Information for applicants and quick questions

2021 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Remember - applications close at 5.00pm AEST Friday 4 October 2020

Read our overview prior to completing your 2021 application. Contact the Science Awards team if you have any questions via email or phone 02 6272 2260 and 02 6272 2303.

About the Science Awards

The 2021 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry  is a competitive grants program that supports young people to undertake a project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue, including biophysical and social sciences, which will contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of Australia's agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries. 

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

The Science Awards are coordinated by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

There are a number of Award categories on offer, each with a grant of $22,000 inc GST to fund innovative projects.
More detailed information is available in the grant opportunity guidelines.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to young people aged 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 4 October 2020
  2. be Australian citizens or permanent residents (proof required) by Friday 4 October 2020
  3. be working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management) in Australia. 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 (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.

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 undertake a specific project for a period of up to 12 months.

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 (ii) and (iii) below)
  2. projects that are funded by other Commonwealth, Territory or state government program
  3. projects that include activities that have commenced or completed before the grant agreement 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 including real estate purchase, rental or tenancy.

Award categories

There are two Award categories in the 2021 round – the industry category Science Awards and the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management’s Award.

There are 11 industry category Science Awards in the 2021 round, each with a maximum grant amount of $22,000 inc GST. Applicants can apply in more than one category but only one Award per applicant will be granted.

The 2021 round categories and presenting partners are:

Award Award sponsor
Eggs and poultry (layers) Australian Eggs
Red meat processing Australian Meat Processor Corporation
Pork Australian Pork Ltd
Wool Australian Wool Innovation
Cotton Cotton Research and Development Corporation
Biosecurity and digital innovation CSIRO Biosecurity digital innovation
Fisheries and aquaculture Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
Forest and wood products Forest & Wood Products Australia
Grains Grains Research and Development Corporation
Meat and livestock Meat & Livestock Australia
Viticulture and oenology Wine Australia

Following from the industry category Awards, the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management’s Award recognises one outstanding research project that extends the applicant’s industry category Award project with additional funding. The winners in each industry category will be invited to apply via a separate application and given additional time. Winners 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.

The assessment criteria for the Minister’s Award are the same as the industry category Awards. Applications will be assessed by an independent judging panel, which will recommend the winner to the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management.

How to apply

Visit GrantConnect, log in and search for GO2850 and access the online application, information for applicants and the program guidelines. If you experience any issues, please contact the Science Awards team.

Submit your application

  1. via the 2021 online application portal
  2. by 5.00pm AEST 4 October 2020

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.

How are applicants assessed?

All eligible applications in the industry category awards will be judged by an expert panel convened by the relevant Award sponsor using the same assessment criteria. Each expert panel includes members with skills and experience in their industry, technical knowledge, awareness of current and emerging industry issues, and the subject matter.

Applications will be assessed only on information in the application.

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 forestry related 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.

Announcing the Award winners

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by December 2020. Details of the successful applicants will be published on the Science Awards website. Unsuccessful applicants can seek feedback on their application.

Next steps in grant administration

The Science Awards team will liaise with successful applicants to develop the grant agreement so you can get your project started. The parties are the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and your employer as the grantee, or directly with the applicant as the grantee if there if there is no employer. We recommend you make your employer aware of your application. The grant agreement must be signed by both parties before your project can commence and the grant funding paid. You have 12 months from the date of signing the grant agreement to finish your project.

The Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement template is available on the Department of Finance website.  

Funding from this program may result in the applicant and/or grantee being ineligible for support from other government programs. Funding may have taxation implications and applicants and grantees should seek independent taxation and financial advice from a suitably qualified professional before submitting their application. GST is payable on grants and the grant agreement will include GST where applicable. Applicants and grantees should seek advice on the legal implications of their acceptance of a grant.

Project reporting

You are required to complete two milestone reports, with templates provided. Both milestone reports will be shared with your Award sponsor.

The first report is due six months after commencing your project, and will detail project progress, tasks completed, budget, timelines and outcomes.

At 12 months and on project completion, your final report will detail the project results as well as a financial acquittal.  

If you are unable to complete your project within the specified timeframe, or need to vary the original terms or activities, you must discuss this the Science Awards Manager as soon as possible on 02 6272 2260 or email for review and approval.

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, please contact the Science Awards Manager via email.

The complaint will then be reviewed by one or more independent areas of the department. If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, they can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will not usually 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

We treat your personal information according to the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles. The department’s Privacy Policy, including information about, access to, and correction of, personal information, can be found on the department’s website.

We may contact you in relation to your application. If the requested information is not provided, we may be unable to progress your application.

For successful applicants, details of their project, biography and photos will be used for promotional purposes related to the Awards, including media releases and other promotional material, inclusion on the ABARES, department and sponsors’ websites and through social media.

An applicant should also be aware that if successful, Commonwealth policy requires the department to publish information on GrantConnect about the grant, including name of the grant recipient; purpose of the grant funding; amount of funding received; term of the grant and location.

For information on Commonwealth grants administration visit the Department of Finance website.

Quick 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 2021 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 project.

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

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 assessment criteria. 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’m a New Zealand citizen currently permanently residing in Australia. Am I eligible to apply for a 2021 Science Award?

New Zealand citizens currently permanently residing in Australia prior to 26 February 2001 and who 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 of 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 the Department of Home Affairs’ website.

I’m currently residing in Australia, 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 AEST Friday 4 October 2020) and Australian citizens are eligible.

I’m currently working for a state government agency. Am I eligible to apply for a 2021 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 clarification on the PGPA Act and the relevant entities, visit the Department of Finance’s website.

I’m currently employed by one of the sponsors in the 2021 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. However, you can apply in other categories.

Can part of the Science Awards grant be used for my salary costs, stipends, living allowances, grantee 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.

 

Last reviewed: 7 August 2020
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