Research culture fund for La Trobe researchers

2020 fund information and application guidelines

Sponsored by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), a number of grants of up to $1000 are available to La Trobe academic staff to support the enhancement of university research culture.

Purpose of the scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to encourage academic staff to take the lead in developing a range of academic, social and cultural activities that will enhance the research culture at La Trobe. The scheme is not prescriptive about whether the activities take place across schools, departments, physical locations or disciplines. It is about developing your research community and contributing positively to the research environment at La Trobe. Researchers may organise academic activities such as conferences and symposia, visual exhibitions, seminars, masterclasses and visiting speakers. This scheme will be particularly beneficial to researchers located at smaller campuses in the La Trobe network.

The RCF scheme cannot be used for activities that are the usual responsibility of Schools or departments (e.g. research strategy planning) and should not replicate/duplicate programs already delivered by central support areas.

This scheme is not intended for recurring events.

With the advent of COVID-19, working from home, and distancing, the challenges and opportunities for developing research culture are heightened. While face-to-face events are no longer feasible, let’s test our creativity and see what initiatives we can generate. For example, you could invite guest speakers and have an interactive Q&A, convene a book club, produce a research culture resource, hold a series of masterclasses with discussion between them, and/or cater using food delivery vouchers - use your imagination!

Proposals that secure additional financial support for the activity from departments, schools, RFAs or external bodies will be well regarded.


By participating in this scheme, researchers will gain valuable experience in event organisation, grant application writing, developing institutional networks, communication, and project management. Mentorship and support in promoting initiatives will be available to successful applicants from the RED team in the GRS on request.

Eligibility information

Applicants must be research active academic staff at La Trobe University. Activities must be produced primarily BY and FOR researchers, and held by 31 December 2020.

Enquiries about the scheme can be sent to

2020 applications have now closed

If you are keen to apply in this round, get together with other researchers in your community and come up with an idea and plan. Consult widely, be creative and think about what would make a difference to your research culture and community!

2020 Research Culture Fund awardees

Lead applicant's nameLead applicant's schoolProject titleBrief project descriptions
Ashley NgSchool of Allied HealthCelebrating Diabetes Research at La Trobe University for World Diabetes Day 2020

This project consists of a three-hour virtual symposium and participant networking during World Diabetes Day.

Past event: La Trobe University Diabetes Research Symposium

Carina ChanSchool of Psychology and Public HealthBuilding capacity in cross-disciplinary research in Bendigo campusThis full day webinar/workshop aims to bring researchers to a ‘think tank’ and facilitate strategic research planning to generate ideas that will benefit from the integration of technology and innovative design.
Kim JohnsonSchool of Life SciencesIn a minuteOne minute videos of researchers will be produced that provide a snapshot of the work being done by La Trobe to secure food that is sustainable and nutritious; this project is part of a broader National Science Week initiative.
Michael StearSchool of Life SciencesIncreasing awareness of mathematical biology among biologistsThis project consists of a series of seminars/ tutorials on the application of mathematical approaches to solve biological problems. This will enable researchers to produce more effective papers with greater impact and higher citations.
Timothy CluneLa Trobe Business SchoolLifting the LidA one-day research expo featuring short presentations (15 mins) and posters from staff and graduate researchers located at the Albury-Wodonga campus.


  • Grants are available for projects that are run for the community of La Trobe researchers, and not to pursue individual development opportunities.
  • Applicants must be current La Trobe academic staff members.
  • Graduate research candidates are not eligible for this scheme.
  • All projects must take place before the end of 2020.
  • A written report must be sent to at the conclusion of the activity. A report pro forma can be found here [Word Document 75KB].
  • Past awardees who have not provided an activity report are not eligible for this round of funding.


If we don't use the funding before the end of the year, can we roll the funds over to the next year?

No, as stated in the scheme guidelines, the funding MUST BE SPENT BY 31 Dec OF THAT YEAR.

Can initiatives involve academic staff and graduate researchers or Hons students?

We strongly encourage cross-cohort initiatives that are inclusive of researchers at all stages of their career. Note, however, that similar initiatives cannot be submitted in both the Research Culture Fund (RCF) and Intellectual Climate Fund (ICF) schemes. For example, for the one kind of initiative, you cannot submit an academic staff-led application in the RCF scheme AND a graduate researcher-led application in the ICF scheme.

I have heaps of ideas - can I submit more than one application in the round?

No. You can only submit one application in each round.

If the initiative changes from what's proposed in the successful application, what do we do?

If your initiative changes, you will need to confirm that it still aligns with the scheme's guidelines by submitting a modified project plan to Please note that if the amended plan is not acceptable for the scheme, the funding will have to be returned to the Office of the DVC-Research.

What if we can't carry out the initiative after all?

If the initiative will not be happening, the RED team must be notified and the funding returned to the Office of the DVC-Research.

I was successful in applying for a grant in a previous year, am I able to apply again this year?

If you submitted a report from your previous event and there were no issues with unspent funding then, yes, you may apply in the current year's scheme.

I received funding in a previous year but wasn't able to carry out the initiative after all, am I able to re-apply this year?

You may re apply if the circumstances that prevented you from carrying out the initiative in a previous year were beyond your control, the funding was returned, and you notified the RED team.

If the initiative was not carried out and you did not contact the RED team then it would be unlikely that you would be successful in an application for more funding.

For examples of initiatives funded in previous years, please see below

2019 funding results

Congratulations to all successful applications for the 2019 round. The table below details each project that was funded and we thank all applicants for their participation in this scheme.

Successful applicantsLead applicant's schoolProject titleBrief project description
Jessica BiesiekierskiAllied Health, Human Services & Sport

La Trobe & RMIT Joint Early Career Researcher Symposium

This research symposium aims to showcase research on the ‘Future of Food’ by ECRs from La Trobe and RMIT Universities.

Martin BoeseHumanities and Social Sciences

Researching with communities: exploring innovative and ethical approaches to community- engaged research and knowledge building

This half-day workshop brings together community members and researchers from different disciplines across the University to advance knowledge on community-based research approaches.

Ashley NgAllied Health, Human Services & Sport

Dietetics and Human Nutrition Research Strategy Planning and Writing Retreat

This project focuses on a Dietetics and Human Nutrition Research Strategy Planning and Writing Retreat, which will enhance the research culture and capacity of its academic staff.

Gerald RocheHumanities and Social Sciences

Honing the craft of research writing

A workshop series where staff and HDR students discuss effective academic writing.

Evelien SpeltenLa Trobe Rural Health SchoolMildura Campus Collective III; Improving research impact and engagement through digital storytelling

A two-day intensive workshop on digital storytelling tailored for researchers. The workshop will provide the Mildura campus research community with enhanced skills to share our research and improve impact and engagement through the use of smartphones and other affordable technology.

2018 funding results

Congratulations to all successful applications for the 2018 round. The table below details each project that was funded and we thank all applicants for their participation in this scheme.

Successful applicantsDepartment/disciplineProject titleShort description
Martina BoeseSociology/Social InquiryWorkshopping strategies for incorporating impact into design of social researchA workshop exploring how to design impact into social research 
Maria ElanderLa Trobe Law SchoolInternational Legal Studies Research CultureSeminar & launch of the International Legal Studies Research Group/writing retreat
Carmel HobbsPublic HealthDo you care? Early parenthood and caring responsibilities for early career researchersAn Early Career Researcher Network (ECR) networking event
Laila HugrassPsychology and CounsellingThe La Trobe University 30-Day Impact ChallengeFocussed drive to increase research impact through targeted system with support base.
Evelien SpeltenPublic HealthMildura Campus Collective II: research capacity building through writing and collaborative research1 day workshop - campus collective research 
Gwenda TavanPolitics and PhilosophyPublish your research writing retreatA writing retreat to facilitate completion and submission of research manuscripts and build confidence in journal article writing.

2017 funding results

6 applications for funding were received, all of which were of a very high standard.

Congratulations to all successful applications for the 2017 round. The table below details each project that was funded and we thank all applicants for their participation in this scheme.

Successful applicantsDepartment/disciplineProject titleShort description

Sarah Baradell

Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport

Developing capacity in the Research of Teaching and Learning

workshop to develop teaching/learning research capability for allied health staff

Narelle Cox

Occupational Therapy

Healthy writing habits for academic health professionals: write a paper in a ‘weekend’ Master

'Writing for publication in the health professions- Masterclass.

Christopher Fisher


Systems Approach to Sexual Health Literacy

Research cluster and workshop

Caitlin McDowell

Occupational Therapy

Burke and Mills Grounded Theory Masterclass

A one-day qualitative research masterclass on grounded theory methodology

Evelien Spelten

Public Health

'Mildura Campus Collective' - research capacity building through community engagement

A workshop series to develop an interdisciplinary campus-wide research project

2016 funding results

14 applications for funding were received, all of which were of a very high standard. The Research Culture Fund Selection Committee met on 25 August 2016 and comprised Keith Nugent, Trevor Hogan, Andy Hill and Jeanette Fyffe.

The following applications were funded and we thank all applicants for their participation in this scheme. Five applications were received from regional campuses: Two from Albury-Wodonga and three from Bendigo.

Successful applicants Department/discipline Project title Short description
Julie Rudner, Amanda Kennedy, Terence Mills, Francine Rochford Social Inquiry, Community Planning & Development Doing Research: An Interdisciplinary Exploration Interactive, recorded workshops about how different disciplines do research
Graham Brown, Alan Shiell, Sally Fawkes, Chris Roche, Deborah Gleeson,Tessa Keegel ARCSHS System and Complexity Methods Cluster 'Systems thinking and complexity' methods workshop and ongoing research cluster
Jennifer Jones Archaeology and History Albury -Wodonga HUSS writing group writing retreat Two- day writing retreat for AW HUSS writing group members
Caitlin McDowell, Kate D'Cruz, Lucy Knox, Prue Atkins, Deb Fox, Sue McDonough,  Stacey Alexander Occupational Therapy Grounded Theory Community of Practice To establish a Community of Practice for grounded theory researchers
Carol McKinstry, Virgina Dickson-Swift, Amanda Kenny,Teresa Iacono Community & Allied Health Demonstrating research impact: Developing skills and awareness A workshop series: promoting the impact of research to stakeholders
Karrie Long John Richards Initiative  Statistics Seminar: Methods, interpretation and presentation. Seminar: Introduction to Statistical Methods, interpretation and presentation.
Arif Siddiquee, Earl Stuart, Daniel Langley Chemistry and Physics Joint workshop between La Trobe’s Photonics and AgriBioSciences communities Joint workshop between La Trobe’s Photonics and AgriBioSciences communities