Manual of Policies and Procedures

D/1.1 Research and innovation

Contact Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation)

Approval Date

25/11/2016

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

30/11/2019

1.1.1 Purpose
1.1.2 Application
1.1.3 Roles and responsibilities
1.1.4 Research strategy
1.1.5 Research funding
1.1.6 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

1.1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline how research and innovation is supported at QUT.

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1.1.2 Application

This policy applies to all QUT research activities.

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1.1.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation)
  • develops and implements the University’s research strategy in consultation with faculties and institutes
  • develops and administers University policy in the areas of research and allied activities
  • approves decisions on the distribution of the University Research Budget funding, subject to approved delegations of authority (QUT Schedule of Authorities and Delegations)
  • monitors compliance with the QUT Code of Conduct for Research (D/2.6)
Chief Investigator
  • acts as the ‘Project Leader’ on a research funding application and manages the research project on behalf of the University
  • ensures the research project is undertaken in a manner that is consistent with the project aims, funding, agreement and QUT Code of Conduct for Research (D/2.6)
  • ensures that administrative and financial requirements associated with external funding are met in a timely manner
Dean, Indigenous Research and Engagement
  • leads the implementation and operation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Strategy
Dean of Research and Research Training
  • leads research development and research training engagement activities
  • contributes to the development of a research-intensive culture in the university
  • develops and manages international standard research training culture
  • manages and provides advice on internal and externally funded scholarships to support higher degree research (HDR)
Director, Office of Research
  • manages and provides advice on competitive research grant, centre and fellowship funding (domestic and international)
Director, Office of Commercial Services
  • manages and provides advice on commercial research, consulting, and intellectual property
Director, Office of Research Ethics and Integrity
  • manages and provides advice on research ethics and integrity in line with the QUT Code of Conduct for Research and relevant legislation, policy and practices that govern research conduct

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1.1.4 Research strategy

As stated in the QUT Blueprint, the University seeks to deliver solutions to the challenges of today and the future through high-impact research that spans discipline boundaries and is pursued in partnership with end users, leveraging our deep technological strengths, and responding to the human capital and innovation needs of the economy. These objectives are further detailed in the University Research and Innovation Strategy (Research Strategy) and will inform and be embedded within faculty, institute and divisional strategic plans.

QUT's research strategy is underpinned by:

  • alignment of resources to areas of research strength and priority
  • incentives and mechanisms for transdisciplinary collaboration
  • developing capability for end user engagement
  • embedding deep technological capability
  • repositioning HDR students as agents of change
  • goals for increased representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research, researchers and HDR students, and equity and diversity
  • a culture of entrepreneurship

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1.1.5 Research funding

(i) Commonwealth Block Grant Funding

Australian universities receive federal government funding based on performance to support research and research training through two targeted block grants, the Research Support Programme and the Research Training Program.

The University strategically allocates the federal government’s block grant funding to support the University’s research aspirations as outlined in the QUT Blueprint and the Research Strategy.

(ii) University Research Budget

The University Research Budget (QUT staff access only) is an annual allocation of strategic funding, managed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation), to drive and support the growth of QUT's research agenda as stated in the QUT Blueprint and the Research Strategy.

The University Research Budget provides financial support to enable the objectives and strategies outlined in the QUT Blueprint and the Research Strategy. Funding is available to support broad areas of activity such as:

  • research quality
  • transdisciplinary research
  • end user engagement
  • research capacity building
  • HDRs as agents of change

The distribution mechanisms for the University Research Budget are outlined in the University Research Budget Protocol, which is updated from time-to-time based on changes to the QUT Blueprint and the Research Strategy and external co-investment opportunities and requirements. Decisions on the distribution of University Research Budget funding are made at the discretion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation), subject to approved delegations of authority (QUT Schedule of Authorities and Delegations).

(iii) External funding

A significant component of the funding available to support research and research training activities at QUT is sourced through competitive grant rounds or through direct engagement with external partners (public, private or not-for-profit). While in some instances, an external funder will permit direct submission by a chief investigator, the University requires all funding applications, commercial research tenders or proposals, or consulting proposals with a value greater than $10,000 cash to be approved in accordance with the procedure below (Applying for external funding). 

Depending on the type of activity, this funding is typically managed through one of the offices within the Division of Research and Commercialisation.

  • Office of Research – competitive research grant and fellowship funding (domestic and international), Cooperative Research Centre establishment and projects
  • Office of Commercial Services – commercial research, consultancies
  • Research Students Centre – externally funded scholarships to support higher degree research candidature (PhD and Master of Philosophy).

QUT Bluebox is an incorporated company that works closely with QUT researchers and the Division to protect and commercialise the University’s intellectual property. For further details on the funding schemes available to support these activities please see: www.qutbluebox.com.au.

(iv) Applying for external funding

The Division of Research and Commercialisation is responsible for the administration and management of all externally funded research activities. A research funding proposal regardless of type must be submitted via the appropriate office in the Division.  It is the responsibility of the lead Chief Investigator on a research funding application, commercial research tender or proposal, or consulting proposal (greater than $10,000 cash) to seek and obtain the endorsement of the relevant senior manager (normally Head of School) in their faculty prior to submitting an application to the Division of Research and Commercialisation.  In addition, proposals requiring support from a research institute must be approved by the Institute Director.  Each faculty/institute will have an approval process that reflects their business needs. Applications submitted to the Division of Research and Commercialisation will be presumed to have endorsement of the relevant faculty and/or institute.

QUT led funding submissions require support and authorisation by the faculty/institute and head of school/centre director level prior to submission to the external party for consideration.  Endorsement of funding submissions will be considered in the context of:

  • time commitment of the named Chief Investigators
  • access to basic facilities (e.g. computers, workshops)
  • access to major research infrastructure and required technical support
  • access to space
  • appropriateness of the budget to cover the full costs of the proposed project
  • proposed level of institutional investment and potential financial return on investment
  • quality of the application and likely competitiveness
  • potential risk to the University including financial and reputational risk
  • appropriate consideration of the issues around intellectual property.

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1.1.6 Definitions

Chief Investigator is an academic member of staff with principal responsibility for a research project. To be eligible as a Chief Investigator on a project, an academic staff member of the University must be employed at a minimum of 0.2 full-time equivalent for the duration of the project and must take significant intellectual responsibility for the project. In exceptional cases, adjunct professors, emeritus professors, conjoint appointments and visiting fellows may be considered eligible to be Chief Investigators. Decisions on Chief Investigator eligibility will be made by the Director of the relevant office in accordance with the eligibility requirements of the external granting agency or commercial partner.

For QUT purposes, the first-named Chief Investigator on a project grant application will be considered the “Project Leader” responsible for managing the project on behalf of the University and ensuring the research project is undertaken in a manner that is consistent with the project aims, funding, agreement and QUT Code of Conduct for Research (D/2.6). The first-named Chief Investigator is also responsible for ensuring that administrative and financial requirements associated with external funding are met in a timely manner.

Commercial research is defined as research or development which is conducted at the request of and paid for by individuals, agencies, companies or other organisations external to the University. It involves creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge.

This type of research is normally conducted on a fully costed contractual basis and payment for the research is made to the University through the Office of Commercial Services, in the Division of Research and Commercialisation.

Competitive research is defined as basic, strategic or applied research funded by an external agency through an application-based, competitive peer review process. This type of funding is awarded to, and administered by, the University on behalf of a funding agency. Typically, the intellectual property generated through this type of endeavour is owned by the University. External partners (private, public or not-for-profit) may be involved in competitive research projects as collaborating partners. Competitive research is administered by the Office of Research within the Division of Research and Commercialisation.

Consultancy is a project where less than 50% of the work meets the HERDC definition of research. For QUT purposes, publishing and publication activities shall be regarded as scholarly activities associated with accredited courses or research, and not as consultancy. Consultancy projects valued at over $10,000 cash are managed by the Office of Commercial Services within the Division of Research and Commercialisation.

Early Career Researcher is defined as a staff member who is in the first five years of their academic or research-only employment, allowing for uninterrupted, continuous research development, following the award of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or recognised equivalent qualification.

Staff who have been actively involved in research or research related activities over a number of years, but have only recently received a PhD (or equivalent) are typically not considered to be Early Career Researchers.

Early Career Researchers, under the direction of their supervisor and/or research mentor, are expected to develop a realistic research plan as part of their performance planning and review for academic staff (B/9.2) that focuses on:

  • attraction of internal/external funding to support their research program
  • engagement with other researchers with complementary expertise and interests
  • dissemination of research findings through appropriate high quality discipline-specific outlets
  • participation in supervisor accreditation programs and, once accredited, research higher degree student supervision
  • engagement with external end users as appropriate.

Outside work The University policies on Outside work - academic staff and senior staff (D/7.1) and Outside employment - professional staff (B/7.9) provide further information.

Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes. (Federal Department of Education and Training (DET) 2016 HERDC Specifications)

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Related Documents

MOPP B/7.9 Outside employment - professional staff

MOPP D/2.1 University Research and Innovation Committee

MOPP D/2.3 Research governance framework

MOPP D/2.6 QUT Code of Conduct for Research

MOPP D/7.1 Outside work policy - academic and senior staff

University Research Budget Protocol
(QUT staff access only)

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Australian code for the care and use of animal for scientific purposes and corresponding legislation

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and corresponding legislation

Biosecurity Act 2015

Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 and Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015

Gene Technology Act 2000, the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 and corresponding State legislation

Higher Education Research Data Collection

Research Block Grants

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

07.12.16 D/1.1.3 Chair, University Academic Board Revised section to clarify roles and responsibilities
25.11.16 All University Academic Board Revised policy to update external obligations and to update research strategy to align with the revised Blueprint
13.11.15 D/1.1.7 University Academic Board Revised policy to clarify the definition of 'active researcher'
27.03.15 All University Academic Board Revised policy
15.11.13 All University Academic Board Periodic review - policy revised

27.03.09

D/1.1.7

University Academic Board

Revised to update definitions relating to active researchers (endorsed by University Research and Innovation Committee 13.11.08)

04.04.08

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy to reflect current organisational arrangements (incorporates former policies D/2.2, D/2.3, D/2.4 and D/3.1)

01.03.06

D/1.1.2

Council

Revised definition relating to outside work (consistent with new policy D/7.1 and revised policy B/7.9)

01.07.05

D/1.1.1

University Academic Board

Revised in accordance with new Institutes policy

01.01.02

All

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Advancement)

Revised in accordance with new centres policy (approved by University Academic Board 16.11.01)

20.05.99

D/1

Research Manager

Updated

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