The Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest from eligible higher education institutions for funding under the Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) scheme.
The CRN scheme will provide up to $51 million from 2011 until mid-2013 to help less research-intensive smaller and regional universities strengthen their research capacity by teaming up with other institutions in areas of common interest.
Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, today released the CRN guidelines, saying that the CRN scheme offered a great opportunity to build research partnerships.
âThis scheme is all about promoting and supporting Australian based research,â Senator Carr said.
âWhile successful eligible institutions will receive funding under an agreement with the Commonwealth, this funding may flow to partner institutions for the purpose of facilitating and supporting the collaboration.
âThis means that the benefits of the scheme will flow right around Australia.
âThe CRN schemeâs flexibility is one of its best features. Under the guidelines, projects may involve existing or emerging areas of research capability, and should be relevant to the participating institutionsâ strategic directions.
âProjects need not be limited to specific research fields and may have more than one element with different partner institutions for each element.
âI fully expect that this scheme will encourage and assist some really exciting and cutting-edge research programs across a number of institutions.
âThe great thing about these guidelines and the scheme is that the Australian higher education sector has been engaged in their development right from the start. The result is guidelines that match the sectorâs needs.
âThe closing date for expressions of interest is 16 August. CRN projects will then be selected via a competitive process to support excellent proposals for research capacity building.â
Further information about the program, including the guidelines and template for Expressions of Interest, is available at www.innovation.gov.au.