Funding Initiatives

Evolution & Ecology Research Centre Funding Initiative – 2017 round

Two E&ERC Funding Schemes are available for funding in 2017.  These schemes offer assistance to E&ERC members who plan to prepare a submission for a large competitive grant scheme (referred to as the “target scheme” in the below).  Grants of the order of $5-15K will be awarded for 2017 on a competitive basis.

New Opportunities Funding Scheme

Diversifying external funding sources is a priority of the Centre, so we encourage you to think about what other large competitive grant schemes might be interested in funding your research, apart from the schemes that have been the focus of your efforts previously.  The ARC Linkage Projects Scheme is one possible example, but there are many other opportunities in Australia and internationally.
The New Opportunities Funding Scheme is available to any E&ERC member who is preparing to apply as Chief Investigator for funding from a large competitive grants scheme from which they do not currently hold a grant.

New Collaborations Funding Scheme

Building stronger collaborative links between both E&ERC researchers and other UNSW researchers is a priority of the Centre, so we encourage you to think about potential opportunities for new collaborative projects with your colleagues in the E&ERC and in the wider sphere, such as BEES and other schools within UNSW, in areas that complement your research strengths.
The New Collaborations Funding Scheme is available to combinations of E&ERC members and other UNSW researchers who are planning to apply as Chief Investigators for funding from a large competitive grants scheme from which they do not jointly hold a grant.  (This eligibility criterion may be relaxed in the case of existing collaborators wishing to pursue an exciting new direction.)

Application instructions

The application requires not just a brief project description, but also details about the target scheme to which you ultimately intend to submit your project proposal, why such a target scheme is appropriate for your project, and your strategy for producing a final proposal.

Your application should be no more than two pages in length and should address the following points:

  1. E&ERC Funding Scheme you are applying to (New Opportunities, New Collaborations, or both)
  2. Project title.
  3. Chief Investigators (or equivalent title).
  4. Keywords (up to four).
  5. Project summary – aims, significance, and expected outcomes.
  6. Project approach – how you plan to address your aims.
  7. The target competitive large grant scheme (“target scheme”) to which this proposal will ultimately be submitted, and why.
  8. Your strategy in preparing your proposal to the target scheme and how your E&ERC seed funding will assist in this strategy.
  9. Submission date for first application to target scheme.
  10. Amount of funding requested from the E&ERC (a mini budget) and approximate amount that will be requested from the target scheme, over what time-frame.

Applications are currently invited and are due Friday 17 February 2017.  To submit an application, please e-mail a pdf version of a document addressing the above 10 points to Vera Banschikoff (  Please make sure you cc this e-mail to Shinichi Nakagawa ( and all other investigators involved in this project.

Selection Criteria

There are three key selection criteria.  These are listed below with their relative weightings in scoring applications.

Degree to which the scheme’s eligibility criteria are satisfied (40%)

Each scheme has two eligibility criteria as below:

New Opportunities Funding Scheme

New Collaborations Funding Scheme

Proposal involves at least one E&ERC academic staff member or research fellow as Chief Investigator (or equivalent).

Proposal involves two or more E&ERC or other UNSW academic staff members or research fellows, with a Centre member as the Chief Investigator (or equivalent).

No Centre member on the proposal currently has a grant from the target scheme to which the proposal will ultimately be submitted.

The Centre members and/or other UNSW academic staff members or research fellows on the proposal do not currently hold a joint grant from the target scheme to which the proposal will ultimately be submitted.

Note also that it is possible to simultaneously satisfy the eligibility criteria for both the New Opportunities and the New Collaboration Schemes, which would be viewed favourably.

2. Proposal’s likelihood of ultimate success (40%)

This will be measured not just from assessment of project quality, but also of how appropriate the choice of target scheme is, and of the strategy for preparing the project proposal for submission to the target scheme.  Note that if your target scheme requires an industry partner, securing a matching cash contribution from your industry partner at the seed funding stage would greatly increase the chances of ultimate success.

3. Strategic benefit to the Centre (20%)

The Centre’s aims and organizing principles as presented on the web site (

Successful applications

Successful applications will receive ~$5-15K to be spent within 12 months of receiving the grant.  Support in preparing the grant for ultimate submission to the target scheme will also be incorporated into this initiative, as successful applicants will be required to:

  •  Discuss their proposal with a mentor within the E&ERC.  The E&ERC Research Committee will assign such a mentor to successful applications, although you may wish to suggest a suitable mentor in your application.
  • Have at least one meeting with a grant-writing expert external to the E&ERC, together with your mentor, to advise on preparation of the project proposal target scheme.


If you have any questions or early feedback on the above initiatives, please contact a member of the Research Committee.

Good luck with your grant planning.