Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award

This award was established by the late Malcolm Moore through a perpetual bequest donated to the University. Malcolm was the proprietor and director of a structural engineering company, and throughout his life, he displayed a keen interest in the development of institutions for vocational education.

Two grants of up to $35,000 will be available to two early career researchers in 2017 to support industry-partnered research projects. The funds must be expended by 31 December 2017 and are to be used to cover costs associated with the research project, including consumables, travel, and research assistance, but are not to be used for teaching relief.

‘Industry’ is defined broadly and encompasses all forms of end users, including business, government enterprises, and community services, similar to the definition of ‘partner organisation’ in Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants. Note that for the purposes of this award, tertiary institutions are ineligible industry partners.

The intention is to support new partnerships. The continuation or extension of existing industry linkages (e.g. where existing contracts are in place) will not be considered. The applicant will need to explain why the proposal is a new partnership. Please read the FAQs for more information.

Based on the quality of applications received, the selection panel reserves the right to not make an award in any given year.

The funding scheme will be managed and promoted by the Research and Innovation Portfolio on behalf of the RMIT Foundation. Contact researchdevelopment@rmit.edu.au for further information.

View previous awardees.

Eligibility

The scheme is open to Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who:

  • are current RMIT staff members (continuing or fixed term with at least 2 years to continue after the application closing date of 6 March 2017)
  • have been awarded a PhD (or equivalent) after 6 March 2012 or after 6 March 2008 with career interruptions including maternity or parental leave, carer's responsibility, illness, or non-research employment
  • have an appointment of at least 0.6 FTE
  • are not prior recipients of a Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award.

Eligible applicants may submit only one application per round.

Process and documentation

Applications must be submitted electronically by 9am on Monday 6 March 2017 as one PDF document to researchdevelopment@rmit.edu.au. In fairness to other applications, late applications will not be considered.

Applications must include the following:

*Note that the letter from the industry partner must:

  • include the official letterhead
  • be no more than two A4 pages
  • include a brief profile of the organisation
  • provide details of the Cash and/or In­kind Contributions
  • provide details regarding how the project aligns with the industry partner's organisational objectives
  • certify that if the project is funded by a Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award, it will enter into arrangements regarding intellectual property which do not unreasonably delay academic outputs
  • confirm that there is no existing linkage between them and RMIT and that the project will indeed be a new partnership if funded
  • be signed by the Chief Executive Officer, or delegate.

To be considered eligible for this funding scheme, all aforementioned documents must be submitted as one PDF document, and all must be compliant (e.g. page limit, font size, signed where applicable).

Obligations

The recipient of the award will be expected to:

  • complete the project and expend the research funds by 31 December 2017 (the Malcolm Moore Industry Research Grant funds will not be available to the recipient until after April 2017)
  • within one month after the completion of the twelve month project, submit a report detailing the outcomes of the research project (e.g. scholarly publications/submissions) to the Research and Innovation Portfolio
  • possibly deliver a presentation to the RMIT Foundation Board
  • acknowledge the RMIT Foundation and the Malcolm Moore Industry Research Grant in all relevant presentations, publications and media releases as appropriate.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria are based on the:

  • quality of the project proposal and topic
  • applicant’s research track record
  • proposed research project alignment with RMIT’s Enabling Capability Platforms (ECPs). Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop their applications in consultation with the relevant Director(s) of the following ECPs:
    • Advanced manufacturing and fabrication
    • Advanced materials
    • Biomedical and health innovation
    • Design and creative practice
    • Global business innovation
    • Information and systems (engineering)
    • Social change
    • Urban futures
  • potential research outcomes.

Applications will be shortlisted by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and forwarded to Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Capability, who will convene a selection panel which will include:

  • Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Capability, or nominee (Chair)
  • Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or nominee
  • a senior researcher, appointed by the Chair
  • a past recipient of the Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award, appointed by the Chair.

Timeline

The following deadlines will be strictly adhered to where applicable.

  • applications accepted from: 9 February 2017
  • applications close: 9am 6 March 2017
  • review of applications by panel: 10–31 March 2017
  • results announced: April 2017
  • funds available: April 2017
  • funds expended by: 31 December 2017
  • project outcome report submitted by: 1 February 2018.

Award composition

The Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award will comprise:

  1. A grant of up to $35,000 paid into the research account of the awardee's school.
  2. A certificate signed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research and Innovation).
  3. A permanent record of the award on an appropriate webpage (Honour Board) of the University.

Frequently asked questions

Is a PhD mandatory?

Yes. The applicant must have already completed a research doctorate e.g. PhD, DPhil, DEd, DEng, DSc, Dr Ing etc.

Why must I have an employment contract with RMIT for at least two years after the closing date to be eligible?

The Malcolm Moore Award can be viewed as 'seed funding', in that the recipient will be expected to further develop the partnership between the industry partner and RMIT in the year after the project.

Can I still apply if I have had my PhD for more than five years but have been doing research for less than five years?

Yes. Although the funding rules state that an applicant must have been awarded a PhD in the last five years, like other funding schemes, exceptions can be made if the applicant can demonstrate that there was a legitimate break in their research careers (e.g. for maternity leave, illness, misadventure, working in a different field etc.).

Where on my application should I discuss the gap in my research career?

If you have had a break in your research career, please mention it in the top right-hand corner of the application. For example, if your PhD was awarded in 2007, you can state "I worked in industry for five years post-PhD and have only been research-active since 2012"; you can then state additional details later in the application to explain the gap in your research track record.

Do I need ethics approval before applying?

No. If your project will ultimately need ethics approval, then you can apply for it once you have been offered the award. The funds will be transferred to your School when you provide the Research Office with evidence that ethics approval has been granted.

Do I need to have a signed intellectual property agreement before applying?

No. If your project will ultimately need an intellectual property agreement, then you can apply for it once you have been offered the award. The funds will be transferred to your School when you provide the Research Office with evidence that an intellectual property agreement has been signed by all parties.

Are any prior winning applications available as a guide?

No. Since applications are so detailed, they cannot be de-identified and made available. However, you can read previous winners' biographies, and details of previous projects are listed below.

2016

  • Awardee 1: Assoc Prof Ingo Karpen
    School: Graduate School of Business and Law
    Project title: Patient Engagement: Conceptualisation, Operationalisation, Antecedents and Consequences
    Industry partners: QV Medical
  • Awardee 2: Dr Ruwini Edirisinghe
    School: School of Property, Construction and Project Management
    Project title: Improved construction safety: Analysis of real time physiological data through innovative 'smart' safety vests
    Industry partner: Unik Constructions Pty Ltd

2015

Based on the quality of applications received, no awards were made.

2014

  • Awardee 1: Dr Judy Burnside-Lawry
    School: School of Media and Communication
    Project title: Increasing local level engagement to build resilient communities: Stakeholder perspectives of conditions that enable local action to reduce disaster risk
    Industry partners: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Asia Pacific; Plan International Australia (PIA)
  • Awardee 2: Dr Madhu Bhaskaran
    School: School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Project title: High performance piezoelectric thin films for haptics applications
    Industry partner: STMicroelectronics SAS

2013

  • Awardee: Dr Suelynn Choy
    School: School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
    Project title: Water Vapour Variability and Climate Monitoring using Ground-based GPS
    Industry partner: Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

2012

  • Awardee: Dr Olivia Guntarik
    School: School of Media and Communication
    Voices from the Margins: First and Second Generation Migrant Narratives of Place and Belonging
    Industry partners: Immigration Museum, Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition, Centre for Multicultural Youth

2011

  • Awardee: Dr Lara Wallis
    School: School of Property, Construction and Project Management
    Project title: An evaluation of How Occupational Health and Safety is Embedded in the education of Australian Building, Design and Construction courses
    Industry partner: The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner

2010

  • Awardee: Dr Lisa French
    School: School of Applied Communication
    Project title: Women in Victorian Film, Television Industries
    Industry partners: The Australian Film Institute (AFI), The Australian Writers Guild (AWG, Vic.), Women In Film and Television (WIFT, Vic), The Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM)

Can we apply for this award as a team?

No. This scheme is aimed at individuals, so only one name should be on the application. The eligible ECR in your research group could apply, but please note that it will be their track record alone (not the team's) that will be assessed.

Can I apply if I have never done research with this company before?

Yes. Instead of having an established partnership in place (like some other schemes require), the Malcolm Moore Award should be extremely attractive to ECRs in that the exact opposite is required: you must demonstrate that you do not have an established link in place already.

RMIT already has linkages in place with my prospective large, multi-national industry partner, but they are in a totally different field to mine. Should I still apply?

Yes. Although RMIT has many existing partnerships with large organisations, one of those organisations could be your partner if you can demonstrate in your application that your project does not build on an existing linkage (e.g. it could be in a different field, in a different department, with a different team). Indeed, it is a requirement that your industry partner explicitly state in their letter of support that there is no existing linkage between them and RMIT, and that the project will be a new partnership if successful.

How much should my industry partner contribute?

Competition for this award is fierce, so although there is no minimum cash or in-kind contribution required from an industry partner, the more they are willing to commit, the more favourably your application will be viewed by the selection panel. Note that the selection panel acknowledges the difficulty ECRs may face in securing cash contributions, and indeed, many past recipients of this award have had zero cash contributions from their industry partner.

What is an “in-kind contribution”?

For the purposes of this award, the Australian Research Council (ARC) definition (PDF) will be used: ““In-kind Contribution” means a contribution of goods, services, materials or time to the Project from an individual, business or organisation. These are calculated based on the current market rates/valuations/rentals/charges (that is in the financial year of the date of the Proposal’s submission) of the costs of labour, work spaces, equipment and databases.”

Can the Research Office provide any advice on developing a competitive application?

Prospective applicants are encouraged to read this blog post and to contact researchdevelopment@rmit.edu.au with additional queries.

Am I eligible for the award, and how do I apply?

Other Research Award categories