The Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (CRIS) is a scheme recently established by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. The scheme will provide $60 million (redirected from other research block grants) to support the operation of critical national, collaborative research infrastructure facilities up to 31 December 2014.
In making decisions on grants, the Minister will take into account recommendations from the Universities Australia – Government Consultative Group comprising:
- Deputy Secretary, Science and Research, DIISRTE (Chair)
- The Chief Scientist for Australia
- Professor Warwick Anderson (NHMRC)
- Professor Aidan Byrne (ARC)
- Professor Mike Calford (University of Newcastle)
- Professor Edwina Cornish (Monash University)
- Dr Phil McFadden (DIISRTE appointee)
- Professor Peter Lee (Southern Cross University)
- Professor Robyn Owens (University of Western Australia)
- Ms Belinda Robinson (CEO, Universities Australia)
- Professor Arun Sharma (Queensland University of Technology)
- Dr Mike Vertigan (DIISRTE appointee)
Under its terms of reference, the Consultative Group is responsible for determining eligibility and the factors for prioritising facilities and funding levels. These are set out in the CRIS application form.
Applications for funding under CRIS are due by COB Friday 2nd November 2012.
The CRIS application form can be downloaded here.
Key aspects of the CRIS process are as follows:
- Priorities for funding and funding levels will be determined by the Consultative Group’s assessment of the contribution that continuation of individual projects will make to Australia’s research capacity, relative to other applicant projects and the level of funding sought.
- The Prioritisation Criteria are:
- Criterion One – Collaboration: Please set out the collaborative and/or consultative arrangements you have in place to engage with the research sector that will help to improve the outcomes from the project during the period of CRIS funding.
- Criterion Two – Contribution to date: For the sub-projects / components in the preferred funding level, please set out, and quantify if possible, the unique contribution to Australia’s research and/or innovation capacity that the project has made, and will make, in the period supported by NCRIS and/or Super Science funding. This should include, but not be limited to, data on user numbers and the sector (Australian academic, International academic, Government department, Government research agency, Commercial) they come from.
- Criterion Three – Future contribution: For the sub-projects / components in the preferred funding level, please set out, and quantify if possible, the unique contribution to Australia’s research and/or innovation capacity that the project is expected to make in the period supported by CRIS under the preferred funding level. Please also set out briefly any alignment with the 2011 Strategic Roadmap for Research Infrastructure Investment, which is available at: http://www.innovation.gov.au/Science/ResearchInfrastructure/Pages/default.aspx. You should also comment on likely changes in the users using your response to Criterion Two as a base.
- The Consultative Group may use the information in the application form, when determining levels of funding, to recommend that some, not all, the sub-projects / components of a project be funded.
- Activities (expenses) that will be funded are:
- management and governance costs at both the node and national governance levels
- salaries and on costs for technical staff
- infrastructure maintenance
- CRIS funding must not be used for the acquisition or development of new infrastructure, or to expand the capacity of existing infrastructure – rather it is intended to support the operation of existing infrastructure.
- Projects may only use CRIS funds to support their operations after their NCRIS and Super Science funding has been exhausted.
- Applicants are asked to provide two funding requests:
- a ‘preferred’ level of funding which may be up to the amount required to maintain your current level of activity to 31 December 2014; and
- a ‘minimum’ level of funding – the minimum funding required from CRIS to support critical project activity to 31 December 2014.
IMOS (through UTAS) is eligible to apply for CRIS funding and intends to submit an application. This will cover the 12 months from July 2013 to June 2014, and an additional six months to December 2014.
The IMOS office will develop the application in consultation with Operators/Facilities, and will seek input from the Node Steering Committee and approval from the IMOS Advisory Board.
All queries about the CRIS process should be directed to the IMOS Director (tim.moltmann(at)imos.org.au) or the IMOS Project Manager (jo.neilson(at)utas.edu.au)
The timetable for application development, approval and submission can be found here.