GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a statutory corporation established under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989. It is subject to accountability and reporting obligations set out in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. It is responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing research and development, and delivering improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.

The GRDC is focused on delivering value to Australian grain growers. To achieve this, the GRDC seeks to build research capacity through the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship.

Application

The GRDC invites applicants to submit a two-page Word document that addresses the eligibility and selection criteria. Successful applications will be subsequently invited to enter into direct negotiation with the GRDC.

Applications are to be emailed to tenders@grdc.com.au 3pm AEST Friday 23 November 2018.

GRDC reference No. GRDC00432-19

Document contact and enquires: Tegan Slade, GRDC Contract Administrator tenders@grdc.com.au

Deadline for submission of enquires: 5 pm AEST, Friday 16 November 2018

Key things to note

  • The application must come from the project leader of the aligned current and ongoing GRDC project
  • The institution must endorse the application
  • Applications aligned to GRDC multi-party agreements must have the support from all contributing institutions
  • The fellowship will be for 2 to 3 years
  • The GRDC anticipates funding up to 10 fellowships from this intake

Requirements

The fellowship will be offered based on a set of eligibility and selection criteria:

  • Eligibility criteria: the conditions applicants must fulfil to be eligible to apply
  • Selection criteria: the items against which applications will be evaluated. Each criterion is assigned numerical weighting which are totalled to rank the applications in each advertised investment area

Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposal aligned with, and adding value to, a current ongoing GRDC funded project
  • Proposal broadening the experience and skills of the fellow
  • Co-contribution from the research organisation

Selection Criteria

Criteria No.

Description

Weighting

1

A clear statement of how the proposed fellowship will build on the research of the linked project and deliver enhanced outcomes to Australian grain growers

30%

2

A clear plan to achieve the project outputs including details on:

  • Method to be used (including anticipated   statistical analysis capacity)
  • Staffing (including relevant skills, experience   and availability of key personnel and proposed subcontractors)
  • Project structure and management arrangements

30%

3

Budget (defining the funds sought in each year of the project and the potential investment from all parties)

20%

4

Freedom to operate in regard to the provision of the project outputs to GRDC or a third party if required.

10%

5

Detail of any Research Organisation intellectual property that is required to deliver the project outputs and any restrictions that may impact on the provision of project outputs to GRDC or a third party, if required.

5%

6

Detail of any third party intellectual property that is required to deliver the project outputs and any restrictions that may impact on the provision of project outputs to GRDC or a third party, if required.

5%

Priority for Post-doctoral Fellowships

Applications for Post-doctoral Fellowships will need to demonstrate that their project will add value to an existing GRDC project and has the support of the project leader.

Contracting

The GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship will be contracted on a Standard Research Agreement.

Questions and Answers

Q1. Is there a limit to time since PhD completion?

A1. No, there is no time limit. Your application will need to demonstrate a commitment to the grains in industry since completing PhD.

Q2. Regarding the GRDC Postdoctoral Research fellowship opportunity, just wondering if GRDC only support early career researcher (PhD awarded in the last 5 years). If no, Is there any standard salary level to refer when developing the EOI?

A2. There is no time limit since PhD completion. The GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship will consider level A or B Lecturer/Academic. A clear track record and future commitment to the Australian grains industry needs to be demonstrated since completing a PhD.

Q3. Will you consider an applicant prior to being awarded their doctorate? My PhD is on track for submission in early 2019, am I still eligible to apply?

A3. Applications from candidates who have not been awarded their PhD will need to include documentation from your supervisor(s) and the University stating the submission date and confirming that the submission will be on time.

These applications will be assessed on a competitive basis. However, it is important to note:

  • priority will be given to those applicants that have already been awarded their PhD
  • contracts will not be issued until the PhD is awarded.

Q4. Is it possible for two prospective candidates, from one institution, to develop proposals for the GRDC Postdoctoral Fellowship under one GRDC investment?

A4. Yes. Multiple applications can be submitted for the same GRDC investment.

Q5. If a GRDC Regional Panel member were to be a successful would they be required to resign their Panel position or could the COI be managed?

A5. If a GRDC Regional Panel member were to be successful, an updated declaration of interest would be sufficient to manage any conflict.

Q6. Can an individual not working in Australia apply for the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship?

A6. The GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship can be awarded to an international fellow. However, the application must come from the lead researcher of a current and on-going GRDC funded project.

Q7. Will the GRDC fund operating expenses for the Post-doctoral Fellowships provided the overall contribution is 50%?

A7. Please see Q&A.2 below in Frequently Asked Questions. The co-contribution can be cash or in-kind but needs to supply 50% of the cost of the proposal.

Q8. If the application is successful, when would the likely start date be?

A8.  The deadline for submission is 23 November 2018. Applicants will be informed by 21 December 2018. So it would be anticipated that a start date of March 2019. The actual start date will be determined by contractual arrangements between GRDC and the organisation.

Q9: Can the fellowship extend pass the completion of the aligned GRDC project?

A9: No, the Post-doctoral Fellowship cannot extend past the completion date of the aligned GRDC project (FAQ no. 6).

Q10: Is there only one funding round per year for the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship?

A10: There is only one open call for submissions to the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship per year.

Q12: When will the outcome of  applications to the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship be communicated?

A12: The GRDC aims to have letters, regarding the outcome of applications to the Post-doctoral Fellowship, sent by  14 December 2018.

Q13: Is a project within a GRDC Bilateral eligible for the Post-doctoral Fellowship?

A13: Aligning a Post-doctoral Fellowship to a project within a GRDC Bilateral would depend upon the Terms and Conditions of that Bilateral Agreement.

Q14: Aligning a fellowship to a project within a GRDC Bilateral, what Terms and Conditions (Q&A 13) make the proposed fellowship eligible?

A14: Please talk to the relevant Bilateral Manager. If the Bilateral already has capacity building funds then a proposed Post-doctoral Fellowship should be supported through the Bilateral rather than this process.

Q15: Can projects co-funded by the GRDC receive the Post-doctoral Fellowship funding or do they have to be fully GRDC funded?

A15: Yes, GRDC co-funded projects (that involve other RDCs) are eligible for consideration to the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship.

Q16: Can the proposed budget for the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship application include funds for operational or will GRDC fund salary only?

A16: The GRDC will consider applications that include a request for operational funds as these would be part of a project proposal. See Question & Answer 7, as well as Frequently Asked Question 2 for similar questions.

Q17: The co-contribution can be cash or in-kind but needs to supply 50% of the cost of the proposal. Is the co-contribution allowable from GRDC funds (from current projects) or is this separate leverage?

A17: The co-contribution for the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship must be independent of any GRDC investment source.

Q18: Please clarify if federally funded projects (e.g. those funded by DAWR: Rural R&D for Profit program) that are sub-contracted and co-funded by GRDC are eligible to apply for the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship?

A18: GRDC will consider Post-doctoral Fellowship applications linked to projects co-funded by the federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and/or other organisations (like the Rural R&D for Profit program) where the area of proposed work delivers clear outcomes for the Australian grains industry  (Selection Criteria 1).

Q19: Is it possible to have a dual-linked (linked to 2 GRDC projects) Post-doctoral Fellowship?

A19:  A GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship cannot be aligned to two or more projects. The aligned project must be a current and ongoing GRDC project.

Q20: Seek further clarification from point 2 of “Key Things to Note” which states that the institution must endorse the application. Does this mean endorsement from the institution making the sole co-contribution to the fellowship or the institution of the project leader, or both?

A20: It means the application must come from the project leader of the aligned current and ongoing GRDC project and the institution making the co-contribution must supply a letter endorsing the application.

Q21: Seek further clarification from point 3 of “Key Things to Note” which states that applications aligned to multi-party agreements must have support from all contributing institutions. Does this mean we have to provide letters of support from all institutions in the original GRDC funded project? That is even though the other institutions will not be co-contributors to this fellowship. If yes, will letters of support from the lead researchers in the other institutions suffice?

A21: Yes, it means that the application must include letters of support from all institutions contributing to the aligned GRDC project. Anyone who provides the endorsement must have the authority to do so on behalf of the organisation.

Q22: Can the overhead costs of the project be included in the budget? Would GRDC allow to charge overheads?

A22: Overhead or administrative costs are not to be included in the GRDC proposed funds, as per the Project Costs definition in the GRDC Standard Research Agreement (page 6). However, overhead costs will only be accepted as part of non-GRDC co-investment in the proposal (in-kind from the institution). Selection criteria 3 will assess the relative monetary value of the proposal to the grains industry.

Q23: Is there another application round for GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowships between now and November next year? Or is there just the one every year?

A23: The GRDC usually conducts one application round for the Post-doctoral Fellowship per year.

Q24: If a Post-doctorate project has close links to another GRDC funded project, can the time be counted, in the second project, to the in-kind contribution of the original Post-doctorate?

A24: Please refer to A19 above:  "A GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship cannot be aligned to two or more projects. The aligned project must be a current and ongoing GRDC project". The in-kind  contributions can only be the in-kind associated with the Post-doctorate project and not in-kind contributions with the aligned current investment.

Q25: The application must come from the project leader of the aligned current and ongoing GRDC project, i.e. Government Department, and the institution making the co-contribution must supply a letter endorsing the application, i.e. University.  Is it also ok for the University to be the employer (and cash contributor) rather than a Government Department?

A25: Yes.

Q26: Is the application for GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship to be submitted by the research organisation or the named Research Fellow ?

A26: Please read the “Key things to note” section on the GRDC Post-doctoral Fellowship Web Page. The application must come from the project leader of the aligned current and ongoing GRDC project.

Q27: Can the named Research Fellow apply for a second Post-doctoral Fellowship after the first one is complete and a new GRDC project is being conducted by the same research organisation?

A27: Yes.

Q28: Is there any age limits to funding a named Research fellow?

A28: No.

Q29: Can a Post-doctoral Fellowship applicant be part time (e.g. 0.5 FTE)?

A29: Yes, provided the length of the proposed project does not extend past the completion date of the linked project.

Q30: My appointment is currently co-funded by a GRDC Investment that will be completed in 8 months. I would like to apply for a three year Post-doctoral Fellow. Am I eligible to submit an applications as the Project Lead? If so, can my time in the Investment as supervisor be considered as cash/in-kind contribution?

A30: The application must come from the project leader of the aligned current and ongoing GRDC project. The time allocation of the lead researcher supervising the post-doctoral fellow can be considered as in-kind provided the GRDC does not pay for that time.

No you will not be eligible, the Post-doctoral Fellowship cannot extend past the completion date of the aligned GRDC project (FAQ No. 6).

Q31: Can a University be contracted as the administering institute or does this have to be the Project Leader’s organisation with the University a subcontractor?

A31: The Post-doctoral Fellowship is to be administered by the organisation that administers the aligned and ongoing GRDC investment.

Q32: We intend to include several of our close collaborators who are adjunct appointments to the University. Can we use their time as in-kind contributions?

A32: Yes, but the application must provide a clear demonstration that this in-kind is associated with the post-doctoral fellowship and that there is value to the fellowship and the Australian grain industry from all personnel whose time is being allocated as an in-kind contribution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does the Post-doctoral Fellow need to be named in the application, or can we recruit a candidate when the funds are granted?

A1. It is preferable that the Fellow be named. Where the application does not have an identified Fellow, the applicant will need to provide an indication of risk of not attracting a suitable candidate.

Q2. The eligibility criteria includes a requirement for “Co-contribution from the research organisation”. Would you please advise if that co-contribution can be either cash or in-kind?

A2. The co-contribution can be cash or in-kind but needs to supply 50% of the cost of the proposal.

Q3. I am not the project leader of our current project with GRDC but a member of the leading team, can I act as the leader of new proposal that we aim to submit for GRDC Post-Doctoral Fellowship?

A3. No.

Q4. Are candidates (who are neither Australian citizens nor permanent residents) with a Temporary Graduate visa eligible to apply?

A4. All applicants will be considered if they have the support of the lead researcher and organisation.

Q5. Does the GRDC require complete ownership of intellectual property related to the post-doctoral research?

A5. The fellowship will be contracted on a Standard Research Agreement. As such, the GRDC and the research organisation will share the ownership of the intellectual property.

Q6. Can the proposed fellowship extend beyond the end date of the related GRDC project?

A6. No, the Post-Doctoral Fellowship cannot extend past the GRDC project.