UNSW-Tsinghua Collaborative Research Fund

Since 2016, UNSW and China’s renowned Tsinghua University have worked together on a collaborative research fund designed to identify, promote and encourage joint research and development in areas of common interest. Building on the success of the two earlier seed funding rounds in 2016 and 2018, UNSW and Tsinghua will now launch the 2019/2020 round of seed grant call and continue their shared commitment to fostering scientific talent and research.

SEED GRANTS
Applications now closed

FUNDING AND PURPOSE
The purpose of the seed grant is to establish a joint research collaboration leading to long term collaboration beyond the scope of the seed project. The collaboration is intended to include and lead to:
-    at least 2 reciprocal visits for staff and/or students to be conducted within the duration of the award (i.e. at least one visit by UNSW staff and/or students to Tsinghua and one visit by Tsinghua staff and/or students to UNSW);
-    the submission of at least one joint co-authored publication (or equivalent output); and
-    the targeting of a suitable scheme for the submission of a joint application for external research funding.

Theme areas to be supported in 2019/2020:
•    Advanced Materials
•    Ageing
•    Digital Grids

Funding
•    Seed grants of up to $15,000 per annum may be awarded for a duration of 12 months.
•    A progress report will be required 11 months after receipt of funding providing evidence of outcomes to date. 
•    Seed grants may be renewed for one further period of 12 months subject to performance in fulfilling the objectives of the scheme.
•    Grants should be spent within the period indicated.
•    Each institution will provide funds to its own researchers.
•    Funds may only be spent at the home institution/country.
 
ELIGIBILITY

Eligible items for funding:
•    Travel costs of researchers and/or research students associated with the project
•    Reimbursement of living and hosting costs of visiting researchers from each institution
•    Workshop or meeting costs
•    Minor research costs associated with the project. Not to exceed 25% of grant.

Items not eligible for funding:
•    Salaries (for professional or academic staff) 
•    Scholarships 

Other eligibility requirements:
•    Past awardees are not eligible to apply as a Lead Investigator for this round but may be included as an ‘Other Investigator’ on an application if it is for a different project.
•    Lead Investigators must be researchers holding a salaried appointment with UNSW, or on a formal conjoint position if from one of UNSW’s affiliated Medical Research Institutes.
•    Applicants are only permitted to apply as a Lead Investigator on one application. A Lead investigator may be included as an 'Other Investigator' on a separate application if it is for a different project.
•    Applications are welcome from academic staff at all levels at UNSW.
 
APPLICATION AND ASSESSMENT PROCESS
Teams of researchers with one lead researcher from each institution should submit an application using the provided Application Form by 5pm (local time), Monday 16th September 2019

Applications will be assessed by a Steering Committee with representatives including the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), UNSW and the Vice-President (Research), Tsinghua University or delegates. 

Selection criteria:
1.    Quality, expected outcomes and impact of proposed research program
2.    Strength of research team relative to opportunity
3.    Alignment of proposal with purpose and expected outcomes of the fund

SUBMISSION
The Lead Investigators from UNSW and Tsinghua need to work together to prepare a joint application, with each submitting the relevant application form (see below) to their own institution. The application needs to be submitted to both UNSW and Tsinghua to be eligible for consideration. 

Applications will only be accepted via email in either PDF or Word format.

UNSW Lead Investigator: 
•    Download the Guidelines and Application Form here 
•    Submit the form in English to internationalresearch@unsw.edu.au  

Tsinghua Lead Investigator:
•    Please contact Dr Xiaojun Lu at email: Luxiaojun@tsinghua.edu.cn for the Guidelines and Application Forms, as well as information on the submission procedure.

KEY DATES
•    Applications open: Monday 5th August 2019
•    Applications close: 5pm (local time), Monday 16th September 2019 (Please note that this is a hard deadline and late applications will not be accepted.)
•    Announcement of results: End October 2019
•    Grants begin: November 2019 

QUERIES AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Please email internationalresearch@unsw.edu.au (UNSW) and Luxiaojun@tsinghua.edu.cn (Tsinghua)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please note this list will be updated as queries arise.

Do the Lead Investigators from UNSW and Tsinghua each have a different form to complete?

Yes, there are two application forms - one for the UNSW Lead Investigator to complete in English and submit to UNSW (internationalresearch@unsw.edu.au) and one for the Tsinghua Lead Investigator to complete in Chinese and submit to Tsinghua (Luxiaojun@tsinghua.edu.cn)

The application form for UNSW researchers is available for download above. For the Tsinghua application form, please contact Dr Xiaojun Lu at Luxiaojun@tsinghua.edu.cn 

Note that the Lead Investigators from UNSW and Tsinghua need to work together to prepare their joint application, and that the same information should be included in the UNSW and Tsinghua application forms.

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How much detail should I include in the application regarding the exchange activities?

Exchange activities are a key element of the scheme. Therefore, we advise that you provide information detailing your planned exchange activities in each country as part of your Project Details section (e.g. if the investigators will be involved in workshops/lectures/research activities etc. while visiting the partner institution)

The guidelines state that an expected outcome is at least 2 reciprocal visits for staff and/or students to be conducted within the duration of the award (i.e. at least one visit by UNSW staff and/or students to Tsinghua and one by Tsinghua staff and/or students to UNSW).

Eligible items for funding:
•    Travel costs of researchers and/or research students associated with the project
•    Reimbursement of living and hosting costs of visiting researchers from each institution
•    Workshop or meeting costs
•    Minor research costs associated with the project. Not to exceed 25% of grant.

Items not eligible for funding:
•    Salaries (for professional or academic staff) 
•    Scholarships 

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Can you be Lead Investigator on two separate applications?

You cannot be a Lead Investigator on two separate applications but you can be a Lead Investigator on one application and an ‘Other Investigator’ on another application if they are for different projects.

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Can I be Lead Investigator on one application and an 'Other Investigator' on another application?

Yes, you can be a Lead Investigator on one application and an 'Other Investigator' on another application if they are for different projects.

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I am a past recipient of a UNSW-Tsinghua seed grant, can I apply for this round if I work with a different partner?

Past UNSW awardees are not eligible to apply for this round even if they work with different partners.

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Do PhD students need to be listed as co-investigators and are their CVs required?

PhD students do not need to be listed as co-investigators and we do not require CVs for PhD students in the application.

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Are conjoint appointments eligible to apply as a lead investigator?

Yes, conjoint researchers may apply as Lead Investigators if they hold a formal conjoint appointment with UNSW and are from one of UNSW's affiliated Medical Research Institutes. Conjoint researchers may also be included as 'Other Investigators' on an application.

 

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Can you provide more information on the three themes - 'Advanced Materials', 'Ageing' and 'Digital Grids'?

To get a sense of the research topics related to these three themes, you may wish to reference the UNSW Futures initiative that strives to address global challenges through innovative inter-disciplinary and cross-faculty research i.e. for 'Advanced Materials', you can have a look at the webpage https://research.unsw.edu.au/unsw-materials-and-manufacturing-futures-institute for some research ideas (note: just the 'Materials' aspect is relevant for this grant call); for 'Ageing', you can have a look at https://research.unsw.edu.au/unsw-ageing-futures-institute and for "Digital Grids', you may wish to reference https://research.unsw.edu.au/unsw-digital-grid-futures-institute to get some ideas.

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Are successful applications of past rounds archived in the "UNSW successful grants library"?

For archive records, only applications for external grant schemes are kept in the "UNSW successful grants library". Internal seed grant applications are not placed on record in the library.

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Is there any database of colleagues at Tsinghua University that I can consult to initiate collaboration discussions?

UNSW does not have access to a database/list of researchers at Tsinghua who may be potential collaborators. However, a number of the Tsinghua faculties/schools have webpages listing its staff contacts with their corresponding areas of specialisation that could serve as useful reference. 

If you would like to find out more about collaborators from a specific discipline and couldn’t locate the information online, you can get in touch with the Tsinghua liaison officer for this seed grant - Dr Xiaojun Lu. He can be reached at Luxiaojun@tsinghua.edu.cn

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Where can we find the application form that Tsinghua researchers are to use for submission purposes?

The guidelines and application forms for Tsinghua researchers are to be obtained from the Tsinghua liaison officer for this seed grant - Dr Xiaojun Lu. He can be reached at Luxiaojun@tsinghua.edu.cn

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