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Administration of Research Funding - Applications, Grants and Contract Research Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) 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:

  1. Research funding applications and funded grants from governments, other external parties, or from funding internal to the University;
  2. Research funding from Contract Research with government or other external parties.

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

(3) Donations and research philanthropy must be administered in accordance with the Philanthropy and Fundraising Policy.

(4) This Policy applies to applications, funded research grants and contract research projects where the University is a participant involving:

  1. University investigators, and/or
  2. Non-UQ investigators who have nominated the University as their new employer as part of a funding application or contract research proposal.
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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements


(5) UQ is committed to complying with the Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector and applicable laws including the Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020 under which research activities may be subject to review for consistency with Australia’s foreign policy.

(6) 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.

(7) All funding for Standard Consultancy and research purposes received by a UQ investigator must be contracted through a written agreement with UQ, even if the funds are not administered by UQ.

(8) 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.

(9) An agreement governing research activity must permit investigators to maintain academic integrity, and in particular, must preserve the right to pursue research impartially and without bias.

(10) An agreement governing research activity must permit investigators 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.

(11) The University will not authorise a funding application or enter into any research agreement where an investigator(s) has an unmanaged conflict of interest.

Key Controls

(12) The UQ Funding Application Certification must be completed and endorsed by the relevant Head(s) of Organisational Unit(s) or delegate.

(13) Funding applications must be accompanied by a completed Costing and Pricing Tool wherever possible.

(14) External research funding applications, proposals and standard consultancies must be authorised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or delegate (Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Executive Director, Research Office or Associate Directors of the Research Office).

(15) Agreements governing research activity may only be entered into in accordance with the Schedule of Contract Delegations and Sub-delegations.

(16) 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.

(17) The subject of research and partner organisation must be within the remit of public good.

(18) Research funding is administered in accordance with the Contract Research and Grants Financial Management Procedure.

Research Equipment

(19) 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.

(20) 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.

(21) The use, transfer and disposal of research equipment must comply with the Assets Procedure.

First-named Investigator

(22) A first-named investigator must be a staff member, or have a formal academic association, such as a title holder agreement or similar, with The University of Queensland at award of the grant or contract.

(23) For funding applications in which the University is a partner, the first investigator who is a staff member or has an academic association with UQ will take on the role of the first-named investigator under this Policy.

(24) A first-named investigator cannot be an HDR candidate unless the HDR candidate also has a UQ academic appointment (excluding casual appointment), in which case the individual would be a first-named investigator in their capacity as a UQ academic appointment, rather than their capacity as an HDR candidate.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities 

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

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

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

Research Office

(27) Comprising the Research Grants Unit, Research Commercial Management Unit and the Consultancy and Research Expertise Unit, the Research Office is responsible for the:

  1. oversight to ensure that proposals comply with applicable University policies, procedures and funding organisation guidelines,
  2. approval for institutional submission of research funding opportunities for grants, tenders, contract research and research-oriented consultancies,
  3. negotiation and execution of research agreements, supporting due diligence and the appropriate costing and pricing of research projects,
  4. institutional research establishment practices, and
  5. receiving and actioning variations to funded research agreements. 

Head of Organisational Unit

(28) The Head of Organisational Unit(s) of the investigator and where the project is to be administered are responsible for endorsing research funding applications, using the UQ Funding Certification form, including, but not limited to certifying:

  1. 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,
  2. The investigator has the time and capacity to conduct the research, and
  3. That the research has been appropriately priced in line with the UQ Research and Consultancy Costing and Pricing Procedure.

(29) Where the Head of Organisational Unit is the first named investigator, the senior officer to whom they report is responsible for the endorsement.

Research Partnerships Managers

(30) Research Partnerships Managers are responsible for:

  1. providing researchers with advice on budgets for contract research using the UQ Costing and Pricing Tool and ensuring compliance with this Policy;
  2. discussing pricing with a potential industry partner and developing and negotiating the commercial terms of the agreements;
  3. reviewing contract research proposals and tenders for compliance with relevant funding rules;
  4. assessing partner and contract risk; and
  5. supporting compliance with applicable University policies and procedures.

Associate Directors, Enterprise Research Partnerships

(31) Associate Directors, Enterprise Research Partnerships are responsible for:

  1. negotiating partnership frameworks for university mission-driven research partnerships; and
  2. providing advisory services for high value research partnerships at the enterprise level


(32) Investigators are responsible for:

  1. making reasonable attempts to assess the partner risk associated with the project,
  2. meeting the obligations of the relevant research funding guidelines and the agreement, and
  3. meeting the requirements of the research agreement and conducting the research as specified, or as officially varied.

(33) The first-named or ‘lead’ has the overall responsibility for the leadership of the research project, including reporting requirements.

(34) All research administered by the University must be conducted in a manner consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Code), the Responsible Research Management Framework Policy and the Intellectual Property Policy.

(35) All investigators are required to disclose and manage their interests in accordance with funding agency policies and UQ policies, including the Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedure, Secondary Employment, Sensitive Research and Foreign Interference. This includes disclosure of interests through the appropriate University registers

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

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

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(37) Summary project-level data associated with this Policy 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.

(38) The Research Office provides reports to the University’s Research and Innovation Committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Board.

(39) 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.

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Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definition
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 via a non-competitive funding process.
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.
Investigators Any University staff, students, or Title Holders who conduct, or assists with the conduct of, research at, or on behalf of, the University.
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.
Staff Continuing, fixed-term and research (contingent funded) appointments contracted to UQ.
Student 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.