Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Grant program guidelines
Grant program process flowchart
- Grant opportunity opens – published on GrantConnect including list of award categories and sponsors.
- Applicant prepares an application using guidelines and information pack.
- Applicant submits application in their preferred industry award category.
- Assessment panel for relevant industry award category use program guidelines and assessment criteria to assess applications.
- Assessment panels advise the Approver and recommend their preferred application.
- Approver decides whether application will be funded and advises applicant of the decision.
- Applicants successful in the industry award category are invited to apply for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award. Unsuccessful applicants are advised.
- Applicants prepare and submit their application for the Minister’s award.
- Assessment panel for the Minister’s Award uses program guidelines and assessment criteria to assess applications
- Assessment panel advises the Approver on merits of each application and recommends one preferred application for Minister’s Award.
- Approver decides whether application will be funded and advises applicant of the decision for the Minister’s award. Unsuccessful applicants are advised.
- The department and successful applicants for the industry and Minister’s Award categories (through their grantee) enter a grant agreement.
- Delivery of grant migrates to the Community Grants Hub which makes payment and monitors progress.
Applicant undertakes activities as agreed in the grant agreement.
- Department evaluates program outcomes using information provided by the grantee and others.
The Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the Science Awards program) is a competitive, annual grants program to support young people aged between 18 and 35 years (the applicant) to undertake a project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue, including biophysical and social sciences, that will contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of Australia's agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries. The Science Awards program is targeted at innovators, early career researchers, scientists and others to recognise big ideas from young rural innovators that will contribute to the success of Australia’s agriculture sector.
The Science Awards program aims to encourage science, innovation and technology in rural industries and help to advance the careers of young scientists, researchers and innovators through national recognition of their research ideas.
The program is administered by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
An applicant for the purposes of these guidelines is a person between 18 and 35 years, who is working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management). Applicants may include young producers (farmers, fishers, foresters etc), scientists and researchers, extension officers, students or industry advisers.
This round of the program will run from August 2018 to 30 June 2020. There is one funding round anticipated per year. There are two components to the program:
i. Industry Award
There is an award (grant) for each industry award category sponsored by a research and development corporation or industry association. Applicants may apply for an award in one or multiple categories. An applicant, if successful, can only receive one award. Each award (grant) will be for a maximum of $22,000 (GST inclusive).
Successful applicants are expected to complete their project within 12 months of entering the grant agreement.
Note that an industry award sponsor can support more than one application in the current round in their award category. The sponsor will provide the additional grant funding amount while the department (as the program organiser) and the Community Grants Hub will undertake the grant administration.
Categories and sponsors for the 2019 funding round may include
|New and emerging rural industries||AgriFutures Australia|
|Red meat processing||Australian Meat Processor Corporation|
|Pork||Australian Pork Ltd|
|Wool||Australian Wool Innovation|
|Cotton||Cotton Research and Development Corporation|
|Biosecurity||CSIRO Health and Biosecurity Flagship|
|Fisheries and aquaculture||Fisheries Research and Development Corporation|
|Grains||Grains Research and Development Corporation|
|Horticulture||Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd|
|Meat and livestock||Meat & Livestock Australia|
|Viticulture and oenology||Wine Australia|
Each Science Award category is supported exclusively by one sponsor. The categories may change from round to round depending on the support of the sponsor. Sponsors are confirmed annually and will be published on the department’s website and GrantConnectalong with the Grant Opportunity Guidelines, prior to each round being called.
ii. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources' Award
One individual industry category award recipient will also receive the Minister's Award, with additional funding to undertake an extended research project.
Only the Science Award recipients for each industry category award are eligible to apply for the Minister’s Award (provided they have accepted that industry award).
Applicants successful in the industry award category are invited to apply for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award. Unsuccessful applicants are advised.
Industry Award recipients will complete a separate application form and have additional time to complete it. Industry Award recipients are not obliged to apply for the Minister’s Award and this does not jeopardise their industry award.
The assessment panel for the Minister’s Award uses program guidelines and assessment criteria to assess applications then advises the Approver on merits of each application and recommends one preferred application for Minister’s Award.
Approver decides whether application will be funded and advises applicant of the decision for the Minister’s award. Unsuccessful applicants are advised.
The department and successful applicants for the industry and Minister’s Award categories (through their grantee) enter a grant agreement. The successful applicant will be expected to complete their extended research project within the same 12 month period.
Objectives of program
The Awards aim to
- assist primary producers to develop more competitive, technologically adaptive and self reliant industries
- advance the careers of successful applicants through national recognition and funding of their research ideas
- encourage participation and uptake of science, innovation and technology in rural industries
- attract innovative research proposals that will lead to longer term innovation in the sector
- improve the connection between research and on-farm application with practical benefit.
The Science Awards program is a public and active reflection of the commitment by government and industry to improve the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of portfolio industries and in fostering innovation.
Benefits to industry from these innovative research projects include improvements to productivity, sustainability and adaptability through the provision of science and innovation in research, development and extension.
Benefits for early career researchers can include financial support, skills development opportunities, opportunity to build strong networks across their industry, national and international exposure for their work including conference participation, publishing opportunities and career development.
Monitoring and evaluation for this program will be undertaken during the program and consider of the objectives, the number of applications received for each round, the number of sponsors secured for each round, the timeliness of milestone reporting, the networking opportunities between applicants and sponsors, and budget expenditure.
A review will be undertaken at the end of each grant round in order to determine whether existing grants administration processes, practices and requirements remain applicable.
How the grant program will operate
The Science Awards program is a competitive merit based process. There are two components of the Awards:
- Industry Awards and
- Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award.
A successful applicant's research project will be funded to a maximum of $22,000 (GST inclusive). The research project is expected to commence and conclude within twelve (12) months of the execution of the grant agreement. Each applicant should be supported by their host organisation (their employer) as the host organisation will be the legal entity and will enter a grant agreement on behalf of the applicant. Applicants should be aware that if successful, the department will enter into a grant agreement with the grantee, on behalf of the applicant. A copy of the grant agreement can be found at www.grants.gov.au.
At the start of each round, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources will be invited to launch the Science Awards. The department will then publish the guidelines and supplementary information on the GrantConnect website. The department may promote each round through advertising, social media and email newsletters. Applicants will be directed to the GrantConnect website for the application form, frequently asked questions and instructions.
Once the round closes, the department will review the submitted applications against the eligibility criteria and then distribute eligible applications to the relevant sponsor-convened assessment panels for the industry category awards.
The sponsors each convene an assessment panel to undertake the assessment process. The individual assessment panels will undertake a merit assessment of applications for their category award then provide recommendations to the department. The department will incorporate those recommendations into an Assessment Report provided to the Approver - the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Chief Scientist.
The department will notify successful applicants by phone call and confirmation letter prior to their details being published on the GrantConnect website. Applicants will be conditionally offered a grant (conditional on entering a grant agreement between the department and the grantee). If applicants accept the conditional offer, the department will progress negotiations with the applicant’s employer. On execution of the grant agreement, the successful applicant will be recognised as the relevant Industry Award winners and project funding will be provided.
These applicants will be invited to apply for the Minister’s Award once they are offered and accept their Industry Award. An application is optional and does not affect the status of the individual Industry Award. The Minister’s Award provides additional funding to extend the Industry Award project. Only recipients of the industry category awards are eligible for the Minister’s Award.
Applications will be assessed by a panel led by the department’s Chief Scientist. The panel will comprise members recruited internal and external to the department and includes the Chief Scientist. The applications will be assessed against the same assessment criteria as the industry category awards and using the same scoring. The panel will provide an Assessment Report that includes its recommendations to the Minister. The Minister or his delegate approves the Minister’s Award. The successful applicant or their host organisation will enter a grant agreement.
Unsuccessful applicants will be advised of their application outcome and offered the opportunity for feedback once the assessment process has been finalised.
The department and the Community Grants Hub* will manage the grant.
Applicants who are successful in one round are eligible to apply for future rounds with new projects. Applicants who are unsuccessful in a round are encouraged to apply in future rounds.
There is no requirement for matched or co-funding. The sponsor’s assessment panel reserves the right to support more than one application if merited. In this situation, the sponsor provides the funding for the additional grant. If no applications are received for a category or are assessed as unsuitable for funding (for example, of poor quality), the sponsor’s assessment panel reserves the right not to select a recipient or recommend any grant funding.
* What is the Community Grants Hub? As at 1 July 2016, the design, selection and establishment of community grants across a number of Australian Government client agencies started centralising administration of their grants through the Community Grants Hub (the Hub). The Community Grants Hub is one of two Hubs being implemented to standardise how grants are designed, selected, established and managed across the Australian Government. The Community Grants Hub, implemented by the Department of Social Services (DSS) will deliver grant administration services to Australian Government client agencies and organisations who primarily deliver grant programs to individuals and the community sector. DSS has responsibility for the Hub and coordinates and supports client agencies by administering community grants to support their policy outcomes. For more information visit Community Grants Hub.
Key program dates
|Industry award category applications open (refer to GrantConnect website)||third quarter annually|
|Industry award category applications close||fourth quarter annually|
|Initial assessment by department for Industry Award to determine eligibility.||fourth quarter annually|
|Applications distributed to relevant sponsor assessment panels.||fourth quarter annually|
|Assessment by panel for the relevant industry award.||fourth quarter annually|
|Sponsors provide advice to the department for recommendation to the Approver.||fourth quarter annually|
|Award recipients approved.||fourth quarter annually|
|Successful industry category award applicants advised of the outcome and invited to apply for the Minister’s Award. |
Unsuccessful industry category award applicants advised of the outcome.
|fourth quarter annually|
|Minister’s Award applications close.||fourth quarter annually|
|Minister’s Award applications assessed by Department of Agriculture and Water Resources assessment panel.||first quarter annually|
|Recommendations made to the Minister for approval.||first quarter annually|
|Minister’s Award approved and recipient notified.||first quarter annually|
|Award applicants advised of the decision – Minister’s Awards.||first quarter annually|
|All award recipients attend ABARES annual Outlook conference to be presented with their awards. Their details published online.||first quarter annually|
|Grant agreement between the grantee and the department executed.|
Grants agreements move to the Community Grants Hub.
|second quarter annually|
|Decision next round – refer to website www.grants.gov.au.||third quarter annually|
Who is eligible to apply for funding
Applications are open to young people between 18 and 35 years, who are working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management) in Australia. Applicants may include young producers (farmers, fishers, foresters etc), scientists and researchers, extension officers, students or industry advisers.
To be eligible, applicants must meet all the requirements below:
- be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) by the closing date for each round.
- be Australian citizens or permanent residents (proof is to be provided) by the closing date for each round.
- be working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management) in Australia. Proof such as a letter of employment, scholarship or current pay slip may be requested by the organiser if this information is not immediately discernible.
An applicant is ineligible if they are:
- employed by a sponsoring organisation in the award category they are applying for.
- have an immediate family member (a sibling or parent) who is employed by a sponsoring organisation in their selected award category.
- employed by a Non Corporate Commonwealth entity.
Note: Employees of entities that are classified as Corporate Commonwealth entities are eligible for the Awards, while employees of entities classified as Non Corporate Commonwealth entities are ineligible for the Awards.
Note: Corporate Commonwealth entities are legally separate from the Commonwealth, whereas non-Corporate Commonwealth entities are part of the Commonwealth (see PGPA Act, Section 11).
For clarification on the PGPA Act and the relevant entities, visit the Department of Finance’s website.
New Zealand citizens currently permanently residing in Australia prior to 26 February 2001 and have been living in Australia permanently since then, are eligible to apply. New Zealand citizens who arrived on or after 26 February 2001 are not eligible unless they hold an Australian permanent resident visa. New Zealand citizens are generally granted a Special Category Visa (subclass 444) on arrival in Australia. This visa allows you to remain indefinitely and live, work and study in Australia. However, it is a temporary visa and does not afford you permanent residency status. Under the bilateral social security arrangement between Australia and New Zealand on 26 February 2001, the Australian Government announced that New Zealand citizens who arrive in Australia on or after 26 February 2001 must apply for, and be granted, Australian permanent residency. For more information please visit Fact sheet - New Zealanders in Australia.
The age range of 18–35 years for the Awards is considered to have an exemption under the Age Discrimination Act 2004.
What qualifies for funding
In the Science Awards program, a project is defined as a specific body of work which demonstrates innovation in scientific or technological approach or process and:
- is related to a significant, long standing or emerging issue in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management) and
- demonstrates dedication to the future of rural and regional industries with a commitment to promoting science and innovation as an integral part of that future.
Project activities may include specific research activities, further study, industry visits, presentations at conferences or workshops, attending such events, publishing in journals etc. Further information about the projects that succeeded in the previous round and the scope of activities can be found on the Science Awards program website.
The project funding amount is to a maximum of $22,000 (GST inclusive). While there is no minimum amount, applicants are reminded that their project should demonstrate value for money.
There is no requirement for co–contribution from an applicant, award sponsor or host organisation. Funding is provided only for new work projects and does not include retrospective funding. Funding, once approved, cannot be increased for unbudgeted and/or unanticipated costs.
Examples of ineligible projects / activities that will not be funded include:
- projects that are undertaken as part of any TAFE or undergraduate tertiary course of study, pre–existing PhD research projects which are funded by an industry/university scholarship where the applicant wishes to use the Science Award project funding for this purpose (projects that complement or contribute to a postgraduate course of study may be eligible provided that they are not excluded under (ii) and (iii) below).
- projects that are funded by other Commonwealth or state government programs.
- projects that include activities that have commenced or completed before the funding agreement is executed.
- project funding is not available to support salary costs, stipends, living allowances or other similar expenses.
- project funding is not available to support any corporate or administration costs of the grantee including real estate purchase, rental or tenancy.
How to apply
Applicants must adhere to the application process:
- Read these Guidelines, the application form and other briefing material on the Science Awards and GrantConnect websites.
- Correctly complete and lodge the application form, in ether Word or pdf format, for the current round, following the instructions in the application form, by the closing date and time.
All applications must:
- Use the application form relevant to the current round
- Be lodged by 5.00pm AEDT on the date of closing.
Applications that do not meet the application process or the deadline may not be accepted.
The department may accept late applications under extenuating circumstances provided an alternative timeframe has been agreed to prior to the closing date. Any requests for an extension of time to lodge an application must be made in writing to the program coordinator for a decision via email Science Awards prior to the closing date.
Applicants may submit more than one application in the same round in more than one Award category. Each application must be submitted separately and be specific to each category.
An applicant will only receive one industry category Award and associated grant funding. Should two Award sponsors select the same applicant, the department will liaise with each sponsor to determine the primary recipient and the strength of the next highest ranked application.
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest arises where a person makes a decision or exercises a power in a way that may be, or may be perceived to be, influenced by either material personal interest (financial or non-financial) or material personal associations.
Applicants are required to advise whether any actual or potential or perceived conflicts of interest exist in relation to their application.
Pre-existing, actual or potential conflicts of interest include any relationship, either personal, financial or professional; with any sponsor of the award(s) for which the applicant is applying such that the sponsor, the applicant or a member of the applicant's direct family could benefit personally in some way from the outcome of the Awards. All parties involved in this program, for example departmental staff and assessment panel members, will also disclose a conflict of interest if it arises.
If a conflict of interests arises, or appears likely to arise, the applicant must:
- make full disclosure of all relevant information relating to the conflict in their application; or
- bring it to the attention of the department’s program area in writing if the conflict arises after the application has been submitted; and
- outline the steps the applicant intends to take to resolve the conflict.
The department reserves the right to reject an application if not satisfied that there are arrangements to appropriately address or manage a perceived or actual conflict of interest.
A register of notified conflicts of interest will be maintained by the department throughout the application process. The register will include applicant’s conflict of interest as well as those of the assessment panel and Commonwealth officers. All persons involved in the assessment of applications are required to:
- sign and keep up to date conflict of interest declarations, which will ensure that the appropriate identification, and management of any conflicts of interest and
- comply with the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.
False and misleading information
Applicants should be aware that the intentional giving of false or misleading information is an offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
All applicants must identify any information in their applications or in any documentation that they consider should be treated as confidential and provide reasons for the request. The department reserves the right to accept or refuse a request to treat information as confidential.
Confidential information may be released as required by law or Parliamentary privilege.
Freedom of Information
All documents in the possession of the department, including those in relation to the Science Awards program, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).
The FOI Act creates a general right of access to documents in the possession of the department. Unless a document falls under an exemption provision, it will be made available to the public if requested under the FOI Act.
For more information about the FOI process, or to make a FOI request, please review the information on the department's website.
Privacy: confidentiality and protection of personal information
We treat your personal information according to the 13 Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act 1988. This includes letting you know:
- what personal information we collect
- why we collect your personal information
- who we give your personal information to
You are required, as part of your application, to declare your ability to comply with the Privacy Act 1988, including the Australian Privacy Principles and impose the same privacy obligations on any subcontractors you engage to assist with the activity. You must ask for their consent in writing before disclosing confidential information.
Your personal information can only be disclosed to someone else if you are given reasonable notice of the disclosure; where disclosure is authorised or required by law or is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law; if it will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person’s life or health; or if you have consented to the disclosure.
The Australian Government may also use and disclose information about grant applicants and grant recipients under this grant opportunity in any other Australian Government business or function. This includes giving information to the Australian Taxation Office for compliance purposes.
We may reveal confidential information to:
- the committee and other Commonwealth employees and contractors to help us manage the program effectively
- employees and contractors of our department so we can research, assess, monitor and analyse our programs and activities
- employees and contractors of other Commonwealth agencies for any purposes, including government administration, research or service delivery
- other Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government agencies in program reports and consultations
- the Auditor-General, Ombudsman or Privacy Commissioner
- the responsible Minister or Parliamentary Secretary
- a House or a Committee of the Australian Parliament.
We may share the information you give us with other Commonwealth agencies for any purposes including government administration, research or service delivery and according to Australian laws, including the:
- Public Service Act 1999
- Public Service Regulations 1999
- Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act
- Privacy Act 1988
- Crimes Act 1914
- Criminal Code Act 1995
If the relevant personal information requested is not provided, the department will be unable to assess or progress an application for this program. Specifically, an applicant may be contacted by the department to discuss and progress an application for the Science Awards round. If an applicant is successful, their project details, biography and photographs will be used for promotional purposes related to the Awards, including media releases and other promotional material, inclusion on the ABARES and sponsors’ websites and through social media.
An applicant should also be aware that if successful, Commonwealth policy requires the department to publish information on GrantConnect about the grant, including, but not limited to:
- Name of the recipient of the grant
- Purpose of the grant funding
- Amount of funding received
- Term of the grant and
For reference, current grant reporting requirements can be viewed at the Department of Finance website.
To contact the department about personal information or to make a complaint:
Telephone: Switchboard +61 2 6272 3933
Privacy Contact Officer,
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources,
GPO Box 858,
Canberra ACT 2601.
For further information regarding the use of personal information as part of the program, contact Science Awards.
The department will not accept responsibility for any misunderstanding arising from the failure by an applicant to comply with these guidelines, or arising from any discrepancies, ambiguities, inconsistencies or errors in an application.
If an applicant discovers any material discrepancy, ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in their application, they must immediately bring it to the attention of the department by emailing the program coordinator at Science Awards. The department may request clarification from an applicant and allow an applicant to remedy any discrepancy, ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in an application. The department may consider information submitted by an applicant after the closing date for the purpose of resolving any material discrepancy, ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in an application provided that no new information has been added, which has not been referred to in the original application. The department’s decision will be final and will be made at its absolute discretion.
Applicants can withdraw their application at any stage of the process. This request is to be made by the applicant only and via email to Science Awards
How applications are assessed
The department will carry out an initial assessment of applications to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria.
All eligible applications are distributed to the relevant sponsor panel for assessment according to the Industry Award category/ies nominated by the applicant.
Each sponsor convenes an Industry Award assessment panel to assess the applications in their category. Each assessment panel is composed of representatives who demonstrate skills and experience in their industry, technical knowledge, awareness of current and emerging industry issues and the subject matter. Membership of the assessment panel is unique to each sponsor organisation and may vary year to year. Each assessment panel assesses applications against the same assessment criteria.
The assessment panel may be assisted by technical, financial, legal and other experts as required. The experts are not members of the panel, but are, if requested by the assessment panel, to analyse applications and prepare factual reports against one or more of the assessment criteria for the panel’s consideration.
All eligible applications will be assessed against the following criteria for all industry award categories they have nominated. All criteria are weighted equally.
Criterion 1 - Innovative or emerging scientific issue in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management)
- Demonstrated need for the research.
- Scientific focus or creative angle.
- Originality of data.
Criterion 2 - Demonstration of the dedication to the future of rural and regional industries with a commitment to promoting science and innovation as an integral part of that future
- Dedication of the applicant and research to advancing and promoting rural and regional industries.
- Extension and engagement strategy.
- Applicant's related industry experience.
Criterion 3 - Potential of the project to provide long–term benefits to the industry
- Potential financial benefits of the research.
- Sustainability of the project.
- Industry uptake through information dissemination and communication.
Criterion 4 - Potential benefits to the applicant
- Opportunities for career development.
- Networking opportunities.
Criterion 5 - Value for money
- Appropriateness of activities.
Each panel member will assess each eligible application on its own merit against the Assessment Criteria to achieve a preliminary score. Each criterion is scored out of ten points. The panel will then convene and assess each eligible application against all other eligible applications received for that industry category award using the assessment criteria. A final score will be agreed by the panel and applications ranked in merit order based on final scores.
An application that meets the assessment criteria to a high level is more likely to be funded. The nominated applicant and project will be recommended to the department’s decision maker by each panel, for approval. The decision maker is the department’s Chief Scientist.
Should two or more Industry Award sponsors select the same applicant, the department will liaise with each sponsor to determine which Industry Award should be allocated to that applicant, by considering the strength of the next highest ranked application in each of the affected categories and the best outcome for the applicant and the sponsors.
Department officers and panel members will be required to protect the confidentiality of the assessment process and take steps to ensure that any actual or perceived conflict of interest is declared and addressed in a way that does not adversely affect the impartial selection of the strongest applications against the assessment criteria.
For reference managing a Conflict of Interest see section 9. For reference to confidentiality see section 11.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resource' Award
The successful recipients of each industry category award will then be invited to apply for the Minister's Award (once they have accepted the industry category award). This award provides additional project funding for an extended research project. A separate application form will be provided to applicants, with additional time to complete it. An applicant can opt not to submit an application for the Minister's Award and their decision does not affect their industry award.
The project submitted for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award is to be undertaken concurrently with the industry award.
The department’s Chief Scientist will convene a two to three member assessment panel. The panel will be composed of the Chief Scientist and experienced individuals from industry and the department who demonstrate strong industry, technical and analytical skills. The membership of this panel will be distinct from the membership of the industry category awards assessment panels and will vary annually. Each panel member will review and assess all applications using the same assessment criteria as the Industry Award. The panel will convene to assess and make a recommendation for approval to the Minister.
Applications will be scored and ranked against all other eligible applications received.
For the industry awards and the Minister’s Award, the assessment criteria will be scored as follows. A total score of four or less in any criterion will be considered as unsuitable for funding and not ranked:
|Rating||Description||Level of risk||Score|
|Excellent||Exceeds requirements in all ways.||Very little or no risk||9–10|
|Good||Meets requirements in all ways, exceeds them in some.||Little risk involved||7–8|
|Satisfactory||Meets requirements and is workable.||Acceptable risk||5–6|
|Marginal||Nearly meets requirements, workable but may be deficient or limited in some areas||Higher than acceptable element of risk.||3–4|
|Poor||Applicant has either stated or demonstrated non-compliance, poorly addressed , criteria or there is insufficient information to assess.||Unacceptable risk||0–2|
Notification of funding decisions
Successful applicants will receive a conditional letter of offer outlining the grant amount to be allocated. The letter of offer does not constitute a grant agreement and successful applicants must not begin a project until a grant agreement has been negotiated and executed between the department and the grantee. The grant agreement will be between the department and the applicant’s employer (referred to as the grantee).
The department reserves the right to negotiate with applicants and grantees on any aspect of the grant prior to the execution of the grant agreement, including supporting fewer projects/activities, offering less funding than the amount for which applicants applied, or seeking further outcomes.
An applicant will not be considered the Industry Award recipient or the Minister’s Award recipient until a grant agreement has been executed with the grantee. The grant agreement for the recipient who receives the industry award and the Minister’s Award will include both project details.
Where an application is unsuccessful, an applicant will be notified in writing by the department. Applications will not be reviewed. Advice on lodging a complaint can be found in section 21. Feedback on unsuccessful applications will be available on request by contacting the program coordinator via email Science Awards
and within two weeks after being advised in writing.
Successful recipients, or their grantee, will be required to sign a grant agreement with the Commonwealth based on the template of the Whole of Government Low Risk Grant Agreement, which can be found at www.finance.gov.au/resource-management/grants/grant-agreement-template/.
The draft grant agreement contains the terms and conditions of the grant. Recipients and grantees should read the draft grant agreement before submitting their application and should seek independent legal advice before entering into a grant agreement. No legally binding relationship exists until a grant agreement is executed by both parties.
Through their grantees, successful recipients will be required to submit regular progress reports under the milestones in the grant agreement. These reports will cover the activities, outputs and outcomes along with other evidence required to verify results.
If a grantee, through the actions of a successful recipient, fails to comply with any requirements in the grant agreement, the grantee may be required to repay some or all of the grant money received.
A circumstance may arise where a project cannot commence, continue, finish or is delayed (for example, personal circumstances, seasonal delays for crop planting, reduced rainfall or lack of stock).The recipient or their grantee must contact the Community Grants Hub as soon as possible to advise of the situation, reasons for delay and propose a revised project timeline and activities. This request will be reviewed by the department in conjunction with the Award sponsor. The recipient will be advised of the decision. In most cases and with valid reasons and a revised progress plan, approval will be granted. Should delays be significant, the department will consult with the Award sponsor and the grantee, and reserves the right to recover the remaining project funds.
Management of grant agreements and evaluation
The department will execute the grant agreement. The Community Grants Hub will administer the grant. Delegates will make decisions about variations during the life of the agreement. Department officers may contact grantees and recipients during and/or after the grant period.
Complaints handling process
There is no appeal mechanism for unsuccessful applicants and applications will not be reviewed. If an applicant is dissatisfied with the way an application has been handled by the department, they can contact the program coordinator via email to Science Awards and lodge a complaint.
The complaint will then be reviewed by one or more independent areas of the department. If no resolution is achieved, they can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will usually not investigate a complaint unless the matter has first been raised with the department and the department has been provided with a reasonable opportunity to respond.
Receipt of funding from this program may result in the applicant or grantee being ineligible for support from other government programs. Applicants and grantees are advised that funding may have taxation implications and that they should seek independent taxation and financial advice from a suitably qualified professional before submitting their application. GST is payable on grants and the grant agreement will include GST where applicable. Applicants and grantees should seek advice on the legal implications of their acceptance of a grant.