Grant Development Resource Library

Applying for external competitive grant funding is challenging for researchers in all stages of their careers. To assist in the development of grant applications, the following resources have been made available for Western Sydney University researchers only.

Grant Development Support Strategy

To address the needs of the research sector and our research effort, Western employs a Grant Development Support Strategy. This comprises:

  • a mid-year voluntary Research Concept Pitch process;
  • a Pre-Submission Review (intention to submit) process for ARC/NHMRC grants; and
  • support and training.

These processes are undertaken in collaboration with local (School and Institute) grant development support.

Guiding principles of the Grant Development Support Strategy

In establishing this strategy, the University is guided by four principles:

  • Consistency in peer review
  • Efficient use of research time
  • Focus on quality applications
  • Clear decision making.

Download the Grant Development Support Strategy (opens in a new window) (login required).

Enquiries about this process should be directed to the Grants Services team or your School or Institute Research Director.

Strategic Advice and Guides

ARC deadlines and Resources links

NHMRC deadlines and Resources links



Where do I find information on external grants?

Information on external grants is available on the Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR) (opens in a new window)

When should I submit my application to Research Services for review and feedback?

All external research grant applications need to be lodged via Research Services at least five working days prior to the external closing date, and be accompanied by a completed Clearance Form (opens in a new window) (login required)

If researchers wish to submit with less than five working days, they need to seek endorsement from their Research or Institute Director.

Is ethics approval required before submitting a grant?

A grant can be submitted before ethical approval is sought. However, all research projects conducted by Western staff or students involving human participants, whether funded or unfunded, are required to seek ethical clearance before the project commences.

Ethics information is available here

Do I need approval to submit an external research submission?

Yes. All research funding applications, even if administered by another institution, require approval. The only authorised delegate for this approval is your Dean and/or Institute Director. The Clearance Form (opens in a new window) (login required) is how you get approval.

What are on-costs and how are they calculated?

The University is liable for payment of costs covering Payroll Tax, Workers Compensation, Superannuation, and Long Service Leave. These are on-costs.

On-costs must be factored into the cost of all employment contracts as this is the total cost of employing staff.

More information is available here (opens in a new window)

What are indirect costs?

Indirect costs are overheads or infrastructure costs that the University cannot easily allocate to a single activity, such as:

  • The provision and maintenance of physical infrastructure, such as offices, laboratory facilities, technology and communications;
  • Access to in-house resources and services, such as legal services, financial management and insurance services, security and other administrative services.

The term indirect costs replaces the so-called previous Research Levy.

Which funding is exempt from indirect costs?

Indirect cost exempt funding includes:

  • Funding bodies registered as charities under their ABN
  • Those that specify no levy/indirect costs in their application guidelines/rules
  • Category 1 funding
  • Projects that include a PhD scholarship
  • LIEF Grants (as they are Equipment)
  • Other Equipment funding

Where do I find information on salary levels?

You must use the relevant Enterprise Agreement salary levels for all project costs. Use the correct year's rate for future years. These rates can be found here (opens in a new window)

What are ATO reasonable travel allowance expense amounts?

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) is responsible for travel expense amounts. The University uses these rates for costing research proposals. They can be found here (opens in a new window)

How do I justify my budget?

Budget justifications are an argument for why you need these items in your budget and how you arrived at the costings.

Direct Costs:

  • Research assistance: outline the role and say why this is crucial to the conduct of the research. Say what skills are required for the position.
  • Travel: outline why you are going, how long you will be away or explain how you arrived at the total number of kilometres.
  • Maintenance: if you want to include phone, postage etc. this must be special to the project e.g. survey mail outs.
  • Investigator salaries proportional to the time allocated to the project.

Indirect Costs:

  • Infrastructure e.g. office space, meeting venues, computer access.
  • Professional development (workshops for specific skills).
  • The research environment e.g. opportunities to work with other similar/related researchers and postgraduates.
  • Access to specialist resources such as libraries and or unique databases.

For further advice, contact your Research Development Officer

Where do I find FOR, SEO and Type of Activity codes?

It is a good idea to check with experts in your area from your school/institute/centre to see if you have chosen the right category codes.

You must select the sections and subsections until you reach the six-digit codes for your project.

Research Category Codes can be found here

Who signs my application for submission?

You must have your completed application signed by the institutional representative, Executive Director, Research Services or the PVC Research. This will be arranged by Grants Services when your application is submitted for review and feedback.