Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ABRS National Taxonomy Research Grant Program

Funding and research

Eligibility

Q: Can I delete the guidelines from the application form when answering the questions?
A. No. No part of the application form and guidelines is to be deleted. Any applications with deleted sections may be ineligible.

Q: Can an application be submitted on a previous year’s form?
A. No. To ensure that questions, guidelines and eligibility are current you should use the form provided on the ABRS Research and Capacity-Building Grant pages. Applications submitted on previous year’s or incorrect forms will be ineligible.

Q: I am an overseas-based scientist. May I apply for an ABRS Research Grant as a Principal Investigator?
A. Yes, as long as the proposed project is consistent with the ABRS Research Priorities.

Q: May I apply for an ABRS grant with a permanent residency application that is pending?
A. Research Grants: Yes. ABRS Research Grant applicants do not need to be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia.
Capacity-building Grants: Non-salaried researcher grant applicants do not need to be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. However, APA Top-Up, Honours Scholarship or Masters Scholarship applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia at the time of submitting their grant application.

Q: May I apply for an Honours Scholarship or a Masters Scholarship if I have already commenced my study?
A. Yes, as long as there is a minimum of one year remaining on your study and you meet all of the other eligibility criteria listed in the application form and guidelines.

Q: If I have not completed my Ph.D., may I apply as a Principal Investigator on a Research Grant application?
A: No. You must have completed your Ph.D. before you can apply as a Principal Investigator on any Research Grant application. ‘Completed’ means your thesis has been accepted and you have been awarded your Ph.D. prior to the close date of applications.

Q: May I apply as a Principal Investigator on a research grant, if I have completed my Masters degree?
A: Yes, if you have completed your masters degree you can apply as Principal Investigator on a research grant, but you can not apply for a Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant.

Q: May I apply for a non-salaried researcher grant if I am employed as a microbiologist?
A: No, unfortunately your application would not be eligible as you are still employed in a professional capacity as a biologist (see Eligibility Criteria 5 in the Capacity-Building Grants Application Form and Guidelines).

Q: May I submit an application for a postdoctoral fellowship grant if I have not yet graduated with my Ph.D.?
A. No. Applicants for postdoctoral fellowship grants must have obtained a Ph.D. at the time of submitting an application. ‘Obtained’ means your thesis has been accepted and you have been awarded your Ph.D. prior to the close date of applications.

Q: May I apply for an Honours Scholarship, Masters Scholarship or APA Top-Up as a supervisor?
A. No. Applications must be submitted by potential grant recipients (that is, students only).

Q: May I apply for an APA Top-Up if I will begin a Ph.D. Scholarship other than an APA in 2012?
A. Yes. Evidence of the scholarship and enrolment will be required to be provided to ABRS by 31 January, following the close date of application.

Q: May I apply for an APA Top-Up if I have already started my Ph.D. Scholarship?
A: No. The Guidelines clearly state that applicants must have applied for an APA that commences the year following the close date of applications.

Q: May the administering Host Institution for my APA Top-Up be an institution other than a university?
A. No. A university must be the administering Host Institution for any APA Top-Up application.

Q: Am I eligible for an ABRS Honours or Masters Scholarship if I have an existing Scholarship?
A. No. Scholarship holders may not be receiving another equivalent major award, scholarship or salary to undertake the same project.

Q: May I apply for a non-salaried researcher grant if I am employed on a part time contract or non-ongoing/tenured appointment as a biologist?
A: No, unfortunately your application would not be eligible as you are still employed in a professional capacity as a biologist (see Eligibility Criteria 5 in the Capacity-Building Grants Application Form and Guidelines).

Q: May a foreign institute be an administering Institution for a Research Grant?
A. Yes. Payment for any Research Grant will be made in Australia dollars.

Q: May I apply for a grant with a project that was initiated before applying to ABRS?
A. ABRS grants will not be awarded for projects that have already received funding from another source. However, a new sub-section as part of an existing larger project may be considered.

Q: Is a postmark of the closing date on an application acceptable or should my application arrive at the ABRS by the closing date for applications?
A. Your application must be received by the ABRS office by the closing date.

Q: Are there set guidelines for the curriculum vitae that need to accompany the application?
A. Yes. The eligibility criteria and guidelines state that the curriculum vitae must be in Arial 12 point font and no more than four (4) pages per person. However, there are no set guidelines in terms of content.

Q: Do I need to post hard copies of my application form and attachments to ABRS?
A. No. If we receive your application via email, including a PDF of the signed signature page, this will be considered sufficient. However, if you are not submitting your application via email, you must send a hard copy. Please note that email is the preferred form of submission.

Reporting

Q: Do I need to submit outstanding reports with my grant application?
A. Yes. All outstanding reports associated with previous ABRS grants must have been submitted for an application to be considered. Outstanding reports on previous ABRS grants will be used as part of the assessment process for new applications. Outstanding reports must be submitted for any existing ABRS grant for the principal and all joint investigators involved in the new application.

Budget

Q: What is the appropriate rate for a postdoctoral salary to include in my ABRS grant application budget?
A. ABRS does not designate a postdoctoral salary rate. Rates will vary from institution to institution and the appropriate rate is that which is designated by your institution.

Q: Can my salary plus on-costs be included as co-funding?
A. Salary (plus on-costs) may be included as co-funding. However, in assessing applications, if two projects are of equal scientific merit, a project with cash co-funding from another source will be weighted more heavily than that with a salary co-funding contribution.

Q: What can I include as on-costs?
A. On-cost rates and scope are set by the administering Host Institutions and are accepted as in kind contribution on any research grant up to a maximum of 28 per cent of the total grant funding amount.

Q: Is it possible to use ARC Discovery Grant funding that pays my salary as a co-funding source for an ABRS postdoctoral fellowship grant?
A. Yes. However, it will be considered a salary contribution and the same qualifications outlined above will apply.

Q: What is the minimum co-funding amount required for an ABRS Research Grant?
A. All Research Grant applicants are expected to provide a co-funding contribution worth at least 50 per cent of the grant funding being provided by the ABRS. For example, a $10 000 Research Grant requires a $5 000 co-funding contribution. Specific amounts for each grant are listed in the Research Grant application form and guidelines.

Q: Do I need to provide co-funding contribution support letters for in-kind contributions?
A. No. The ABRS only requires co-funding contribution support letters for cash or salary co-funding. If an institution is providing cash or salary co-funding as well as in-kind contributions, the in-kind contribution can also be listed on the support letter.

Q: May I apply for a different amount from the fixed grant amounts?
A. No. Grant amounts are fixed and may not be adjusted. Grant applicants are expected to tailor their projects to fit the specific grant funding levels offered.

Q: Does the administering Host Institution provide the co-funding to the ABRS?
A. No. Co-funding is acquitted through the administering Host Institution. However, applicants must have obtained a commitment for the applicable amount of co-funding and have provided evidence of it to the ABRS with their application, for their application to be considered.

Grant Duration and Scope

Q: Does the ABRS fund projects of three-years duration only?
A. All ABRS Research Grants and APA Top-Ups are of three years duration. However, Honours and Masters Scholarships and Non-salaried researcher grants (under the Capacity-Building Grants stream) are only one-year grants.

Miscellaneous

Q: If I have experienced a significant interruption to my research activities, may I list in my application publications published greater than five years previously?
A. Permission may be sought from the ABRS Grants and Business Officer to provide a publication list including material published greater than five years previously, with a justification.