Developing an application

To develop a strong and competitive research funding application, you should consider the following steps.

  • Enlist support

    Contact your Associate Dean (Research) or Research Centre Director to discuss your project and due dates. Find out what support is available. This could be leverage funding to support your project, administrative support or finding you a mentor.

    You should consider the following:

    • Ensure your application meets the definition of research
    • Ensure the grant you want to apply for is appropriate for your stage of career
    • Seek feedback from a senior researcher, research mentor, discipline expert, and the community to discuss the feasibility of your project
    • Discuss how your proposal aligns with the Charles Sturt University Research Narrative, or research priorities of your Research Centre or Faculty
    • Identify or generate community support for your project.  Understand community priorities, potential impacts, and incorporate these into your research plan
    • Gather a team of collaborators. These can be either internal, or from other research institutions and/or community-based organisations.  Look at who is conducting similar research or who has complimentary research – can you work together? Can you demonstrate the strength of the research team and appropriate track record?
    • Talk to people who have previously won these awards or check the funding organisations web page to read past outcomes - What are its goals, values and direction? Think about how your research can contribute to that, and why is it important?
  • Clarify guidelines and check eligibility

    You must ensure you are eligible to apply by reading the funding guidelines. It is the responsibility of the lead researcher on a project to confirm all investigators and organisations listed on the grant are eligible to apply. Check if there are past successful applications you can read, or if the Research Office can put you in touch with successful Charles Sturt University investigators.

    • Discuss any proposal limits with the Research Office to ensure they are aware of your application
    • Discuss workload and resourcing with your Supervisor (generally, the Head of School)
    • Organise supporting documentation- check the scheme funding guidelines
    • If there are external collaborating organisations, consider if Charles Sturt University has worked with these organisations in the past on research applications? Can you demonstrate this as a strength in the application?
    • Ensure the research environment demonstrates Charles Sturt University's strength in this research area
    • If the application requires letters of support or supporting documentation from collaborating partners or the University discuss these requirements early as this generally takes some time.
  • Draft your application and budget

    Draft your application early. Applications should address funding body guidelines and criteria. Consider project feasibility and how clearly your project demonstrates what needs to be done in this area/industry/location and why it needs to be done; how and when the research will be undertaken and who will do it.

    The Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies provides grant writing support to assist in the development of high-quality external research funding applications.


    Your budget should be realistic and as accurate as possible. Researchers are encouraged to use the Budget Approval Form to help build your budget. You can access the current salary rates, oncosts and travel rates via the Budget Approval Form User Guide.

    You should discuss the application with the Projects Team in the Research Office and check if any levies or administrative fees are applicable to the project. Be sure to get specific advice on the Competitive Neutrality Levy and GST. Your application budget should:

    • Reflect budget requests that are essential to conduct the research
    • Ensure the full cost of the research project is within the application budget
    • Ensure the return on investment for Charles Sturt University is worthwhile
    • Outline the leverage funding commitments to this project

    The lead Charles Sturt University researcher must ensure they have obtained written confirmation from collaborators of all in-kind time commitments, resources and funding support from external project collaborators.

    Intellectual Property

    • Determine if the funding guidelines have restrictions on the use of Intellectual property
    • Determine what rights to Intellectual Property Charles Sturt University will have within the application
    • Discuss your issues with the Research Office

    Funding Body Terms and Conditions

    • Determine if the funding application requires Charles Sturt University acceptance of agreement terms and conditions within the application
    • Confirm with the Research Office that any terms and conditions are acceptable to Charles Sturt University
  • Seek feedback and review your application

    You are encouraged to seek feedback on your draft application. Consider your Associate Dean (Research) or Research Centre Director, discipline experts in your School/Centre, or a mentor who can provide an academic review of the proposal. This person may be able to provide an experienced review of your application.

  • Complete the Notice to Submit form (NTS)

    All Charles Sturt University researchers listed on the grant application will be included in the Research Project Request Form that can be accessed at My Research. Necessary data is also included in the form.

    FOR and SEO Codes

    Charles Sturt University uses FOR and SEO Codes in various institutional reporting to demonstrate the University's research capacity. For research grants data collection, FOR and SEO codes are collected via the Research Project Request form at the time an application is submitted to an external funding organisation.

  • Submit the application and NTS to the Research Office

    Submit the application via the RPR form.

    Process the RPR form in My Research in order that it arrive in the Office of Research Services 10 working days prior to the application due date – see Application Approval and Submission for further advice.