Macquarie University Research Centres 2008

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					                         Macquarie University Research Centres 2013
                          Funding Rules and Application Guidelines


     Applications must be submitted to the Research Office (via email to grants@mq.edu.au)
                            by 5pm Wednesday 12 September 2012

                                            Late applications will not be accepted



Please read the MQRC Proposal Template document carefully in conjunction with these
Funding Rules, and adhere to the page limits and formatting procedures as outlined.


Contents

Outline of the MQRC Scheme ........................................................................................................... 2
MQRC application process ............................................................................................................... 3
MQRC submission process ............................................................................................................... 3
MQRC certification ......................................................................................................................... 3
MQRC selection criteria................................................................................................................4
MQRC selection process .................................................................................................................. 4
Eligibility ...................................................................................................................................... 4
Funding ........................................................................................................................................ 4
Reporting requirements .................................................................................................................... 5
Review process............................................................................................................................... 6
Post-Funding Status......................................................................................................................... 6

Appendices

Appendix 1 – Activities and functions of MQRCs ................................................................................. 7
Appendix 2 – Key Performance Indicators ........................................................................................... 8
Appendix 3 – Responsibilities of MQRC Director ............................................................................... 10




Enquiries regarding MQRC applications should be directed in the first instance to:

Ms Stoy Drinic, Research Grants Development Officer
Telephone: (02) 9850 4193
Email: stoy.drinic@mq.edu.au

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Outline of the MQRC Scheme
The Macquarie University Research Centres (MQRC) scheme is the means by which major,
coordinated, cohesive and highly performing research groupings are branded, promoted and
supported as Macquarie University Research Centres. It is expected that all MQRCs will aim,
over the term of University funding, to become a major Research Centre with national status and
substantial external funding.

Centres with the title “Macquarie University Research Centre” will be of two types:

     Centres newly established under the MQRC Scheme which will receive funding of up to
      $50,000 per year for up to five years, subject to satisfactory annual progress reports; or
     Mature MQRCs, deriving from an MQRC at the end of its five-year funded period. A
      mature Centre will have demonstrated that it is self-sustaining in respect of the significance
      and coherence of its research program and that it has adequate discretionary (external)
      funding to support Centre management, administrative and related activities.

A limited number (typically only 2-3) of new MQRCs will be established each year, to maintain
a total number of funded Centres of approximately 12-15. Applications will be evaluated by the
Centres and Networks Panel against the Selection Criteria, with recommendations made to the
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Funds awarded to Centres under the MQRC scheme are not to be used to fund research projects
directly. They are intended to provide support for the proposed Centre’s management and
administration (e.g. to provide teaching relief and/or administrative assistance for the Centre
Director) or to support Research Centre activities (e.g. workshops and inviting key visiting
scholars to the Research Centre).

Centres are expected to develop high-quality research programs which engage a number of
University staff and attract significant numbers of Higher Degree Research students and
significant levels of research funding from external sources. In general, there should be at least
five research-active staff centrally involved in the MQRC. The nominated staff may include
continuing and fixed-term teaching and research staff, research-only staff and adjunct and
honorary staff. However, in order to ensure continuity, a majority of the nominated staff should
have continuing appointments. Only in exceptional circumstances will smaller numbers of
researchers seeking to establish a Centre under the MQRC Scheme be accepted – special cases
must be fully justified.

MQRCs will often involve staff members from more than one Department or more than one
Faculty. MQRCs do not have the status of Departments and HDR student enrolments will
continue through the host Departments. Distribution of Joint Research Engagement (JRE) and
Research Training Scheme (RTS) funding remains at the discretion of the relevant Executive
Dean(s).

In the establishment of a MQRC, preference will be given to groups with a demonstrated track
record of successful collaborations and coherent research activities over a significant period,
such as a successful period as a Faculty Research Centre.

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A listing of common activities and functions of existing MQRCs is given in Appendix 1.


MQRC application process
The application is to be made referencing the MQRC Proposal Template, which provides details
on what is required in a MQRC application. This template is available on the Research Office
website by clicking on “Macquarie University Research Centre (MQRC)” at
http://www.research.mq.edu.au/for/researchers/how_to_obtain_research_funding/funding_opport
unities/internal.


MQRC submission process
Applications must be in minimum 12pt font and stated page limits for each question must be
observed. Handwritten applications will not be accepted. Applicants must submit their
application and signed Host Faculty Executive Dean support letter electronically via email to
grants@mq.edu.au (cc to the Lead CI's Faculty Research Manager) by the closing date – a hard
copy of these documents is not required. A Macquarie University Coversheet must also be
completed and submitted (in hard copy) to the relevant Faculty Research Manager by the closing
date (see “MQRC certification” section below for details).

   The application should be a non-scanned PDF (preferred) or a Word document, with the file
    name “MQRC 2013 – [CentreDirectorSurname] - application.pdf” (e.g. “MQRC 2013 –
    Smith - application.pdf”).

   The signed Host Executive Dean support letter should be provided as a scanned PDF with
    the file name as “MQRC 2013 – [CentreDirectorSurname] - letter.pdf” (e.g. “MQRC
    2013 – Smith - letter.pdf”).

The deadline for receipt of applications (including the Executive Dean support letter) via email,
and the corresponding Macquarie University Coversheet (as hard copy provided to relevant
Faculty Research Manager), is 5pm on Wednesday 12 September 2012.

Late applications will not be accepted and incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.


MQRC certification
This must be provided via the Macquarie University Coversheet, which can be found at
http://www.research.mq.edu.au/for/researchers/how_to_obtain_research_funding/applying_for_a
_grant/research_grant_application_cover_sheet.       Applications must be certified by all
investigators on the project as well as by all relevant Department Heads and Faculty Executive
Deans. Applications submitted by Department Heads or Faculty Executive Deans should be
signed by those staff who would normally act as Head or Executive Dean during periods of leave
or absence.




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After securing all relevant signatures (except that of the Faculty Executive Dean), pass this
Cover sheet to your Faculty Research Manager (who will organise the Executive Dean’s
signature and will then deliver the fully signed Coversheet to the Research Office).


MQRC selection criteria
1. Quality of the key researchers including publication track record, success in external
   competitive grants and HDR supervision and completions.
2.    Capacity of the key researchers to develop a strong collaborative and cohesive research
      program.
3.    Strength of the proposed research program and potential to gain national prominence.
4.    Potential of the new Centre to attract substantial external research funding and numbers of
      HDR students for its proposed program.
5.    Strength of research leadership, management and governance structure.

MQRC selection process
Applications will be evaluated by the Centres and Networks Panel against the above Selection
Criteria. Typically, there will be a short listing of applications for interview. Key staff associated
with short-listed applications will be offered the opportunity to give a brief presentation to the
Panel and to respond to questions (particular issues that may be identified by the Panel in
advance of the interview). Following the interview stage, the Panel will make recommendations
to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), and applicants will be advised of the outcome.


Eligibility
Any grouping of researchers may apply to form a MQRC under this Scheme, with the exception
of a Centre that has National Research Centre status and/or is receiving direct central funding
from the University. Therefore, CRCs, ARC Centres of Excellence, Major National Research
Facilities, and similar Centres funded externally are not eligible to apply to the MQRC scheme.
Centres established under this scheme are not eligible to apply for renewal of funding from this
scheme.

Uncertainty concerning eligibility must be resolved in advance of submitting an application.
The MQRC Panel reserves the right to make a determination on eligibility issues not specifically
addressed in these Guidelines.


Funding
Awards made under this round of the Macquarie University Research Centres (MQRC) scheme
will start on 1 January 2013 and will normally be funded until 31 December 2017. Funding will
be available on or after 1 January each year. Funding for years 4 and 5 is subject to a
satisfactory review in the second half of the third funding year.



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It is expected that allocated funding will be fully expended each year - carryover of funding from
one year to the next will require submission of a formal request at least one month in advance,
outlining special circumstances to the DVC (Research) via the Research Office. The carry
forward request form can be found on the Research Office website at
http://www.research.mq.edu.au/for/researchers/how_to_manage_your_research_projects/internal
_research_grant_management_form.


Reporting requirements
The Director of each MQRC will provide the Research Office and the appropriate Executive
Dean(s) with a progress report each year by 31 October. This report should cover 1 January to
30 September in the first year, and 1 October to 30 September in subsequent years.

The report should address the following points (using the MQRC Annual Progress Report
template,    which    is    available     on     the  Research    Office    website      at
http://www.research.mq.edu.au/for/researchers/how_to_manage_your_research_projects/internal
_research_grant_management_form):

1.   Brief review of the research program for the past 12 months, providing details of the
     researchers involved and their contributions (two pages).
2.   Progress against objectives and agreed Key Performance Indicators set for the past 12
     months (two pages).
3.   Proposed activities for the coming 12 months, and related Key Performance Indicators,
     demonstrating that the Centre’s activities do not replicate functions that are those of an
     existing Department in the same or another Faculty (two pages).
4.   A financial summary for Centre funds for the past 12 months, and projected cash flow and
     budget for the following 12 months.
5.   A list of ongoing Centre membership, and membership of the Centre’s Management
     (Executive) Committee and Advisory Board, plus a brief report of the activity of the
     Advisory Board.
6.   A list of Centre publications, conference presentations and other outputs produced in the
     past 12 months.
7.   A list of new internal and external grants or contracts (including funding level) secured
     during the past 12 months, as well as details of forthcoming/proposed applications.
8.   A list identifying HDR students directly associated with the centre, listed under the headings
     of Commenced, Continuing and Completed (for the past 12 months).

In the third year of funding, additional information must also be provided in the annual progress
report (as outlined below)




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Review process
In the third year of funding ,each MQRC will also need to provide the following information (as
part of the MQRC Annual Progress Report) in order for the review panel to determine if the
Centre will receive a further two years of University support. The third year MQRC Annual
Progress Report should address the following points (in addition to those listed above):

9.  How the Centre’s functions and goals continue to be relevant, effective and efficient, and
    why the Centre should continue;
10. The strategic and operational planning in place for the ensuing period, including succession
    planning; and
11. That academic and financial support for the Centre remains sufficiently strong to justify the
    Centre’s continuation (this may involve an audit of the Centre’s accounts). The Centre must
    ensure that any income arising from commercial activities is expended appropriately. Such
    commercial activities are to be reported through the Research Office or through Access
    Macquarie.

Where it is deemed by the Centres and Networks Panel that a Centre is no longer functioning
adequately, a recommendation for possible disestablishment may be made through the Deputy
Vice-Chancellor (Research). The relevant Executive Dean/s of Faculty/s and Centre Director
will be given the opportunity to comment on the review committee's recommendation.


Post-Funding Status
All MQRCs will, at the end of their funding period, either graduate to the status of a Mature
MQRC, revert to the status of a Faculty Research Centre (though this is only an option if the
MQRC was previously a Faculty Research Centre), or be disbanded, as deemed appropriate by
the relevant Faculty Executive Dean and/or Chair of the Centres and Networks Panel.

A Mature MQRC is one that can demonstrate a high level of research performance and sufficient
ongoing externally-derived funding to maintain Centre activities, over and above research
funding for individual projects. For the purposes of the Scheme the minimum level for this type
of demonstrated general support has been set at $50,000 per annum.

The      process   for   achieving      Mature     MQRC       status   is    described   at
http://www.research.mq.edu.au/for/researchers/how_to_obtain_research_funding/funding_opport
unities/internal.

A prerequisite for gaining Mature MQRC status is a favourable report from an external review
conducted in the final (fifth year) of the Centre. MQRC status is retained subject to continued
(annual) reporting against agreed aims and objectives, and Key Performance Indicators, revised
annually.




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Appendix 1 – Activities and functions of MQRCs


Macquarie University Research Centres are expected to fulfil a range of functions aimed at
strengthening, extending and promoting the research of its members, enhancing the research
training activities of its students and building research linkages both nationally and
internationally. Centres would normally be expected to support high quality research that
contributes to regional and national research objectives, including those of advancement of
knowledge, economic and social development, and that which promotes national and
international collaboration in achieving these objectives. In doing so, MQRCs will:

     focus the activities of its research staff and students, and in so doing, use available research
      infrastructure more efficiently;
     foster collaborative research efforts between individuals and research teams within and
      outside the Centre;
     encourage inter-disciplinary approaches to particular research problems;
     establish and maintain regional, national, and international links with individuals and teams
      conducting research in similar, or complementary fields;
     complement and enrich the higher degree/research training programs of the University;
     where possible, strengthen the links between research activities and teaching within the
      various Departments/Faculties of the University;
     enhance the status of the University by raising the level and public profile of research
      activity;
     seek to attract funds from the public and private sectors to help support the University's
      research program;
     provide opportunities for the professional development of staff, particularly new and early
      career researchers; and
     undertake research and consultancy activities on behalf of industry, Government, the
      community, and the region.




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Appendix 2 – Key Performance Indicators


Each new MQRC is expected to identify performance indicators by which it proposes to measure
progress towards achieving its aims and the vision of the University. The indicators used by
each Research Centre will vary according to the Centre’s scope, mission, research aims, and
other factors. However, it is expected that they will address some or all of the following
headings. On an annual basis, Research Centre Directors and the Centres and Networks Panel
will agree to an appropriate set of performance indicators for each Research Centre.

Publications:
     Peer reviewed outputs appropriate to the discipline(s)
     Citations

Peer Recognition:
     Award of prizes to Centre members
     Invitations to present keynote addresses at major forums
     Election to learned societies and academies

Education and Training:
    Postgraduate involvement in Centre’s core research business
    Number of research postgraduate completions
    Workshops and short courses for academic, industrial and the wider communities

International collaboration and cooperative arrangements:
     Reciprocal visits between Centre members and their counterparts at overseas institutions
     Participation by Centre members at overseas conferences
     Establishment of memoranda of agreement and/or exchange agreements with international
      institutions and organisations
     Collaboration with other research centres, nationally and worldwide

Inter-institutional and/or industry collaboration:
      Involvement in inter-institutional funding submissions
      Submission of Macquarie University Partnerships Seeding Grant applications
      Collaborative grants/projects

External financial support:
    Award of National Competitive Grants
    Financial support from other public/private sectors
    Research contracts and/or consultancy with industry



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Extent of contribution to the public good and/or to industry:
    Patents or other registrable Intellectual Property
    Development of commercial products
    Visits to the Centre by industry
    Input into the development of social and/or economic policy
    Press coverage or other media
    Participation in public debate

Marketing of Research Centre Activities:
   Awareness of Centre’s activities among industry and Government
   Media attention
   Participation in industry forums

Management Effectiveness:
   Financial management
   People and skill development
   Relationship with the University




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Appendix 3 – Responsibilities of MQRC Director


Responsibilities of the Director will vary to some extent between Centres but may include the
following:

     Develop, in consultation with the Centre’s Management Committee/Advisory Board, the
      strategy and programs necessary for the realisation of the mission and objectives of the
      Research Centre.
     Be responsible for the implementation of the Centre’s research program/s, including
      management of the staff employed by the Research Centre.
     Provide leadership and guidance to the staff of the Research Centre with regard to the
      realisation of the missions and objectives of the Centre.
     Participate in the research program/s of the Research Centre.
     Represent the Research Centre within and outside the University.
     Liaise with other sections of the University in matters affecting the Research Centre.
     Advise the responsible Executive Dean/s of Faculty/s on the recruitment of staff for the
      Research Centre including, where appropriate, the provision of draft advertisements.
     Authorise the appointment of members of the Research Centre.
     Provide recommendations to the responsible Executive Dean/s of Faculty/s on applications
      for leave from non-academic staff of the Research Centre except where such staff are
      seconded on a part-time basis.
     Provide advice to the relevant Executive Dean/s of Faculty/s on application for leave to be
      taken by academic staff seconded to the Research Centre.
     Administer the resources of the Research Centre.
     Prepare the annual budget, on the advice of, and in consultation with the Management
      Committee - disburse, monitor, and control funds received or accruing to the Research
      Centre in accordance with University policies and procedures.
     Approve all expenditure of the Research Centre for single equipment items up to the
      amount permitted by the relevant University rulings prevailing at the time of purchase.
     Approve all expenditure of the Research Centre for domestic and overseas travel in
      accordance with University and Faculty travel policies.
     Monitor the performance of the Research Centre with regard to efficiency and
      effectiveness, and prepare the annual report and statement of accounts of the Centre.
     Contribute to the promotion and marketing of the University as a research facility.
     Facilitate consultancy projects undertaken in the name of the Research Centre in
      accordance with the relevant University policies and procedures.
     Ensure the implementation of best practices in archiving of data and samples, if
      appropriate.
     Ensure that appropriate postgraduate research training programs are in place for students
      associated with the Research Centre.


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     Ensure the appropriate management of intellectual property, including confidential issues
      with external (industry) partners.




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