Sydney Research Networks Scheme (SyReNS)

Funding body University of Sydney
Key dates

There will be no SyReNS round in 2014. The next round is to be confirmed.


The University seeks to support a small number of major cross-disciplinary initiatives in Research and Education as described in Strategy 8 of the University's Strategic Plan.

SyReNS will capitalize on Sydney’s unique disciplinary profile to evolve large and productive collaborations that enable high quality multidisciplinary research, at scale on significant and complex problems.  SyReNS will do this by providing funding and other support for themed research groups or networks spanning multiple Faculties over a two year period. 

Groups will be required to demonstrate their potential for, and develop strategies to, achieve critical mass to transform areas of research creating medium- to large-scale, cross-faculty, multi-disciplinary, collaborative initiatives in research and research training.  Ideally SyReNS funding will lead to a substantial, sustainable, externally-funded program into the future i.e. at least in some instances, it would be seed funding to develop a major application for a Centre or the like.  Success will define areas of excellence and national and international leadership for the University.   


SyReNS will provide funding of up to $200,000 per annum for two years to each of between 5 and 10 nascent networks in the first instance.  The second year of funding will be conditional on satisfactory progress (a progress report, including a financial acquittal of activities undertaken with the first years funding will be required).  Programs may commence from 1 January 2013 but must start no later than June 2013.

Budget Items may include:

  • Non-research Salaries – e.g., Professional, project and administrative officers to organize, implement and support networking activities, business case development/disciplinary analysis processes, engagement and communications strategies.
  • Networking activities – e.g., seminars, workshops, round-tables, consortia, summits, conferences, special interest groups (SIGS), showcases, public lectures and open days, public commentary, newsletters, etc.
  • Infrastructure to support networking activities – e.g., information portals, websites, databases of members disciplinary expertise/personal/contact details, list-servers, on-line surveys, etc. 
  • Development or purchase of shared data sets – e.g., data/document repositories and indexes, “clearing houses”, etc., in as much as they enable collaboration.
  • Modest requests for travel to participate in networking or fact finding activities.


An EoI for SyReNS funding must nominate a core team of at least ten (and a maximum of 20) active researchers (Chief Investigators, CIs), one of whom will be nominated as the Network Leader.  Up to 10 additional Associate Investigators (AIs), including researchers external to the University of Sydney, may be named:
Lead investigator must be a full-time academic staff member of the University of Sydney.

  • The core team must be active researchers (including the lead investigator) who are research or academic staff, adjunct or honorary affiliates, clinical or conjoint appointees of the University of Sydney or employees of the affiliated medical research institutes and teaching hospitals.
  • Core teams must be genuinely multi-disciplinary, involving researchers from at least two Faculties.
  • Core teams must demonstrate some existing collaborative activity at the time of application; and/or propose plans to establish genuine and broad collaboration within the proposed network as part of the program and within the funding period.
  • Teams are strongly encouraged to include mid and early career researchers.

Resources/Other information