Grant Application Tools and Resources

Resources to assist with preparing your grant application including procedures, quick-links and FAQs.
Application Process 

Follow these guidelines to ensure you’ve included all required information and submit a competitive application.

1. Advise the Grants Management Office 

For application and submission support, notify the Grants Management Office (GMO) of your intent to apply as soon as possible. All applications from UNSW Staff and Students must be submitted via the GMO. The internal deadline for submission of grant applications to the GMO is 2 weeks prior to the Sponsor's deadline. This time frame allows the GMO to ensure applications comply with UNSW policies and sponsor requirements. 

2. Check the internal deadline

Check the grants calendar for the internal closing date. If the scheme is not listed, contact your Research Grants Officer.

3. Read all documentation

Ensure you’ve read all of the funder’s scheme documentation to ensure you’re eligible and your project aligns with the scheme.

4. Understand the submission process

Sometimes a funder will require hard copies to be submitted, for the application to be submitted through an online portal or for delegates from the University to sign the application to approve submission. Understanding the requirements well in advance is important for planning the submission.

5. Answer all questions, provide all required documentation and format correctly

Ensure you comply with the funder’s instructions regarding format and length of the application, address all fields and provide all necessary attachments.

6. Prepare budget information

Use the budget tools below under "Budget Preparation" as a guide.

7. Notify Head of School/Centre Director of intention to submit a research grant application 

Head of School/Centre Director approval is required for each grant funding proposal submission. Researchers should advise their Head of School/Centre Director of their intention to submit a proposal as early as possible. Approval for submission by the Head of School/Centre Director will be obtained by the GMO via email when a draft proposal is submitted for compliance review.

8. Obtain ethics approval if required 

Visit the Research Ethics and Compliance Support webpage to determine whether your application requires ethical clearance.

9. Submit to GMO by the internal due date

All applications must be received by the GMO 2 weeks prior to the sponsor deadline.  

For all ARC and NHMRC schemes, there is generally an EOI process for these schemes and applicants are known well in advance. Please submit applications by the internal deadlines advertised in the ARC and NHMRC Funding Timetable.

International Funding applications must be submitted to the GMO 4 weeks prior to the Sponsor's deadline.

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Head of School Approval

Head of School/Centre Director approval is required for each grant funding proposal submission. Researchers should advise their Head of School/Centre Director of their intention to submit a proposal as early as possible. Approval for submission by the Head of School/Centre Director will be obtained by the GMO via email when a draft proposal is submitted for compliance review.

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Budget Preparation

What is a Budget?

A budget is a full analysis of research project costs- not just the costs requested of a Sponsor. A budget ensures that sufficient resources (such as salaries and on-costs of staff employed to work on the project, student stipends, computing costs, materials and supplies, equipment, freight, communications, services, rent or facility charges, workshops and travel/accommodation) have been considered to complete the research work. It aims to get the sponsor to pay the costs of doing the research project (within Sponsor guidelines), and includes all direct and indirect costs, and in-kind costs.

The budget has two functions:

  1. It estimates, as realistically as possible, the cost of completing the objectives identified in the proposal. The sponsor will use the budget details to determine whether the proposal is economically feasible and realistic.

  2. Provides a means to monitor the project's financial activities over the life of the project. In this way, it's possible to determine how closely the actual progress toward achieving the project objectives is being made relative to the proposed budget.

There is no perfect or best way to do a budget

Many sponsors provide either a form or a format for the budget- this results in 100s of differing budget templates. Whilst it is imperative to follow the sponsors' instructions explicitly, pre-work can be done in a systematic way – this is a transferable skill that you can use regardless of the sponsors’ preference.

Why is an accurate Budget so important?

When writing your research proposal remember:

  • "If you don’t ask for it, you won't get it". This also applies to confusing budgets.
  • A poorly written budget can lead to a variety of issues in the assessment of a grant application.
  • Few research proposal budgets are fully funded, so it is best to start with a well-sounded budget.
  • Mapping out the budget in detail can help you to confirm or reassess the project methodology/approach.

Once Awarded:

  • An approved budget gives the authority and boundaries within which your research team can operate with confidence
  • Where each research project has a budget, it allows for the review of total university performance for the coming year and for action to be identified and taken where necessary.
  • The budget will accurately assign each research leader the responsibility for his/her share of the financial performance of each project.
  • The budget is a tool for management control, allowing monitoring and control and corrective action to be taken where necessary.

Common Components of a Budget

  • Consumables - Supplies and materials needed to complete the project: Items usually consumed over a year or within the life of a project. Generally not basic office supplies.
  • Personnel - Salaries, and salary on-costs. This includes you, other CIs, research associates/assistants, other administrative/technical staff and PhD students
  • Equipment - Specifically for the Project: lab, video and computer equipment.
  • Travel - Field trips/professional meetings: field work, collaborative/professional meetings, governance meetings. Includes mileage, rental car, airfare, hotel and perdiems, conference registration, in-country travel, airport transfers.
  • Subcontracts - Collaborating with another institution/agency.
  • Participant Support - Program Attendees (if allowable): the cost of attendee(s) support for the duration of the conference/workshop/program. Includes: travel costs, meals & lodging, attendee stipend.
  • Indirect Costs - The indirect costs to UNSW to undertake the research: insurance, legal, buildings/infrastructure, central administrative support, etc.
  • Other - Cost share (if required): sponsor requires that the institution provide resources to show support for the proposed project (could be a cash contribution or in-kind).
  • Budget Narrative - Budget justification to support the proposed budget.

Budget Writing Toolkit

You will be required to use your UNSW zID and password to access the below documents:

  • GMO Guide - Budget Preparation
  • UNSW Research Pricing Tool - calculate UNSW indirect costs on externally funded research grants and contracts within the scope of the Pricing of Externally Funded Research Procedure
  • Salary Scales for Grant Budgeting - This spreadsheet contains details of UNSW Salary Scales for 2019/ 2020/ 2021. Use the worksheets to budget academic, professional and casual salaries with appropriate on-costs.
  • UNSW Human Resources - For assistance in determining appropriate staff hiring levels, researchers are strongly encouraged to speak to the HR representative from their faculty. The HR website is also a resource for Occupational Health and Safety information, HR Forms and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Managing Foreign Exchange Risks - This document was prepared by UNSW Treasury to explain the risks of income awarded in foreign currency, and the potential difficulties in budgeting if the amount to spend is not constant. If your budget proposal includes foreign currency, consideration must be given to how fluctuations may impact the budget. Contact Andrew Fellowes (a.fellowes@unsw.edu.au) from Treasury to discuss your budget proposal in the first instance. If you are awarded funding, the Grants Management Office will work with Treasury to hedge your funds to minimise fluctuations throughout the life of the grant. 
  • UNSW Buying Guide - Search for suppliers by category and view the UNSW "Preferred Suppliers" list. This is a supplier with which UNSW wants to develop a medium/long term relationship, is seen as the main source of those goods or services within UNSW, and has been evaluated by Strategic Procurement.
  • UNSW Travel policy and UNSW Travel Procedure - Commercial airlines/travel sites / other travel agents: Travellers may book directly with airlines or through other travel sites e.g. qantas.com.au or webjet.com.au. If travel is booked through these sites, then you must record your travel details in MyTrips as the University is required to maintain a record of where travellers are at any time. 
  • 2019 NHMRC Direct Research Cost Guidelines
  • The UNSW Business Expense Procedure can act as a guide for sourcing travel rates and indicate the maximum amount permitted. You should only request what you need. All requested expenditure must be necessary, reasonable, appropriate and allowable.
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Ethics & Compliance

Ethics and Other Research Safety Clearances

It is important to understand if Research Committee Clearances will be required for your research project.

Please see the Research Ethics & Compliance Support page for more information 

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GMO Successful Grants Library

The GMO houses a digital library of successful applications for a wide range of schemes. 

Consult the GMO Successful Grants Library for ideas on structuring your proposal and for a better understanding of the level at which your proposal should be pitched.

Make an appointment to visit the Library:

Bookings are essential. Please note: to ensure availability, contact us 2 working days prior to the time you would like to visit the Library. Email your request to mygrants.gmo@unsw.edu.au, from your UNSW email account, with the following information:

  1. Name, position and school/Faculty (e.g. your UNSW email signature)
  2. The scheme(s) you would like to view (e.g. "ARC Discovery and Linkage Projects")
  3. Scheduling preferences, (e.g. date and time or preference of morning or afternoon)

Conditions for viewing successful Grants:

  1. Access is restricted to UNSW employees and students. You must bring your current UNSW Staff ID card with you when you visit the library.
  2. The applications may only be viewed at the Grants Management Office. Grants will be viewed digitally, but no part of the application is permitted to be printed, digitally copied nor photographed. You may take notes.

The Grants Library also includes Assessor Reports and responses to Assessors for NHMRC Project Grants, ARC Discovery Projects and DECRA.

Email mygrants.gmo@unsw.edu.au to check if the grant(s) you are looking for are available in the Library.

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Policies and Procedures

Note: If you are unable to find the relevant policy or procedure on this page, please visit the UNSW Governance Support website to search all UNSW Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

Research Integrity

The University has in place various policies that set out the guidelines with respect to responsible research practices. For policies most relevant to research at UNSW, please visit the UNSW Research Integrity web page.

National Codes

Grants

 

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Higher Degree Research

Please visit the Graduate Research webpage here for forms, procedures, and policies relating to Higher Degree Research.

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Research Strategy Office

The Research Strategy Office provides strategic advice, support and training to assist UNSW researchers in developing competitive funding applications and local and international research collaborations. 

For more information, visit the RSO webpage. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who do I contact about my grant application?

All competitive grant applications must be sent to the GMO at least 2 weeks prior to the external due date for compliance review, so that Head of School (HOS) approval for submission and any internal signatures/approvals can be obtained.The required period may be longer than 2 weeks for some schemes including the ARC and NHMCR and where internal ranking is required prior to submission (i.e. where the funding body imposes limits on the number of applications UNSW can submit as an institution). For major application rounds (e.g. ARC Discovery Projects & NHMRC Project Grants), you will receive an email from the GMO well in advance, advising of important dates including the internal deadline by which the GMO should receive your draft proposal for review. Please contact the Grants Officer responsible for your School/Centre email mygrants.gmo@unsw.edu.au.

Who do I contact for contract research and consultancy support?

The Research Contracts Office (RCO) look after all contract research and research consultancies. Non-research consultancies are generally handled at the School level. Depending on your requirement, please contact the relevant RCO staff member or email researchcontracts@unsw.edu.au

Who can help me with advice on my Funding Application?

The Research Strategy Office (RSO) provides strategic advice and support to assist in developing all competitive funding applications. For strategic advice and support with your application please contact: Grants.RSO@unsw.edu.au

 

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Other UNSW Resources and Services

 Information on Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, Stats Central and Research Technology Services  

Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre

The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) is part of the Division of Research.  We manage major instrumentation used by researchers for the study of the structure and composition of biological, chemical and physical materials.  Our facilities are housed in custom-built laboratories, mainly in the Lowy, Wallace Wurth and Chemical Sciences buildings.
The Centre's major Research Facilities are accessible to all staff and students of UNSW, as well as to external researchers. Government and industry users are also welcome. Staff of the Centre provide research collaboration, technical support, education and training to researchers accessing the facilities.

UNSW Stats Central

Stats Central: Statistics Consulting Unit for 2019 Grant Proposals

UNSW Stats Central is available to provide a free statistical review of 2019 grant proposals. All applicants are strongly advised to make use of this service.

Stats Central  is UNSW’s statistical consulting and collaboration unit, a Strategy 2025 initiative based in the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. The unit offers free study design advice to UNSW researchers, and applications are allocated to a suitable reviewer by Dr Nancy Briggs. It is advised that you consult with a statistician as early as possible when preparing design/analysis aspects of your grant proposal, ideally before you start writing it. Before submitting for review, you can also consult checklists which provide guidelines on statistical design and presentation of research data for publication, for example:

Complete the Stats Central Grant Review Request Formhere to receive a full review of the statistical design of your project. There is no cost to utilise this service. Stats Central is available to assist with enquiries. Please email stats.central@unsw.edu.au

Research Technology Services

Data Management
It is important for you to maintain good data management records and practices with considerations about proper data storage, access, retention and reuse. Having good data management records and practices allows you to uphold the quality and integrity of your data, which contributes to maximising the impact of your research.

The ResData system allows you to create an Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) to capture project details, data classification, IP and copyright, arrangements including but not limited to data storage, access and re-use. Creating an RDMP on the ResData system also allows you to provision storage on the Data Archive, a secure, long-term data storage solution for UNSW researchers. You are strongly encouraged to start an RDMP on the ResData system at the beginning of your project, and continue to keep it up-to-date until the end of your project.

Research technology Services can provide Information on suitable technology/facility, access and usage costs for budgeting in relation to computing (HPC or Cloud), data storage and: suitable computing platforms (cloud or HPC), data sharing and data storage. For further information please contact: restech@unsw.edu.au

Download advice for making use of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF).

*New* Research Imaging NSW 

Research Imaging NSW (RINSW) is a new core facility under the Division of Research in partnership between UNSW and South East Sydney Local Health. RINSW provides state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) capabilities in a fully integrated clinical setting at the Prince of Wales Hospital for basic through to translational and clinical research. The first MRI scanner, a 3T Siemens Magnetom Vida, has been installed and commissioned and is available to MR experienced users in the first half of 2019 and to the wider user base thereafter. The second scanner, a 3T Siemens Magnetom Prisma will be installed and commissioned in late 2019. 
RINSW is accessible to all researchers in UNSW, external researchers, as well as government and industry users. RINSW has capabilities to assist researchers in sequence design, testing and implementation onto the Vida or Prisma systems. An expert team of technical and scientific support staff comprised of radiologists, radiographers, MR physicist and Siemens clinical scientist will be available from mid-2019 for advice and training.
 
Interested users are invited to visit our website https://research.unsw.edu.au/research-imaging-nsw . Please contact RINSW for a collaboration letter for grant applications, or for further information email: researchimaging@unsw.edu.au.
 

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