International Funding

Many philanthropic Funds and Foundations provide funding for university research. In cases where research grant funding is awarded via an advertised competitive application round, the submission of applications is managed through the RGC, which will also manage the grant once awarded. See 'managing research income from philanthropic funding schemes' for further information.

If you would like to apply to an International funding body you should:

  • Notify the RGC Pre Award team of your intent to submit an application by completing the Notification of Intent to Apply for Research Funding' form here. All applications from UNSW staff & students must be submitted via Research Grants and Contracts.
  • Submit your application 4 weeks prior to the Sponsors deadline for compliance review and submission
  • Be aware that the majority of submissions require approval from a delegated UNSW representative
  • Be aware that some funding bodies still require hard copies of submissions, which can take 3-4 working days for delivery

Research Strategic Office (RSO)

RSO work closely with UNSW Researchers by providing strategic support on the scope, nature, addressing criteria and general grantsmanship for the development of applications for funding from International sources. Researchers are encouraged to discuss their project at the early stages of their application process to ensure comprehensive review and advice. For International Strategic Advice please email: 

US F&A Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement

In 2021 UNSW executed an F&A Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) for US Federal Awards of 48.9%. This new rate was effective from Monday 7th June 2021

This Indirect Cost rate was set by the US federal authority responsible for NICRAs for overseas institutions and based on the essential costs we expend to carry out US federally-funded research at UNSW, such as operations, maintenance, libraries, equipment, compliance with regulations, support staff, research and lab facilities and utilities. The purpose of the negotiated rate is to allow UNSW to recover the actual expenditure associated with this research. 

Majority of US universities have a NICRA in place and a growing number of Australian universities either already have, or are in the process of obtaining the same.

This NICRA rate agreement for UNSW applies to all US Federal grants, contracts, and agreements, as required by federal regulations (see 2 CFR 200.68). NIH funding is an exception  as they apply a flat rate of 8% for foreign organisations regardless of a NICRA being in place (confirmed by NIH Policy 16.6).

   Post Award: 

  • US funded projects that are currently in the post award phase prior to June 7, 2021 at UNSW will have the F&A rate applied at the time of award maintained for the life of the project and not be impacted by this NICRA.


  • New applications submitted on or after Monday 7th June 2021 must have the new NICRA rates included in the submitted budget. 
  • If a researcher has already commenced budget negotiations with a US collaborator or sponsor at the 10% de minimis rate and they believe it is not possible to now apply the NICRA, they must contact RGC Pre-award by Monday 7th June 2021 with details of the application and evidence of such budget discussions in order to request a one off reduction to the NICRA to honour those discussions.
  • The F&A negotiated rate does not apply to the total grant funding request, some items are excluded e.g. equipment and scholarships, please contact RGC Pre-award for further information.
  • Budgets for US Federal grant applications need to contain evidence of your negotiated rate. The pre-award team will ensure you have the documents you need and assist with your description and calculation of indirect costs.  

New Guidelines for Engaging China Partners 

All staff engaging in Knowledge Exchange and other activities with external partners from China, including collaborative research grant applications, contract research and/or consulting, should be aware of new guidelines effective immediately.

The new guidelines are based on our experience over the last five years and aim to preserve UNSW’s reputation, ensure financial sustainability and mitigate the risk of account deficits, aged debtors and bad debts. Note in particular:

  • All industry and state owned enterprise partners must pass due diligence and credit checks before negotiations commence. For contract research, the cost of these checks will now be a project expense (up to US$5K per partner)
  • If partners pass due diligence and proceed to a signed agreement, project accounts will not be opened until the initial payment is received by UNSW
  • The duration of staff appointments from project funds will be limited to the period of time that can be covered by funds received by UNSW
  • Invoices unpaid for 90 days will result in the suspension of project expenditure. If an invoice is overdue for 120 days this will trigger termination of the project by UNSW

If you need further information please contact:


Foreign Arrangements Scheme

All researchers and support staff who are engaging with international bodies must familiarise themselves with the Commonwealth Government Foreign Arrangements Scheme and associated mandatory reporting. Please ensure you see to ensure you fully understand your obligations. With regard to research agreements RGC will manage this process with you and if you have any queries please contact your RGC Contracts or Grants Officer. 


Division of Research - International Seminar presentation - 20 November 2018 - You will be required to use your UNSW zID and password to access this presentation 


International Funding Resource Webpages
Access information on International Sponsors and their policies, procedures and other useful information to assist with your international grant application and post award management.