otherwise deal with the conflict.

The department reserves the right to reject an application if not satisfied that there are arrangements in place to appropriately address or manage a perceived or actual conflict of interest.

A register of notified conflicts of interest will be maintained by the department throughout the application process. The register will include applicant’s conflicts of interest as well as those of the assessment panel and Commonwealth officers. All persons involved in the assessment of applications are required to

  • sign and keep up to date conflict of interest declarations, which will ensure that the appropriate identification, and management of any conflicts of interest and
  • comply with the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.

Applicants should be aware that the intentional giving of false or misleading information is an offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

All applicants must identify any information contained within their applications or in any documentation that they consider should be treated as confidential and provide reasons for the request. The department reserves the right to accept or refuse a request to treat information as confidential.

Information provided to the department that has not been accepted as confidential by the department may be shared or published, as determined by the department.

Confidential information may be released as required by law or Parliamentary privilege.

All documents in the possession of the department, including those in relation to the Science Awards programme, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act),

The FOI Act creates a general right of access to documents in the possession of the department. Unless a document falls under an exemption provision, it will be made available to the public if requested under the FOI Act.

For more information about the FOI process, or to make a FOI request, please review the information at Accessing information held by the department.

Personal information means any information or opinion about an identified, or reasonably identifiable, individual.

The collection of personal information by the department in relation to these guidelines and any subsequent application is for the purposes of assessing eligibility of an application for the Science Awards programme and related purposes. If the relevant personal information requested is not provided, the department will be unable to assess an application’s eligibility for this programme.

Personal information provided to the department is for the purposes of administration or evaluation of the programme and application assessment. In providing personal information, applicants consent to the department using the information for the above mentioned purposes and other related purposes.

Personal information may be disclosed to relevant parties engaged for the purposes of application assessment and programme evaluation, such as departmental staff, staff of the Award sponsors, judging panel members, the Minister and the Minister’s office, on the department’s website and to other Australia government agencies, persons or organisations where necessary for the above purposes.

Specifically, an applicant may be contacted by the department to discuss and progress an application for the Science Awards round. If an applicant is successful, their project details, biography and photographs will be used for promotional purposes related to the Awards, including media releases and other promotional material, inclusion on the ABARES and sponsors’ websites and through social media including Twitter and Facebook.

An applicant should also be aware that if successful, Commonwealth policy requires the department to publish information on its website about the grant, including, but not limited to:

  • Name of the recipient of the grant
  • Purpose of the grant funding
  • Amount of funding received
  • Term of the grant and
  • Location.

All disclosure of personal information will be consistent with relevant laws, in particular the Privacy Act 1988. Personal information will be used and stored in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

For reference, current grant reporting requirements can be viewed on the department's website.

The department’s Privacy Policy, including information about, access to, and correction of, personal information, can be found at Accessing information held by the department.

To contact the department about personal information or to make a complaint:

Telephone: Switchboard +61 2 6272 3933
Email: Privacy
Post:
Privacy Contact Officer,
Department of Agriculture,
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601.

For further information regarding the use of personal information as part of the programme, contact Science Awards.

The department will not accept responsibility for any misunderstanding arising from the failure by an applicant to comply with the guidelines, or arising from any discrepancies, ambiguities, inconsistencies or errors in an application.

If an applicant discovers any material discrepancy, ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in their application, they must immediately bring it to the attention of the department by emailing the programme coordinator to Science Awards. The department may request clarification information from an applicant and allow an applicant to remedy any discrepancy, ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in an application. The department may consider information submitted by an applicant after the closing date for the purpose of resolving any material discrepancy, ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in an application provided that no new information has been added, which has not been referred to in the original application. The department’s decision will be final and will be made at its absolute discretion.

Applicants can withdraw their application at any stage of the application, assessment and selection process. This request is to be made by the applicant only and via email to Science Awards.

Industry Awards

The department will carry out an initial assessment of applications to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria.

All eligible applications are distributed to the relevant sponsor assessment panel for assessment according to the Industry Award category/ies nominated by the applicant.

Each sponsor convenes an Industry Award assessment panel to assess the applications in their category. Each assessment panel is composed of representatives who demonstrate skills and experience in their industry, technical knowledge, awareness of current and emerging industry issues and the subject matter. Membership of the assessment panel is unique to each sponsor organisation and may vary year to year. Each assessment panel assesses applications against the same assessment criteria.

All eligible applications will be assessed against the following criteria for all industry award categories they have nominated. All criteria are weighted equally.

Criterion 1 - Innovative or emerging scientific issue in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management)

  • Demonstrated need for the research.
  • Scientific focus or creative angle.
  • Originality of data.

Criterion 2 - Demonstration of the dedication to the future of rural and regional industries with a commitment to promoting science and innovation as an integral part of that future

  • Dedication of the applicant and research to advancing and promoting rural and regional industries.
  • Extension and engagement strategy.
  • Applicant's related industry experience.

Criterion 3 - Potential of the project to provide long–term benefits to the industry

  • Potential financial benefits of the research.
  • Sustainability of the project.
  • Industry uptake through information dissemination and communication.

Criterion 4 - Potential benefits to the applicant

  • Opportunities for career development.
  • Networking opportunities.

Criterion 5 - Value for money

  • Budget.
  • Appropriateness of activities.

Each panel member will assess each eligible application on its own merit against the Assessment Criteria to achieve a preliminary score. Each criterion will be scored out of ten points. The panel will then meet and assess each eligible application against all other eligible applications received for that industry category award using the assessment criteria. A final score will be agreed by the panel and applications ranked in merit order based on final scores.

Applications that meet the assessment criteria to a high level are more likely to be funded. The nominated applicant and project will be recommended to the department’s decision maker by each panel, for approval. The decision maker is the department’s Chief Scientist.

Minister for Agriculture's Award

The successful recipients of each industry category award will then be invited to apply for the Minister's Award (once they have conditionally accepted it on the basis of the department executing a funding agreement with their host organisation). This award provides additional project funding for an extended research project. A separate application form will be provided to applicants, with additional time to complete it. An applicant can opt not to submit an application for the Minister's Award and their decision does not affect their industry award.

The project submitted for the Minister for Agriculture’s Award is to be undertaken concurrently with the industry award.

The department’s Chief Scientist will convene a two to three member assessment panel. The panel will be composed of the Chief Scientist and experienced individuals from industry and the department who demonstrate strong industry, technical and analytical skills. The membership of this panel will be distinct from the membership of the industry category awards assessment panels and will vary annually. Each panel member will individually review and assess all applications using the same assessment criteria as the Industry Award. The panel will convene to assess and make a recommendation for approval to the Minister.

Applications will be scored and ranked against all other eligible applications received.

For the industry awards and the Minister’s Award, the assessment criteria will be scored as follows. A total score of four or less will be considered as unsuitable for funding and not ranked:

Rating

Description

Level of risk

Score

Excellent

Exceeds requirements in all ways.

Very little or no risk

9–10

Good

Meets requirements in all ways, exceeds them in some.

Little risk involved

7–8

Satisfactory

Meets requirements and is workable.

Acceptable risk

5–6

Marginal

Nearly meets requirements, workable but may be deficient or limited in some areas

Higher than acceptable element of risk.

3–4

Poor

Applicant has either stated or demonstrated non-compliance, poorly addressed , criteria or there is insufficient information to assess.

Unacceptable risk

0–2

The sponsors each convene an assessment panel. All eligible applications are distributed by the department to the relevant sponsor’s assessment panel for assessment. The panel then assesses the applications. Each assessment panel is composed of representatives who demonstrate skills and experience in their industry, technical knowledge, awareness of current and emerging industry issues and the subject matter. Membership of the assessment panel is unique to each sponsor organisation and may vary year to year. Each assessment panel assesses applications against the same assessment criteria.

All eligible applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria noted in section 15.

Each assessment panel will make its recommendation to the department’s Approver for endorsement.

Should two or more Industry Award sponsors select the same application, the department will liaise with each sponsor to determine which Industry Award should be allocated to that applicant, considering the strength of the next highest ranked application in each of the affected categories and the best outcome for the applicant and the sponsors.

For the Minister’s Award, the department’s Chief Scientist will convene a two to three member assessment panel with individuals internal and external to the department. Each panel member will individually review and assess applications using the same assessment criteria and scoring regime as used for the industry award. The panel will then convene to discuss, agree and recommend a recipient to the Minister for approval. The panel will be composed of the Chief Scientist and experienced individuals who demonstrate strong industry, technical and analytical skills. The membership of this panel will be distinct from the membership of the individual category awards assessment panels and will vary annually.

Department officers and panel members will be required to protect the confidentiality of the assessment process and take steps to ensure that any actual or perceived conflict of interest is declared and addressed in a way that does not adversely affect the impartial selection of the strongest applications against the assessment criteria.

For reference managing a Conflict of Interest see section 9. For reference to confidentiality see section 11.

Successful applicants will receive a conditional letter of offer outlining the grant and the amount of funding to be allocated. The letter of offer does not constitute a funding agreement and successful applicants must not begin a project until a funding agreement has been negotiated and executed between the department and the host organisation. The funding agreement will be signed between the department and the applicant’s employer or university (referred to as host organisation).

The department reserves the right to negotiate with applicants and host organisations on any aspect of the grant prior to the execution of the funding agreement, including supporting fewer projects/activities, offering less funding than the amount for which applicants applied, or seeking further outcomes.

An applicant will not be considered the Industry Award recipient or the Minister’s Award recipient until a funding deed has been executed with a host organisation in relation to that particular award. The funding agreement for the recipient who receives the industry award and the Minister’s Award will include both project details.

Where an application is unsuccessful, applicants will be notified in writing by the department. Applications will not be reviewed. Advice on lodging a complaint can be found in section 21. Feedback on unsuccessful applications will be available on request by contacting the programme coordinator via email Science Awards and within two weeks after being advised in writing.

Successful recipients, through their host organisation, will be required to sign a funding agreement with the Commonwealth based on the template of the Whole of Government Low Risk Funding Agreement. A copy can be found at Science and Innovation Awards.

The draft funding agreement contains the terms and conditions of the grant. Recipients and host organisations should read the draft funding agreement before submitting their application and should seek independent legal advice before entering into a funding agreement. No legally binding relationship exists until a funding agreement is signed by all parties.

Through their host organisations, successful recipients will be required to submit regular progress reports under the milestones in the funding agreement. These reports will cover the activities, outputs and outcomes along with all other evidence required to verify results (i.e. evidence of achievement).

If a host organisation, through the actions of a successful recipient fails to comply with any requirements in the funding agreement, the host organisation may be required to repay some or all of the grant money received.

A circumstance may arise where a project cannot commence, continue, finish or is delayed (for example, seasonal delays for crop planting, reduced rainfall or lack of stock).The recipient or their host organisation must contact the department as soon as possible to advise of the situation, reasons for delay and propose a revised project timeline and activities. The department will review the request in conjunction with the Award sponsor (the funding provider) and provide advice. In most cases and with valid reasons and a revised progress plan, approval will be granted. Should delays be significant, the department will consult with the Award sponsor and the grantee and reserves the right to recover the remaining project funds.

Commonwealth policy requires the department to publish minimum grants information on its website including:

  • name of the approved person or entity receiving the grant (which may include the name of the Award recipient)
  • project title and purpose
  • amount of funding received
  • term of the grant
  • funding location.

By submitting an application for funding under this grant programme, the applicant and host organisation consents to publication of the above information by the department should they be awarded funding under this grant programme.

The department will manage the funding agreement and department delegates will make decisions about variations during the life of the agreement. Department officials and others will contact grantees and recipients during and/or after the grant.

There is no appeal mechanism for unsuccessful applicants and applications will not be reviewed. If an applicant is dissatisfied with the way an application has been handled by the department, they can contact the programme coordinator via email to Science Awards and lodge a complaint.

The complaint will then be reviewed by one or more independent areas of the department. If no resolution is achieved, they can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will usually not investigate a complaint unless the matter has first been raised with the department and the department has been provided with a reasonable opportunity to respond.

Receipt of funding from this programme may result in the applicant or host organisation being ineligible for support from other government programmes. Applicants and host organisations are advised that funding may have taxation implications and that they should seek independent taxation and financial advice from a suitably qualified professional before submitting their application. GST is payable on grants and the funding agreement will include GST where applicable. Applicants and host organisations should seek advice on the legal implications of their acceptance of a grant.

Last reviewed:
04 Feb 2017