Wishlist/SCHHS-SERTF

 

Collaborative Research Grants 2020 Guidelines

 

Applications Open: 7am

Monday 3rd August 2020

 

Applications Close:  Midnight

Tuesday 15th September 2020

 

 

 

1.Background

Wishlist is the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) Hospital Foundation.  Wishlist’s mission is to work in partnership with the SCHHS and the communities it serves, to promote healthy living and exceptional care through the provision of medical equipment, service support, education and research.  

 

SCHHS SERTF is the Study, Education, Research Trust fund that offers support to all SCHHS staff regarding study, education and research. For this funding round the purpose and support is specific to research projects. 

Both Wishlist and SERTF do not fund (as a matter of principle) expenditure deemed to be essential for clinical service delivery.

As part of its mission, Wishlist recognises the need to support and encourage research activity that contributes to improved health care outcomes for the Sunshine Coast and wider community and adds to the body of research knowledge. This is in line with the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) Research Strategic Plan (2016-2021).

 

To ensure equity of access to funds and efficiency in the governance of research projects within the SCHHS, Wishlist and SERTF will offer collaborative grants for 2020. 

 

The 2020 funding round will also be aligned to Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI) five priority research clusters, which are:

 

  1. Practice Education in Health
  2. Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance
  3. Healthy Ageing
  4. Maternal and Child Health
  5. Optimising Health Service Efficiency.

 

The Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants Scheme 2020 is aimed at three key groups of SCHHS research staff who are invited to apply: 

 

  • Experienced
  • Early Career, and
  • Novice.

 

2.Principles

The Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants Scheme is based on the following fundamental principles:

 

  1. The conduct of research in health services is an important activity that promotes a critical evaluation of practice and opens opportunities to deliver better care.
  2. The ability to ask and answer important questions about the delivery of health care is an important assurance to the public that a health service is striving to deliver the best care.
  3. Research and quality improvement activity are on a continuum and are important attributes of developing an innovative and high performing workforce.
  4. The development of skills and competency in research will occur over a period of time.
  5. The creation of a research culture will occur over time as research competency increases and the infrastructure to support research is developed.

3.Objectives of the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants Scheme

The objectives of the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants Scheme are to:

  • Enhance health outcomes by financially supporting SCHHS research.
  • Support SCHHS experienced researchers to become active research leaders in their field.
  • Encourage SCHHS early career researchers in developing a research career.
  • Support SCHHS novice researchers to gain experience leading their own research project.
  • Promote a positive research culture that translates into improvements in health care.
  • Promote innovative health care through identifying and implementing evidence-based practices and developing an ongoing culture of learning.

The evaluation of the research grants will occur annually against the criteria listed in Section 6, and will be used to inform the structure of the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants in the following year (please refer to Section 7 Management of Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants). 

 

4.Eligibility

To be eligible to hold a Wishlist/SERTF Research Grant, both when applying and throughout the tenure of the grant, the nominated Principal Investigator (clinical or non-clinical staff):

 

  1. Must hold an appropriate current substantive appointment within the SCHHS.
  2. Only submit one application as Principal Investigator (PI) in each funding round, although staff may appear as co-investigators on other grant applications within the same funding round.
  3. Must be prepared to assume overall responsibility for the conduct of the project including be listed as the PI on HREC and research governance applications.
  4. Conduct at least 80% of the funded research project at the SCHHS.

The research team may include co-investigators external to the SCHHS who are collaborating with the SCHHS research team.  Researchers are encouraged to collaborate with SCHI partners and to focus on one or more of the SCHI priority research clusters.

 

2020-2021 Focus

Each year Wishlist will nominate an area of focus for the health foundation’s research funding, which will be determined by funding priorities and philanthropic opportunities.  Wishlist’s priority for the 2020-2021 financial year will be on supporting research addressing alternative models of care, oncology and paediatric issues.

SERTF funding will be guided by the creation of an organisational culture that combines innovation and the pursuit of knowledge into best practice patient care and community health outcomes.

5.Grant categories

Wishlist/SERTF provide support to researchers through three grant categories:

  • Category 1: Experienced Researcher. Projects will be funded to a maximum of $50,000 and may extend to three years.
  • Category 2: Early Career Researcher. Projects will be funded to a maximum of $20,000 and may extend to two years.
  • Category 3: Novice Researcher. Projects will be funded to a maximum of $10,000 and may extend to two years.

5.1 Experienced Researcher

To be eligible for the Experienced Researcher category, the PI must meet at least three (3) of the following criteria:

 

  • More than ten (10) years post award of a PhD/Masters degree by research.
  • Significant experience in applying for ethical approval, developing and managing protocols, managing budgets and research staff.
  • Obtained significant levels of research funding as a Principal/Chief Investigator on minor or local grant schemes (e.g. Wishlist or funding through professional associations).
  • Listed as a Principal/Chief Investigator on a successful major national or international grant scheme (e.g. Office of Health and Medical Research, National Health and Medical Research Council, US National Institutes of Health).
  • Published at least ten articles in peer reviewed journals, and delivered at least three presentations to a local, state or national audience.

5.2 Early Career Researcher

To be eligible for the Early Career Researcher category, the PI must meet at least three (3) of the following criteria:

 

  • Less than ten (10) years post award of a PhD/Masters degree by research.
  • Some experience in conducting research projects including applying for ethical approval, developing and following protocols, and delivering research projects.
  • Obtained some research funding as a Principal/Chief Investigator or as Co-Investigator on a research project from a minor or local grant scheme (e.g. Wishlist, funding through professional associations).
  • Previously named as a Principal/Chief Investigator or Co-Investigator on a successful major national or international grant scheme (e.g. Office of Health and Medical Research, National Health and Medical Research Council, US National Institutes of Health).
  • Published at least five articles in peer reviewed journals, either as the primary author or a co-author, and delivered at least two presentations to a local, state or a national audience.

5.3 Novice Researcher

To be eligible for the Novice Researcher category, the PI must meet the following mandatory criteria:

 

  • Identified a research mentor (who is listed as a co-investigator on the application) and who has signed a Research Mentor Contract.
  • No or minimal previous experience in obtaining ethical approval or undertaking research tasks, including developing and following protocols.
  • Not previously named as a Principal/Chief Investigator, nor obtained funding via a research grant scheme.
  • No or minimal experience in publishing the outcomes of previous research in peer reviewed journals, either as the primary author or a co-author.

All applications in the novice researcher category require a research mentor as a Co-Investigator who must complete a Research Mentor Contract and provide a copy of their CV as part of the application supporting documentation. The expectation is that the novice researcher would complete the majority of tasks as outlined in the Research Mentor Contract under the supervision of the Research Mentor.  The Research Mentor must be someone who possesses the relevant qualifications, skills and experience to assist and support the novice researcher in completing the study. It is expected that the Research Mentor would meet the criteria of an Experienced Researcher (as per Section 5.1).

 

NOTE: the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants Scheme 2020 is not intended to fund Higher Degree Research (HDR) scholarships. Staff undertaking HDR studies can apply for scholarship support from universities, training organisations and specific scholarship grants schemes.  Please contact your university higher degree office for more information/advice.

 

6.How will my application be assessed?

All projects will be assessed based on the following weighted criteria:

 

  1. Research Vision.
  2. Significance and contribution.
  3. Research proposal and achievability.
  4. Track record.
  5. Project budget and justification.

 

6.1 Research Vision

Applicants will be assessed according to their research vision, including their plans for future research and intention to apply for research funding. Consideration will also focus on an applicant’s alignment with their Department’s research strategy, and their plans to assume a research leadership role.

 

6.2 Significance and Contribution  

This criterion assesses the potential of the project to meet the scope of the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grant scheme by increasing knowledge about health care, treatment or services. 

 

Applications may be assessed in terms of, but not limited to:

 

  • Relevance of the project to the SCHI Partner Research Themes.
  • Whether the question/s the project seeks to address also addresses a SCHHS population health priority need.
  • Clearly described research outcomes that explain to what degree will the project challenge or advance existing knowledge in the field.
  • Potential for the project to improve SCHHS policy, procedures or practice.

Scope of the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants:

  • Promote evidence-based workforce practices through improvements in procedures and workforce knowledge.
  • Be directly relevant to clinical practice and health care outcomes for patients in the SCHHS.
  • Address areas of significant disease burden relevant to the health of the broader national or international community.
  • Facilitate collaborative partnerships between government, non-government and research sectors, with a direct benefit for the SCHHS.
  • Health related scientific research within the facilities of SCHI.

6.3 Research Proposal and achievability  

Research proposal and achievability will be assessed according to the clarity of the hypothesis or research objectives, and the quality, feasibility and achievability of the project design.

Things to consider when preparing your application:

  • The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated 2018) including research merit and integrity.
  • The complexity of the research should be commensurate with the level of the grant, and the logic and rationale of the planned approach is based on analysis of current evidence.
  •  A clear plan exists for the translation of research findings to improve health outcomes for the SCHHS community.  
  • Ensure your application is peer reviewed before submission.

6.4 Track Record  

Track record is considered in terms of whether the applicant’s previous research demonstrates that the researcher (or team) can achieve and complete the requirements of the proposed project based on the mix of qualifications, research skills and experience. Where an application involves a team, the track record of all members is considered and will be assessed relative to opportunity. 

Capability and capacity to execute the project are also considered in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated 2018) and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018).

6.5 Budget 

The budget is considered in terms of whether the funds requested support the delivery of the proposed research project; are realistic regarding the methods employed; are inclusive of all potential expenses; and have been clearly justified in terms of need and cost.

Projects that require research equipment must adhere to the SCHHS Procurement Policy and are also subject to review via Wishlist’s Project Funding round procedure.

The preparation of a full project research budget (regardless of the funding sought in this application) is essential in determining whether the conduct of the study is feasible. Please contact the Research Governance and Development Unit for a copy of the approved budget template (Microsoft Excel), and support in preparing a project budget.

 

NOTE: the alignment between the research aims, track record of the project team, and project budget should be transparent. 

 

7.Management of the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grant Scheme

The Wishlist/SERTF Research Grant Scheme will be co-managed by Wishlist, SERTF and the SCHHS Research Governance and Development Unit. The Research Clinical Council is responsible for overseeing the integrity of the application and review process.

The Research Governance and Development Unit will manage the review process and will include external reviewers where specialist input is required.

7.1 Application Review

Each application will be reviewed by an independent reviewer and/or an experienced researcher within the SCHI community who has no conflict of interest in providing an objective review of the research project under consideration.  For Experienced researcher category applications, each application will be allocated to at least two reviewers:

 

  1. a researcher with experience in the research subject area, and
  2. a reviewer external to the SCHHS. 

Each application will be assessed based on the five criteria listed in section 6.

Each reviewer will be required to provide a comment reflective of the score they have assigned to the project. 

7.2 Funding Decision

Once assessed, ALL applications will then be reviewed by an independent panel of reviewers comprised of representatives from the SERTF Committee and Wishlist Board - who will determine the projects that best align with Wishlist and SERTF’s funding strategy.  The outcome of the review process will be made known in early November 2020.

Wishlist and SERTF will retain all rights and responsibilities associated with the final funding decision; and the management of funding agreements and payment of successful grants. The relevant funding party should be acknowledged in any publications and presentations associated with the research project.

 

7.3 Project Milestone Reporting

Milestones must be achieved by the deadlines outlined below. (If milestones are not met, Wishlist/SERTF have the right to withdraw the funding without further payment.)

 

Milestone 1: the research project is to commence within 6 months of the date of the letter of offer.  (Note - a research project cannot commence until ethics and governance approvals are in place). Wishlist/SERTF are to be notified if the commencement date cannot be achieved.

 

Milestone 2: a progress report for 2020 grant recipients is to be provided to SC-Research-Grants@health.qld.gov.au by 31st December 2021.

 

Milestone 3: a Final report is to be provided to SC-Research-Grants@health.qld.gov.auby the 31st December 2022.

8.Process for Submission

8.1 Application

All applications must be submitted using the online Wishlist/SERTF Research Grant Application Form 2020, which can be accessed via:

 

https://wishlist.smartygrants.com.au/2020-Wishlist-SERTF-Research-Grant

 

The application and attachments must be submitted electronically online at the Smarty Grants 2020 Wishlist/SERTF Research Grants link.

 

No changes are to be made to the format/content of the form.  The application must contain all information necessary for assessment without the need for further written or oral explanation, or reference to additional documentation.   Where a word limit applies within a sub-section of the application form, these must be adhered to. 

 

(Please note that the system will not allow applications to be submitted if any section is over the maximum word limit, or if mandatory fields are not completed.)

 

All referencing (in-text and the reference list) must conform to the Vancouver Referencing Style.

 

8.2 Supporting Documentation

Supporting documentation is required to complete the application, and can be uploaded as attachments:

 

  • Principal Investigator CV (2 pages only).
  • Mentor Contract (for Novice applications only).
  • Mentor CV (2 pages only) (for Novice applications only).
  • Full project budget on the approved budget template (including in kind funding, funding requested from this grant application and other income streams).
  • Certification Form with Principal Investigator signature, Business Manager signature, Department Head signature and Mentor signature (mentor signature required only for Novice applicants).

Applications close:  midnight Tuesday 15th September 2020.

 

Late or incomplete applications (including those with missing signatures) will not be accepted.

 

9.Feedback on Applications

Applicants may request feedback on their submission through the Research Governance and Development Unit, SCHHS at SC-Research-Support@health.qld.gov.au or (07) 5202 2992/(07) 5202 2997.

 

10.Responsible Conduct of Research

Wishlist and SERTF expect the highest levels of research conduct and integrity to be observed in the conduct of funded projects. Researchers and institutions will be bound by the Wishlist/SERTF Research Grant Scheme Conditions of Award. Researchers are required to adhere to the requirements of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated 2018) and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018). These guidelines advocate and describe best practice for researchers and institutions.

 

11.Further Information

Requests for further information in relation to the application and review process, ethics approval and reporting requirements should be directed to Research Officer (Grants Development), Research Governance and Development Unit, SCHHS at:

 

SC-Research-Grants@health.qld.gov.au or (07) 5202 2992/(07) 5202 2997.