Administration of Research Funding: Applications, Grants and Contract Research

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1.0 Purpose and Scope

This policy outlines the principles and key requirements associated with the administration of research funding at the University of Queensland (UQ or the University), including but not limited to:

  • Research funding Applications and funded grants from governments, other external parties, or from funding internal to the University.
  • Research funding from Contract Research with government or other external parties.

Consultancy projects must be administered in accordance with the Consultancy, Secondary Employment and Internal Work Policy and Procedure.

Donations and research philanthropy must be administered in accordance with the Donations and Bequests Policy.

This policy applies to applications, and funded research grants and contract research projects, where the University is a participant involving:

  • University Researchers, and/or
  • Non-UQ investigators who have nominated the University as their new employer as part of a funding application or contract research proposal.

All research administered by the University must be conducted in a manner consistent with the Intellectual Property Policy, Conflicts of Interest Policy, Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code) and the Responsible Research Management Framework Policy.

All researchers are required to disclose and manage their interests in accordance with the Conflicts of Interest Policy and Procedure. This includes disclosure of interests through the appropriate University registers

2.0 Principles and Key Requirements

2.1 Principles

  1. UQ is committed to complying with the Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector and applicable laws including the Australian Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020 under which research activities may be subject to review for consistency with Australia’s foreign policy.
  2.  The University and its controlled entities will only accept research funding that is consistent with the University’s values, and that is in the public interest.
  3. All funding for research purposes received by a UQ researcher must be contracted through an agreement with UQ, even if the funds are not administered by UQ.
  4. The University does not allow applications for, or receipt of, tobacco industry funding.
  5. A Research Agreement must not be entered in to without consideration of the partner risks associated with the external entity, including an assessment of the financial and reputational risks.
  6. An agreement governing research funding must permit researchers to maintain academic integrity, and in particular, must preserve the right to pursue research impartially and without bias.
  7. An agreement governing research funding must permit researchers to maintain academic freedom, and in particular will not be accepted where an external entity has a right to unreasonably delay or limit public dissemination of a research outcome generated through the funded project, or future research except on the grounds of reasonable commercial, cultural or security considerations.
  8. The University will not authorise a funding application or enter into any research agreement where a researcher(s) has an unmanaged conflict of interest.

2.2 Key controls

  1. The UQ Funding Application Coversheet must be completed and endorsed by the relevant Head(s) of Organisational Unit(s).
  2. External research funding applications must be authorised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Director or Deputy Director of the Research Office.
  3. External scholarship applications made by Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates, may be authorised by the Dean of the Graduate School subject to the procedures of the funding provider.
  4. Agreements governing research funding may only be entered into in accordance with the Schedule of Contract Delegations and Sub-delegations.
  5. The source of research funds accepted by the University must be acknowledged in publications related to the research and may be otherwise made known to the community unless requested to remain confidential by the funding provider.

Costing and Financial management

  1. Costing of projects must comply with the Research and Consultancy Costing and Pricing Procedure, and/or the guidelines of the funding provider.
  2. Research funding is administered in accordance with the Contract Research and Grants Financial Management Procedure.

Research equipment

  1. Ownership of equipment purchased from research funds is determined by the funding agreement governing the research project. If the funding agreement does not specify the ownership of equipment purchased using research funds, then the equipment will remain the property of the University.
  2. The cost of an item of equipment cannot be split between two or more different sources unless the conditions of each funding agreement permit this, and allows the equipment to remain the property of the University.
  3.  The use, transfer and disposal of research equipment must comply with the Property, Plant and Equipment Procedure.

First-named investigator

  1. A first-named investigator must have a formal association with The University of Queensland, demonstrable by reference to an appointment, title holder agreement or similar.
  2. For funding applications on which the University is a partner, the first investigator with a formal association with UQ will take on the role of the first-named investigator under this policy.
  3. A first-named investigator may not usually be an HDR candidate unless the HDR candidate also has a UQ appointment (excluding a casual appointment) and the eligibility criteria of that scheme permits funding applications subject to the HDR award.

3.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities 

The following roles and responsibilities are in addition to those detailed in the Schedule of Contracts Delegations and Sub-delegations and this policy.

3.1 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) is responsible for the promulgation, implementation and review of this policy.

3.2 Research Office

The Research Office is responsible for:

  • oversight of the suitability of researcher disclosures of interest, and partner risk associated funding applications,
  • institutional submission of research funding applications,
  • institutional grant establishment practices including issuing grant record letters for funded research,
  • receiving and actioning variations to funded grants and issuing grant re-record letters,
  • and receiving and actioning progress and final reports for funded grants.

3.3 Head of organisational unit

The Head of organisational unit is responsible for endorsing research funding applications, using the UQ Funding Application Coversheet, for their researchers and certifying that:

  • They support the project as set out in the application or project scope and that the general facilities are available to house the project in their organisational unit, and
  • The investigator has the time and capacity to conduct the research.

Where the Head of the organisational unit is the investigator, the senior officer to whom they report is responsible for the endorsement.

3.4 Research Partnerships Managers

Research Partnerships Managers support UQ researchers to:

  • undertake contract and competitively funded research including the negotiation of appropriate agreements, and providing instructions to Legal Services as required,
  • assist with securing and managing industry facing grants, particularly liaising with industry partners and contract negotiation, and
  • assist with due diligence regarding partner risk.

3.5 Investigators

Researchers are responsible for:

  • making reasonable attempts to assess the partner risk associated with the project,
  • meeting the obligations of the relevant research funding guidelines and the agreement, and
  • meeting the requirements of the research funding or contract and must conduct the research as specified, or as officially varied.

The first-named or ‘lead’ investigator is the key academic contact and has the overall responsibility for the leadership of the research project, including reporting requirements.

4.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) is responsible for continually monitoring the effectiveness and application of this policy.

5.0 Recording and Reporting

Summary project-level data associated with this procedure are recorded in University corporate systems. Data may be used for research performance measures and financial controls. Information is reported to the University’s research and finance community and relevant external agencies. Financial information is reported in alignment with the agreement terms accepted with the funding provider.

The Research Office provides reports on research funding applications and successful grants to the University’s Research and Innovation Committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Board.

Research income is reported to the Queensland Government in the UQ Annual Report and the Federal Government via the annual Higher Education Research Data Collection.

6.0 Appendix


Administering organisation - an organisation that will be the lead party responsible for the administration of the research project.

Application - an application for a competitive or non-competitive (e.g. by invitation) research grant submitted to a funding provider. This includes multi-phase application processes, such as expressions of interest, preliminary applications and full applications.

Contract research - research commissioned by or negotiated with a funding provider.

Funding provider – a party providing research funding, including but not limited to government, commercial, or other external entities.

Higher degree by research (HDR) - a ‘Research Doctorate or Research Masters course, for which at least two-thirds of the student load for the course is required as research work’ as defined by the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017.

Research - the concept of research is broad and includes the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

Research agreement - as defined in the Schedule of Contract Delegations and Sub-delegations.

Researchers – any University Staff, Student or title holder who conducts, or assists with the conduct of, research at, or on behalf of, the University.

Staff – continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff members.

Students – a person enrolled as a student at the University or undertaking courses or programs at the University.

Title holders - visiting academics, academic title holders, industry fellows, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title holders, and conjoint appointments.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)