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Research Awards Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This document provides guidance and further explanation in relation to the Research Awards:

  1. Excellence in Research (Researcher of the Year) - Vice-Chancellor and President Award
  2. Excellence as an Early Career Researcher - Vice-Chancellor and President Award
  3. Research Excellence through Partnership - Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International Award
  4. Excellence in a Research Interdisciplinary Team - Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International Award
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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) For the purposes of this document:

  1. The Australian Research Council defines research impact as the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia.
  2. For the University Impact includes, but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:
    1. the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding
    2. an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals
    3. any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.
    4. the reduction or prevention of negative effects including the harm, risk or cost arising from negative effects.
  3. Early Career Researchers are researchers who are within five years of the start of their research careers when they submit their applications. This normally means that you have been awarded a PhD or equivalent research doctorate within five years; however, an extension to this limit may be approved owing to significant career interruptions.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) Refer to the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Policy and the Research Awards Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(4) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Nominee

(5) The nominee's responsibilities are to:

  1. complete the nomination form;
  2. ensure in advance that the relevant Dean/Director, Research Institute/unit head is willing and able to support the nomination, and coordinate the process to obtain the signed endorsement;
  3. gather and assemble all parts of the submission; and
  4. copy and send the submission to the contact officer by the stated deadline.

Award Panels

(6) The Award Panel's responsibilities are to:

  1. assess nominations and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and President or Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International or nominee; and
  2. recommend a recipient for each of the following awards
    1. Excellence in Research (Researcher of the Year) - Vice-Chancellor and President Award
    2. Excellence as an Early Career Researcher - Vice-Chancellor and President Award
    3. Research Excellence through Partnership - Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International Award
    4. Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Team - Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International Award

(7) The relevant Dean/Director, Research Institute/unit head is responsible for:

  1. endorsing nominations; and
  2. approving expenditure against Award budgets ensuring compliance with relevant University policies/procedures.

(8) The Vice-Chancellor and President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International or nominee will review the recommendations provided by the Awards Panel, including the candidates recommended for the Awards. The final decisions rest with the Vice-Chancellor and President or nominee.

Part B - Preparation of the Submission

(9) Nominees are encouraged to begin preparing the submission as early as possible, and to seek feedback from colleagues and/or staff in support units of the University.

(10) Nominees may apply for only one of the Research Awards in any year.

Part C - Description of Each Award Category

Excellence in Research Award (Researcher of the Year)

(11) This Award is for research undertaken by an academic staff member or team that is considered outstanding research and acknowledges the very best research achievement at the University with demonstrable impact outcomes which extend beyond the institution.

Selection Criteria

(12) Nominees for Excellence in Research Award must address the following criteria for assessment. Nominations will be assessed on evidence provided in relation to the criteria:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University Research Plan 2015-2017 and how it aligns with at least one of the University Research themes:
    1. Environmental Sustainability: Climate, Agriculture and Resources
    2. Education: Access, Equity, Pathways and Aspirational Change
    3. Health and Well Being: Translation, Service and Innovation
    4. Urban Living and Society: People, Culture, Economy, and Built Environment
  2. Research impact - Describe the impact and benefits of:
    1. the research and
    2. evidence of local, national and/or international recognition.
  3. Research rigour and quality - Provide evidence of the sustained quality of the research and academic performance of the individual or team involved.

Excellence as an Early Career Researcher Award

(13) This Award supports the outstanding research undertaken by an early career researcher.

Selection Criteria

(14) Nominees for Excellence as an Early Career Researcher Award must address the following criteria for assessment. Nominations will be assessed on evidence provided in relation to the criteria:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University Research Plan 2015-2017 and how it aligns with at least one of the University Research themes:
    1. Environmental Sustainability: Climate, Agriculture and Resources
    2. Education: Access, Equity, Pathways and Aspirational Change
    3. Health and Well Being: Translation, Service and Innovation
    4. Urban Living and Society: People, Culture, Economy, and Built Environment
  2. Research excellence - Provide evidence of the quality of the research, i.e. evidence that the research has been peer-reviewed, cited etc.
  3. Network building - Demonstrate evidence of building peer and external collaboration networks, as well as evidence of community outreach as it relates to your research discipline.
  4. Potential impacts - Outline the impact, or potential impact, and benefits of the research

Research Excellence through Partnership Award

(15) This Award recognises the importance University research staff play in the process of initiating, developing, enhancing and managing the University's research partnerships and the multiple and significant benefits that these relationships bring to the University as a whole. An annual award will be presented to the nominee and a certificate acknowledging the partner.

Selection Criteria

(16) Nominees for Research Excellence through Partnership Award must address the following criteria for assessment. Nominations will be assessed on evidence provided in relation to the criteria.

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University Research Plan 2015-2017 and how it aligns with at least one of the University Research themes:
    1. Environmental Sustainability: Climate, Agriculture and Resources
    2. Education: Access, Equity, Pathways and Aspirational Change
    3. Health and Well Being: Translation, Service and Innovation
    4. Urban Living and Society: People, Culture, Economy, and Built Environment
  2. Collaboration - Demonstrate the evidence of teamwork.
  3. Research impact - Provide evidence of the outcomes of the research and the benefits for the partner organisation, and any internal benefits i.e. sponsorship of students, or further collaborative research. The application should include a supporting document, not exceeding two pages, from the external partner describing the outcomes and benefits of the partnership.

Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Team Award

(17) This Award supports the research undertaken by a team of academic staff from two or more academic units in unrelated disciplines at the University who have developed a research partnership and delivered outcomes that supports the aims of University's research plan.

Selection Criteria

(18) Nominees for Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Team Award must address the following criteria for assessment. Nominations will be assessed on evidence provided in relation to the criteria.

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University Research Plan 2015-2017 and how it aligns with at least one of the University Research themes:
    1. Environmental Sustainability: Climate, Agriculture and Resources
    2. Education: Access, Equity, Pathways and Aspirational Change
    3. Health and Well Being: Translation, Service and Innovation
    4. Urban Living and Society: People, Culture, Economy, and Built Environment
  2. Interdisciplinary - Demonstrate how the research outcomes were realised as a result of the integration of two or more unrelated disciplines.
  3. Collaboration - Demonstrate the evidence of teamwork across the University.
  4. Research impact - Provide evidence of the outcomes of the research and the benefits or potential benefits of the collaboration to regional, national or international communities (economic, environmental or social), and any internal benefits i.e. sponsorship of students, or further collaborative research.

Part D - Assessment of Applications

(19) In assessing nominations against the relevant criteria, the Awards Panel will take into account the extent to which nominees show evidence that their contribution has:

  1. influenced research and the research culture of the University;
  2. been sustained over a period of one to three years;
  3. gained recognition from fellow staff, the institution, Industry, government and/or the broader community; and
  4. supported the intent of the University Research Plan.

Part E - Supporting Evidence

(20) While assessment of a nomination for Excellence in Research Awards is based primarily on the written statement, nominees can choose to submit two of the following supporting materials:

  1. a three minute video (which could include footage of the nominee talking about their research program or demonstrating the impact and outcomes of their research)
  2. website (URL)
  3. five pages of printed research material in PDF format.

(21) In their written submission, applicants must grant permission for the panel to review their research outputs as recorded in the Research Portal.

Part F - Expenditure and Acquittal

(22) Examples of reasonable expenditure of the award include:

  1. Further professional development of individuals, for example:
    1. costs (for example travel, accommodation, registration fees) associated with attendance at a conference or other professional gathering;
    2. costs of attendance at training and development programs (for example residential organisational development and leadership programs);
    3. costs of attendance at external workshops or seminars not usually conducted by units within the University and that are relevant to the needs of the University.
    4. Contribution towards the purchase of equipment, including texts and electronic equipment useful to the completion of their research studies.
    5. Costs associated with visits to industrial, professional or educational/research establishments.
  2. Further development of project initiatives acknowledged by the Award, for example:
    1. minor equipment or other materials related to project initiative(s);
    2. funds towards the employment of casual staff to undertake specific project development work.
  3. Donation to registered charity.
  4. Contribution to superannuation.
Note: Equipment or other materials purchased from the Award remain the property of the University.

(23) Award funds are normally expected to be spent within one calendar year from receipt of funds. Where there is reasonable justification, recipients may formally request in writing for an extension for a specified period in which funds may be spent.

(24) Submissions for the Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards must be lodged with the Senior Project and Strategy Officer Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, REDI, Building AD, Werrington North Campus, by the closing date.

Part G - Enquiries and Submission of Applications

(25) Submissions for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International Awards must be lodged with Executive Assistant, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, REDI, Building AD, Werrington North Campus, by the closing date.

(26) A hard-copy of the original plus seven hard-copies of the submission must be lodged. In order to meet the closing date deadline, applicants may lodge submissions electronically via email, and subsequently forward the original and copies in hard copy versions including signatures.