International funding strategy pays dividends
22 July 2008
The University's success rate in securing funding for international projects and research has increased dramatically after a joint initiative by the Office of Strategy Implementation and Sustainability Planning (OSISP) and the International Portfolio. In its first year of operation, the initiative has brought in $8.9 million in funding.
"International funding was an area we just weren't accessing effectively," said Robyn McConchie, director of the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific (RIAP).
To improve the situation, RIAP employed a research development manager to identify, develop and secure international research and consultancy grants for the University and its staff.
"After just one month, it become obvious that the opportunities were huge," said Professor McConchie. A decision was then taken - with Professor Charlie Benrimoj, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Planning) and Professor Carol Armour, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) - to bring on board a second professional grant writer and project manager.
"They seek out opportunities and match academics to fulfil the needs of the grants," said Professor McConchie. "RIAP is sending out large numbers of enquiries to academics each week.
"Academics are really quite busy. They don't have time to trawl through all the grants that are out there. In collaboration with the academic, we write the grant application and also have the expertise to manage the grant, including report writing."
Michael Dibley, Associate Professor of International Public Health, has successfully found funding for two of his research projects into infant feeding in South Asia and adolescent obesity in Vietnam.
"There are certain types of research grants that are well publicised and well known, but there are lots of other opportunities. Unless you are deliberately looking for them, you won't find them," he said.
"RIAP knows what areas I'm interested in and they contact me when opportunities come up. These projects found funding because of RIAP's support in writing the grants and liaising with the donor. For me, it's been a great partnership and it's going to lead to the University getting more opportunities to internationalise its work."
The RIAP team has secured three successful AusAID Public Sector Linkages Project grants in the latest round, taking the total value secured by RIAP in that program to more than $544,000, a new record for the University.
Other funds secured recently by RIAP include US$3 million from the Ovations Centre for Chronic Disease, and $740,000 from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine.
Contact: Claudia Liu
Phone: 02 9351 3191