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Operational Research Support Scheme


Operational Research Support (ORS) was established in 2015. Its purpose is to

  • Provide discretionary operating funds for active researchers;
  • Support groups of researchers who need assistance to develop their research careers (e.g. Early Career Researchers and new emerging research teams in areas of priority);
  • Support quality research activity;

ORS is allocated 50% from academic staff research workload allocations within the CIC and 50% from the proportion of quality research outputs.

ORD suggests that ORS funds will be available for use for:

  • Supporting technical aspects of a project (technical/project support officers, consumables);
  • Supporting publication (including open access costs);
  • Limited use for travel (must be approved and for research collaboration development);
  • Research assistant support;
  • Equipment maintenance, technicians, and consumables;
  • HDR support for high cost projects;
  • Funding ‘near miss’ ACG applications;
  • Safety net/bridging funding for limited term contract staff;
  • Base funding for ECR ‘start up’;
  • Securing primary and secondary data sets; and
  • Supporting research data and primary materials storage and retention.

Although this list is not exhaustive, it sets the general expectations for expenditure.

ORS cannot be used for teaching buyout.


It is the CIC Director’s belief that

  • The money must be spent by the 31st of December of the year following allocation and so consequently the CIC has to spend the money directly; it cannot put it in a researcher’s cost centre to be spent at a later date
  • The money should be used for significant activities aligned with the CIC purpose. This requirement for significant activities was strongly emphasized by the new DVCR at the Deans of Research meeting held on 10th August 2016.

2016 Allocation

In 2016 the allocation was as follows

  • Effort: $59,332.13
  • Pubs: $93,191.37

The total FTE contributing to the effort was 30.75 i.e. ~$1,900 per FTE for effort and $3,000 per FTE for publications.

Allocation of 2016 ORS

The CIC Steering and Research committees understand that the University would like ORS to be spent in a strategic manner and the best way to accomplish this is via a competitive proposal process.

Projects up to $50k in value will be funded. There are two key CIC objectives that ORS should support; research collaboration and research grant success. Consequently, the CIC is looking for projects that will lead to enhanced collaboration and/or lead to a grant submission. A focus of the ORS scheme is supporting Early Career Researchers. The final consideration is the resources that can be brought to the project from other areas of the University and externally. Additional funding is preferred, although other kinds of resources will be considered.

Selection Criteria

  1. How well the proposed project supports research collaboration/grant generation
  2. Track record of the team relative to opportunity
  3. How well the project supports ECRs
  4. Additional resources that the grant will leverage.

For requests greater than $40k, the team must include researchers from more than one theme or faculty.

The closing date is Friday 24th March 2017. Please note that ORS applications cannot be recycled ARC/NHMRC grants submitted in March 2017 for funding in 2018. Applications should use the CIC ORS template and be emailed to

Further Information

Please contact:
Professor Andrew Rohl
CIC Director
Tel: +61 8 9266 3124