New OpportunitiesNicolas Baudin Internships in France Initiative - now reopened

Nicolas Baudin in France logo

The call for applications for the Nicolas Baudin program was temporarily suspended while the Embassy of France in Australia consulted with French establishments on the impacts of Covid-19 border closures and explored solutions.

The Embassy has now reopened applications for the program until 15 June 2020. Students enrolled in Undergraduate, Honours, Masters programs are eligible to apply for the general stream. PhD students are only eligible to apply for the "Internship in France" initiative scheme.

Internships in France

The internship offers are jointly created by the French host university and its industry partner, and when relevant with the Australian partner university if the intern is enrolled within the framework of a pre-existing scientific collaboration.

The Embassy provides a grant to finance the cost of return travel to France. Naval Group and Thales cover the travel of those students selected for internships of which they are industry partners (for students from Group of Eight universities, Flinders University or UniSA).

The internship supervisors have indicated that the proposed starting dates of these internships are flexible and are able to be postponed, according to the eventual reopening of borders. The Embassy will announce laureates in July and students can contact the supervisors to negotiate the dates of their internship. A number of these research internships may also be offered either partially or totally online if necessary.

A list of internship offers is available.

General Program

Students planning exchange or degree programs in France in the second half of 2020 can apply for the Nicolas Baudin travel grant. The Embassy will announce laureates in July, on the premise that Semester 2 exchanges will go ahead.

For more information, visit the Embassy of France in Canberra website.

Flinders Research NewsAn update from the ARC CEO Professor Sue Thomas - 1 May 2020

Australian Research Council

Professor Sue Thomas, has provided an update on the ARC grants processes.

It includes information on: the National Competitive Grants Program - current rounds; new post award guidance; support for early and mid-career researchers - including extension to DECRA 2022 closing date; and the 2020-21 grant calendar.

"Following on from previous Network Messages to the sector, I would like to provide an update on the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) grant application and peer review processes, and outline further flexibility that the ARC is introducing for 2020 to support researchers on active ARC projects and researchers planning applications for future ARC support.

Grant application rounds continue with the assistance of the assessor community

We are continuing to progress the application and peer review processes for current ARC scheme rounds, including the Australian Laureate Fellowships, Future Fellowships, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Discovery Projects, Discovery Indigenous, Industrial Transformation Research Program, Linkage Projects, Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities, and the Special Research Initiative for Australian Society, History and Culture.

Despite the significant disruptions that the sector is experiencing, the ARC’s assessor community is continuing to provide assessments for over 4000 grant applications. We greatly appreciate this critical contribution to peer review processes that will ensure delivery of funding outcomes that support Australian research in the recovery period and beyond. Online Selection Advisory Committee meetings are also progressing very well.

New post award guidance—responding to the impact of COVID-19

To assist researchers and administrators working on active ARC projects impacted by the COVID-19 situation, the ARC has investigated ways to allow greater flexibility and minimise the burden of post award administration at this time. The ARC has now published post award guidance material that takes into account Grant Agreement requirements and seeks to provide a balance between accountability for expenditure of public money and easing the burden on researchers and Research Offices.

The guidance covers streamlined mechanisms to notify some variations through the ARC’s End of Year Report process, extensions to notification and reporting deadlines, other variations that will be considered due to the impact of COVID-19, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Acknowledging that COVID-19 is affecting researchers and the progress of research projects in a variety of ways, the guidance provides options for researchers and administrators to consider in responding to the specific impact on their project.

The ARC will continue to monitor the situation and update this guidance and FAQs accordingly.

Supporting early and mid-career researchers

We know that this is a particularly difficult time for our early and mid-career researchers, who have specific eligibility timeframes to apply for the DECRA and Future Fellowships (FT) schemes. The ARC is therefore introducing a one year, automatic eligibility extension, for all researchers currently in their final year of eligibility for both schemes. 

Researchers in their final year of eligibility for DECRA may choose to apply in 2020 (for DECRA 2022) within the existing eligibility timeframes or in 2021 (for DECRA 2023) utilising the automatic one-year extension. The same eligibility extension will be available for researchers in their final year of eligibility for Future Fellowships. Applicants may choose to apply in 2020 (for FT 2021) or utilise the automatic, one-year eligibility extension to apply in 2021 (for FT 2022). Final year applicants in either scheme cannot apply in both rounds.

For researchers planning applications in these, and other, NCGP schemes, the Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence (ROPE) selection criterion allows inclusion and consideration of any career interruption, which has affected a researcher’s ability to undertake and contribute to research. Career interruptions arising from COVID-19 can be included under ROPE for consideration by assessors in all future rounds, for most NCGP schemes—advice will be included in the Instructions to Applicants on how to do this.

In conjunction with this change, the closing date for DECRA 2022 applications has been extended to 25 November 2020 (previously 11 November 2020).

2020-21 Grant Calendar coming soon

The ARC had delayed finalising the 2020-21 scheme round dates until now. At this stage we are not anticipating significant delays to the scheme applications rounds due to open at the end of this year. We have now resumed finalising these dates and will publish the dates on our website by the end of May.

Finally, I want to assure you that the ARC is committed to supporting researchers through this challenging period. We will continue to identify new issues as they emerge, reassess the applicability of our new measures, and update guidance as required.

Professor Sue Thomas
Chief Executive Officer"

Flinders Research NewsSurvey on the impact of COVID-19 on Health and Medical Research

Research Australia

Research Australia is working with its members across the pipeline to compile a comprehensive report for Australian governments to fully understand the contribution the health and medical research innovation sector is making to the response to COVID-19 and the impact COVID-19 is having on the sector.

They are requesting input to the impact COVID-19 is having on the sector with a brief survey to gain insight into the impact of the pandemic from the viewpoint of researchers and innovators across the whole sector. 

Please complete the survey - it will only take 10 to 15 minutes.  

Research Australia believe it is vital governments fully understand the different effects COVID-19 is having right across our sector and this is your opportunity to contribute.  They need governments to know about the impact COVID-19 is having on you, your research, and your teams. At the moment this impact has no visibility- you can help fix this. 

The survey is available  via surveymonkey.   

The survey questions have been developed by Research Australia in partnership with Deakin University. Non-identifiable data will be transferred to Deakin University for analyses, report writing and publication of findings as aggregated data in peer-review publications. Submission of the survey implies consent. If you have any complaints about any aspect of the project, the way it is being conducted or any questions about your rights as a research participant, then you may contact The Human Research Ethics Office, Deakin University, Telephone: 9251 7129, Please quote project number [HEAG-H 71_2020].

For further information on this study, see the plain language statement and consent form from Deakin University.

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