eResearch grants

Research Grants are distributed once per year from a fund held in Research Services. $100,000 has been set aside for a minimum of five grants (up to $20,000 each) to aid research projects. The distribution is achieved by a call for proposals (from the eResearch Office), evaluation and prioritisation of proposals by an expert committee and distribution of funds accordingly (by Research Services). This is typically done in the June to August time frame.

Apply online or download a form

*Please Note: Approval is required from your Head of School to apply for a grant*

Important Dates:

2014 Grants - Awaiting confirmation from Professor Keith Nugent

Grants Committee Membership:

  • Dr Rhys Francis, former Executive Director, Australian eResearch Infrastructure Council (AeRIC)
  • Professor Keith Nugent, DVC (R), La Trobe University
  • Ms Jennifer Peasley, University Librarian, La Trobe University
  • Dr Mark Kosten, Director, e-Research, La Trobe University

What is the purpose of the grants?

  • Increase the use or development of the University's modern ICT infrastructure, such as high performance computing, networking, visualisation and storage (i.e. promote in silico research).
  • Use locally developed or combination of local and external, data sets in new and innovative ways, including placing such as data sets into properly managed storage, repositories and archives.
  • Aid creation of reusable tools for analysis and automated workflows.
  • Increase skills in eResearch techniques (such as data management, workflow automation, analysis with the aid of computing) and complex applications (eg. programming, matlab, ArcGIS) and support short secondments to learn techniques transferable to La Trobe.
  • Promote methods for increasing collaboration across traditional boundaries, particularly internal.

What are acceptable budget items for funding?

  • Training in eResearch techniques, including high performance computing and analysis of specialised data sets, including expenses from visiting another lab to learn new e-Research techniques. (Note use of existing partnerships, below.)
  • Consulting towards development of software tools and techniques, such as coding of large-scale simulation algorithms, programming and workflow development, automation of processes, interfacing of equipment to computing and storage, database development and collaboration methods. (Note use of existing partnerships, below.)
  • Small items of equipment and/or software, such as specialised computers, interfaces between instruments and computers/data storage, scanning or geo-spatial digitisation, collaboration equipment such as personal access grids.
  • Salary for fixed-term technical support to deliver e-Research techniques, such as for data acquisition, data collation and digitisation, analysis, application of metadata descriptors, equipment interfacing, and implementing eResearch methods in laboratories and research groups.
  • Enhancement of collaboration amongst multi-disciplinary and cross-departmental and institutional boundaries, such as via access grids and virtual workspaces.

What is excluded from the scope of a grant?

  • Expensive equipment that is not reusable outside the project.
  • Resources that should be supplied by the Faculty, such as desktop computer, furniture, minor software and conference travel.
  • Specific needs that cannot be used for wider benefit, such as consumables, esoteric items of little use outside the project, funding for personal gain without wider applicability,  such as speculative visits to labs.

How does the Committee reach a decision?

  • Whether the resources requested for the project fit the eResearch purposes noted above.
  • The degree of impact of requested eResearch resources on the project.
  • The eResearch resources are provided to the wider La Trobe community where possible.
  • The degree of enhancement of the University's research profile and external standing, including publications noted by ERA.
  • Use of existing resources where possible.
  • Willingness to share knowledge of eResearch techniques.
  • Advances La Trobe's eResearch capability.
  • New candidates are prioritised over previously successful ones.
  • Please note that if you apply for items that are not eResearch related, the Committee may exclude those items from your application.

The Committee may accept certain proposals only if:

  • Using existing links to eResearch facilities at lower/no cost (e.g. VeRSI, VPAC, other institutions) is possible, or
  • Combining similar equipment/developments across proposals is possible, which might instead result in an improved/new service from ICT/eResearch Office/Library.

Grant Requirements

  • Expenditure must be according to University guidelines and policies.
  • Funds will be transferred from the Research Services Division to the Faculty.
  • Projects should not run more than 12 months. Any longer and unused funds will be returned to the centre unless prior agreement has been reached.
  • Reporting requirements:
  • - Reports on the status of the project are required at 6 months and 12 months (i.e. end of project or earlier) intervals. These must  be sent via email to the eResearch Office. The report should briefly and clearly state the efficacy of the grant in achieving project goals.
    - Any previous recipient will only be awarded another grant upon receipt of their project reports. The reports will be used in committee deliberations.

Some existing resources

(In all cases discussion with the eResearch Office is required, as some external resources are unfunded) 

Skills/ResourcesTypical DisciplinesOrg
High performance computing, programming, modellingLife Sciences
GeoPhysics
Engineering
VPAC
 Repositories, database design, programming, web interfaces, workflows

Life Sciences
Humanities
Health

 VeRSI
Management of dataAll LTU eResearch Office
Curation of research outputAll LTU Library
ICT infrastructureAll LTU eResearch Office

Grants awarded (2008-2013)