Research Projects

The funds allocated to SIEF Research Projects from CSIRO’s Gift has now been fully committed. At the present time it is not intended to make any further calls for Expressions of Interest for SIEF Research Projects. Should the current intention of the Trustee change and further Rounds be initiated in the future, information will be posted on the SIEF website and a Bulletin sent to the SIEF Mailing list.

The Fund will support scientific research that satisfies the following:

  • Grants must be for activities in the fields of natural or applied science for the extension of knowledge, including the practical application of such knowledge;
  • Projects must be for national benefit and must assist Australian industry, further the interests of the Australian community or contribute to the achievement of Australian national objectives;
  • Projects must align with the Fund’s Strategic Objectives; and
  • Projects may include research for Special purpose areas.


  • All proposals for Research Projects must align with the SIEF Primary Purpose and at least one Special Purpose Area as well as with the priorities of the requesting institution.
  • Eligibility is extended to national and international* universities, other Publicly Funded Research Agencies (PFRA), and other research focused institutions. (*Subject to the funded research meeting the SIEF Primary Purpose of benefit to Australia).
  • Collaborative proposals (involving more than a single institution) are preferred.
  • The quality as well as relevance of a proposal will be reviewed by expert peers.
  • The ‘additionality’ test will apply to all funded investments. It is a common practice test where supported activities must be above and beyond or ‘additional’ to business as usual. The Fund will however consider proposals for research that are complementary to an institution’s own research.
  • Funding will target research areas in line with the SIEF Special Purpose Areas, as identified below.
  • Grants for Research Projects to be funded up to the value of $1-2M pa for a term of 3-5 years with proponents encouraged to co-invest resources (may be as in-kind).
  • Assessment of proposals (for Stage 1 and 2) will be conducted by the SIEF Expert Panel who will also seek advice from external experts as necessary; Recommendations will be made to the Advisory Council and Trustee.
  • All investments are subject to final decision by the Trustee.

Selection Process

The Research Projects selection process is over two stages. At each stage both successful and unsuccessful proponents will be notified of the Trustee’s decision.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest submitted using the EoI form.

Stage 2: Request for full Proposals. Proponents of selected EoI submissions will be invited to submit a full proposal. This requires submission of an extensive form which will be made available to invited proponents. Proponents may be requested to attend an interview with the SIEF Expert Panel. No unsolicited full proposals will be accepted.

No funding will be granted unless a Funding Agreement has been entered between the successful proponents and the Trustee within a specified timeframe. SIEF’s Funding Agreement is available on its website.



Early May 2012

Public circulation of documents and call for Stage 1 Expressions of Interest (EoI)

23 July 2012

Closing date for EoI

~20 September 2012

All Proponents notified of Stage 1 EoI outcomes
Selected EoIs invited to submit Stage 2 Full Proposal

31 October 2012

Closing date for Full Proposal

November 2012

Possible interviews with Stage 2 Full Proposal proponents

~20 December 2012

Successful and unsuccessful Proponents notified of Stage 2 Full Proposal outcomes

28 April 2013

Funding Agreement Executed

*The dates and activities set out in this table are indicative only and are subject to change

Assessment Criteria

Criteria for assessing proposals:

  1. Whether the activity is ‘scientific Research’ (Threshold criterion).
  2. Alignment with SIEF Strategic Objectives (above).
  3. The clarity of research deliverables and their potential to address issues of national
    priority/benefit to Australia.
  4. Level of alignment with the identified SIEF Priority Areas for Round 4.
  5. Level of alignment with the identified preferred SIEF Special Purpose Areas for Round 4.
  6. Meeting the ‘additionality’ principle.
  7. Novelty of approach.
  8. Expertise and record of past performance of the principal researchers.
  9. Level of collaboration with other institutions and across disciplines.
  10. Likelihood of establishing internationally competitive capability.
  11. Financial request and level of co-investment of funds / resources and other funding sources
    (if relevant) meet the SIEF funding guidelines.

Priority Areas

The overarching strategic objective of SIEF - to invest in scientific research that addresses issues of national priority for Australia – is an outcome-directed objective. SIEF investment in Research Projects is, and should continue to be, focussed on the challenges that can be solved by scientific research. Hence the outcome-directed classifications of Socio-Economic Objective (SEOs) provide valuable insight into how the Fund is investing in its overarching Strategic Objective. The aim is that Research Projects funded by SIEF address a broad spread of national challenges for Australia, and therefore, for Round 4 Research Projects, specific outcome areas have been identified. Hence, for SIEF Research Projects - Round 4, the Trustee intends to have a strong preference for approving Research Projects that fall under the following Priority Areas:

  • Plant and Animal Production and Primary Products;
  • Mineral Resources;
  • Energy;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Construction;
  • Transport; and
  • Information and Communication Services.

Further information regarding the Priority Areas listed above and their definitions can be found in the Guidelines to the EoI form.

Special Purpose Area preference

The SIEF Special Purpose Areas (SPAs) relevant to SIEF Research Projects are Emerging Science, Strategic Science and Supporting Science. These SPAs represent different stages of development/maturity of the science being undertaken. Once again, the aim is that Research Projects funded by SIEF address a broad spread of development stages, and therefore a strong preference will be given to the SIEF SPA of Supporting Research (SUR) for Round 4 Research Projects, with some scope for support in the Emerging Research SPA should outstanding proposals be received.

Further information regarding the SPA and their definitions can be found in the Guidelines to the EoI form.

Other criteria

A number of additional pre-requisites and criteria have been set for Research Projects - Round 4; further information regarding these can be found in the Guidelines to the EoI form.

  • submission to be via central Research Office or equivalent;
  • pre-selection by organisation with appropriate endorsement;
  • limit number of submissions to 2 per individual researcher per round;
  • strong preference for industry/end-user involvement; and
  • emphasis applied to the Additionality test.

How to apply

All proposals must be submitted (via the Research Office or equivalent) using the EoI form, taking note of the Round 4 word limits, priority areas and nominating a preferred Special Purpose Area.  Proposals must be submitted by COB 23 July 2012.

Further information

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