Call for research ideas

Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre is calling for innovative ideas to conduct health-services research relevant to the western region of Victoria.


Grants-in-Aid Program 2018

Western Alliance was the first Australian academic health science centre and network established exclusively to focus on regional and rural/remote health outcomes. It is an alliance of academic institutions and health service providers, and aims to improve the impact, quality and quantity of research in the western region of Victoria.

Each year, Western Alliance invites submissions of ideas for innovative research projects. The intention is to support the development of collaborative, applied and translational research to improve regional and rural/remote health outcomes. This year, the emphasis in the Grants-in-Aid Program is on supporting innovation and building capacity to undertake and lead research in the region’s health workforce. We are particularly keen to receive submissions from professionals in medical, nursing and allied health disciplines who may have limited research experience but can offer fresh ideas for clinical or non-clinical translational research in the health services context.

A total of $300,000 is available for this round of funding.

The Call for Research Ideas is now closed.


Information and eligibility criteria

Please read the information and conditions of award carefully.

Aim of the program

The Grants-in-Aid Program aims to foster cutting-edge research to improve our understanding and the delivery of health services to regional and rural/remote populations.


Persons working in a public/private hospital, general medical practice or other health service, or in a university or recognised research institute in the western region of Victoria are eligible to submit their ideas for consideration.

In order to be eligible for funding support at stage 3, the developed proposal must demonstrate

(1) its relevance to regional health outcomes, (2) the building of capacity to undertake and/or lead research, (3) regional, cross-institutional collaboration and (4) knowledge translation beyond traditional approaches (such as academic/scientific publication and conferences).


Applied research: The use of scientific method to investigate, understand and develop innovative approaches and technologies that solve practical problems in a real-world context.
Collaborative research: Research involving cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional or multi-jurisdictional approaches.
Translational research/knowledge translation: Research that enables its findings to be applied into clinical practice, policy, administrative decision-marking or further research.


Submission and mentoring process

Eligible submissions of up to a maximum of 300 words are assessed and supported through a rigorous process of mentoring and review, based on the merit of the proposed research, the extent of its alignment with the principles and priority themes of Western Alliance and the relevance and significance of the proposed work in enhancing our knowledge of health outcomes and improving the way we care for patients and their families in the western region.

Stage 1: All eligible submissions are reviewed by Western Alliance’s Scientific Advisory and Leadership Team (SALT). Up to 12 submissions will be invited to the next stage.

Stage 2: Successful applicants from Stage 1 will be invited to participate in a workshop facilitated by experts with relevant research, clinical and related expertise, to support the development of their idea into a research proposal. Applicants will be paired with mentors to advise them on the development of their research proposals. At the conclusion of stage 2, a limited number of applicants will be invited to submit their proposal for funding support from Western Alliance.

Stage 3: Research proposals will be reviewed by the SALT and recommendations made to the Board of Directors, who may elect to provide applicants with: (1) A grant to conduct the research;
(2) Support to apply for external funding; (3) Constructive comments and/or further mentoring/ training to improve the research proposal.


Key dates in 2017

  • The call for research ideas closes at 5:00 pm on 5 June 2017.
  • The Research Development Workshop is to be held in Geelong from 10:00am to 4:00pm on 25 July 2017. Invited applicants must attend in person.
  • Applicants invited to participate in Stage 2 may be invited to present their research idea to the Annual Symposium (8 September 2017).
  • Invitations to submit a research proposal for funding support will be distributed to eligible applicants following the workshop.
  • The invitation to submit a research proposal will close at midnight on 3 September 2017.
  • Successful grant applicants will be notified in November 2017.


How to submit your research idea

Submissions closed on 5 June 2017.

More information

If you have a question about the process outlined above or would like more information about the program, contact Dr Renée Otmar on telephone 4215 2896 or email


Conditions of award

Western Alliance wishes to support research into the causes of diseases and the treatment and care of people in the western region of Victoria. The funding body is Western Alliance Health Research Ltd (Western Alliance), a Registered Charity.

At stage 3, applications for Grants-in-Aid will be considered for specific projects to support:

  • Salaries for research workers
  • Salaries to enable clinicians to undertake research
  • Research operating costs (data collection)
  • Attendance at conferences relevant to regional and rural/remote health
  • Translation and dissemination.

The following are some examples of activities not eligible for funding support: institutional overheads, routine clinical equipment, membership dues/ subscriptions.

The Board of Directors will decide which, if any, applications to approve for funding support after considering the recommendations of the SALT and the availability of funds.

In applying for research funding from Western Alliance, applicants confirm that they will:

  1. Ensure the ethical conduct of research under the grant.
  2. Report regularly on progress made towards agreed milestones.
  3. Lodge a final report within three months of the termination of the grant.
  4. Inform Western Alliance of any applications submitted to other organisations/ funding bodies for the same project.
  5. Acknowledge the support of the Western Alliance in all publications and presentations arising from work carried out under the grant.

By virtue of the signature of the appropriate administrative officer on the application form, institutions confirm that they will ensure:

  1. That monies granted by Western Alliance will be administered by the institution only for the purpose designated by Western Alliance and in accordance with any directions given by Western Alliance.
  2. That regular financial statements (outlining budget and expenditure against the project) will be provided as agreed by the institution to Western Alliance for each grant funded by Western Alliance.
  3. That facilities and infrastructure support will be provided and maintained to allow research under the grant to proceed.

Any funding support offered will be conditional upon the relevant institution and the applicant(s) entering into an agreement with the Western Alliance.

Recipients of grants may be asked to present the results of the research funded by Western Alliance at a public symposium, in media and/or other promotional activities.

  • About the author: Western Alliance

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