Information for applicants

Applications close at 5.00pm AEDT Friday 14 October 2016

Applicants should read this information prior to completing their 2017 application form. Contact the Science Awards team if you have questions – Science Awards or phone 02 6272 2260 / 6272 2303.

Introduction

The 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the Awards) is a competitive grants programme that aims to support young people 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 Awards aim 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 coordinated by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.


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Who can apply?

Applications are open to young people between 18 and 35 years, who are working, employed or studying in agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industries.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) on Friday 14 October 2016.
  2. be Australian citizens or permanent residents (proof required) by the closing date.
  3. 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 pay slip may be requested.
  4. not be employed by a sponsoring organisation in the award category they are applying for, and not have an immediate family member (eg a sibling or parent) who is employed by a sponsoring organisation in their selected award category.
  5. not be employed by an Australian Government agency classified as a Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Note:

  • Employees of entities that are classified as Corporate Commonwealth entities are eligible for the Awards.
  • Employees of entities classified as Non Corporate Commonwealth entities are ineligible for the Awards.
  • 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 advice on the entities and how your employer is classified, visit the Department of Finance’s website and the document List of GGS, PNFC and PFC entities under the PGPA Act.

If you remain unsure about your eligibility, please contact the Science Awards team.

Eligible projects

An eligible project is defined as a specific body of work, which is an innovative scientific or technological innovation or process and:

  1. is related to a significant, long standing or emerging issue in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry
  2. 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.

Applicants must submit a written proposal to undertake a specific project, for a period of up to 12 months. Full details of the proposed project should be set out in Section C of the application form, available from Science and Innovation Awards.

The maximum value of the grant is $22,000 inc GST.

Ineligible projects

Projects or 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 and/or those 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 4(ii) and 4(iii) below).
  2. projects that are funded by other Commonwealth or state government programmes.
  3. projects that include activities that have commenced or completed before the funding deed is executed.
  4. 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.

Award categories

The following awards will be offered in 2017:

A. Industry category Science Awards

There is one Award (grant) available in each industry category. Applicants can apply in more than one category but only one Award will be made. The maximum support is $22,000 inc GST. The relevant judging panels will be advised if an applicant has applied for more than one category.

Each industry category Science Award is sponsored by a research and development corporation or industry association.

The 2017 categories and associated sponsors are:

Red meat processing

Australian Meat Processor Corporation

Pork

Australian Pork Ltd

Wool

Australian Wool Innovation

Cotton

Cotton Research and Development Corporation

Health and biosecurity

CSIRO Health and Biosecurity

Dairy

Dairy Australia

Fisheries and aquaculture

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Grains

Grains Research and Development Corporation

Meat and livestock

Meat & Livestock Australia

Established, new and emerging rural industriesRural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Viticulture and oenology

Wine Australia

Successful applicants will be expected to complete their project within 12 months once the funding deed has been executed.

B. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Award

One individual industry category Science Award recipient will also receive the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Award, with additional funding to undertake an extended research project.

Only Science Award winners in each industry category are eligible for this Award. If you are successful you will be invited to apply for the Minister’s Award. A separate application form will be provided with additional time to complete it. Note that you are not obliged to apply for the Minister’s Award. The successful applicant will be expected to complete their extended research project within the same 12 month period.

How to apply

Applicants can obtain an application form from www.agriculture.gov.au/scienceawards or by contacting the Science Awards team.

Applicants should ensure that all parts of the application form are completed and signed prior to lodgement.

Applications must be submitted to Science Awards AND

  1. be submitted using the 2017 application form
  2. be lodged by 5.00pm AEDT 14 October 2016.
  3. be supplied in Word or pdf formats only.

Illegible, faxed or late applications will not be accepted. Failures in email and IT systems are not considered grounds for accepting late applications.

Failure to meet all requirements and provide all information requested will result in an application not being considered.

Assessment of applications

A. Industry category Science Awards

All eligible applications will be judged by an assessment panel convened by the relevant Award sponsor using the same assessment criteria. Each assessment panel is made up of representatives who demonstrate skills and experience in their industry, technical knowledge, awareness of current and emerging industry issues, and the subject matter.

All eligible applications will be assessed against the following criteria and all criteria are weighted equally:

Criterion 1 – Innovative or emerging scientific issue in agriculture, fisheries or forestryrelated industries (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.

Applicants should ensure that all parts of the application form are complete. Applications will be assessed only on information submitted in the application.

B. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Award

The Minister’s Award recognises one outstanding research project that extends the recipient’s industry category Award project.

Only industry category Award winners are eligible for the Minister’s Award. Applicants will be provided with a separate application form and additional time to complete it. Note that there is no obligation to apply for the Minister’s Award.

The criteria for this Award are the same as those for the industry category Awards. Applications will be assessed by an independent judging panel, which will recommend the recipient of the Award to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

Announcement of award winners

All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application for grant funding by December 2016. Details of the successful applicants will be published on the Science Awards website. Unsuccessful applicants can request feedback on their application.

If you are successful in your industry category Award, you will receive a grant of up to $22,000 (inc gst) to fund your project.

Next steps in grant administration

Award winners will receive complimentary registration to ABARES Outlook 2017 conference in Canberra where they will be presented with their Science Awards at the conference dinner on Tuesday 7 March 2017 in front of an anticipated 400 dinner guests. Details about the Outlook 2017 conference are available at Outlook 2017. It’s a great opportunity to meet your Award sponsor and other industry representatives. Conference registration, travel and accommodation expenses will be met by ABARES.

The Science Awards team will liaise with you and your employer (as the grantee) to draft the funding deed and arrange grant payment once the agreement is executed and a tax invoice is received by ABARES. Note that the parties to the funding agreement are the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and your employer as the grantee. It is recommended that you make your employer aware. The funding agreement must be signed by both parties before your project can commence and the grant funding paid.

A sample version of the funding agreement is available on the Science Awards website. You will have 12 months from the date of signing this document to finish your project.

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.

Project reporting

As part of the terms of the funding agreement, you are required to complete two milestone reports. The first is due six months after commencing your project, which will detail the progress of your project, tasks completed, budget, timelines and outcomes.

At 12 months and the completion of your project, you will submit a final report detailing the results of your project and budget expenditure. Report templates will be provided to you by ABARES. ABARES will then provide your milestone reports to your Award sponsor.

If you are unable to complete your project within the specified timeframes, you must advise the Science Awards Manager as soon as possible on 02 6272 2260 or Science Awards to negotiate a revised timeframe.

Complaint handling

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 Science Awards Manager via 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.

Privacy

The collection of personal information by the department in relation to this application form is for the purposes of assessing eligibility of an application for the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry programme and related purposes. If the relevant personal information requested in this application is not provided, the department will be unable to assess an application’s eligibility for this programme. Personal information means any information or opinion about an identified, or reasonably identifiable, individual.

Personal information provided to the department is for programme administration 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 for 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, you may be contacted by the department to discuss and progress your application. If you are successful, your project details, biography and photographs will be used for promotional purposes related to the Awards, including media releases, inclusion on the department’s and sponsors’ websites and through social media including Twitter and Facebook.

You 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.

Current grant reporting requirements can be viewed at Grants reporting requirements.

All disclosure of your 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. The department’s Privacy Policy can be found at Privacy policy, and includes contact details if you wish to discuss further or to make a complaint.

Frequently Asked Questions


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I am currently undertaking a PhD research project which is funded by an industry/university scholarship. Am I eligible to apply for a 2017 Science Award?

If you are seeking funds to complete a research project you are already undertaking as part of your PhD project, then you are not eligible. However, if you wish to undertake an additional project that will complement and build on your existing research then you are eligible. You should indicate in your application that your Science Awards project is additional to your current PhD research program.

Does my proposed project need to utilise the whole budget of $22,000 (GST inclusive)?

No, your project budget does not have to be $22,000 and you will not be disadvantaged if you do not seek the full amount. The main thing to keep in mind is “value for money”, which is one of the criteria against which your application will be assessed. For example, a $15,000 project that will undertake a range of activities may be considered better value for money than a $22,000 project that will undertake only one activity.

I know there is a Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Award that provides extra funding but I can’t find the details or application form?

Only Science Award winners in each industry category are eligible for the Minister’s Award. If you are successful in an industry category Award, then you will be invited to apply for the Minister’s Award. A separate application form will be provided with additional time to complete it. You are not obliged to apply for the Minister’s Award if you are successful in obtaining an industry category Award.

I’m a New Zealand citizen currently permanently residing in Australia. Am I eligible to apply for a 2017 Science Award?

If you arrived in Australia prior to 26 February 2001 and have been living in Australia permanently since then, you are eligible to apply. If you arrived on or after 26 February 2001 you are not eligible unless you 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.

I’m currently residing in Australia and have applied for permanent residency, but have not yet received it, am I eligible?

No, only permanent residents (at the date of applications closing 5.00pm AEDT Friday 14 October 2016) and Australian citizens are eligible.

I’m currently working for a state government agency. Am I eligible to apply for a 2017 Science and Innovation Award?

Yes, you are eligible to apply if you are employed by a state or territory government agency and you meet the other eligibility criteria.

I’m currently working for a federal government agency. Am I eligible to apply?

In general, people employed by the Australian Government are not eligible to apply as the Science Awards are partly funded by the Australian Government. However, there are some exceptions to this.

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.

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’s website and the document List of GGS, PNFC and PFC entities under the PGPA Act.

I’m currently employed by a company that is sponsoring one of the 2017 Science Awards, am I eligible to apply?

No, you are not eligible to apply if you are employed by a sponsoring organisation or if a family member is employed by a sponsoring organisation in the same category that you wish to apply for.

Can part of the Science Awards grant be used for my salary costs, stipends, living allowances, administration fees or other similar expenses?

No, these costs are not supported by the grant funding. The grant funding is to be used for project costs directly related to the conduct and completion of the project. The anticipated grant expenditure is to be detailed in the project budget section of the Application Form in Section C – project proposal.