Research partnerships

Research partnerships

The Macquarie University Research Office can help you with non-grant funding sources, including the identification, development and management of relationships with external partners.

The University also offers partnership funding through its Enterprise Partnerships Scheme to encourage initial research engagement with commercial, government and philanthropic organisations. This can help fund your first pilot research project with external partners.

If you are considering submitting a research tender  or are interested in working with industry, government, NGOs and other organisations to deliver solutions to current industry challenges, inform policy and improve service delivery, please contact a Research Partnerships Manager.

Quick reference guide

Download and view the Quick Reference Guide to Conducting Research With External Organisations which provides an overview of each phase, key activities and support/resources available through the University.

Steps

Step 1: Plan and Prepare for a Proposal

Prospect identification and initial contact

  • Look for potential partner/s who are funding other research activities in your field
  • Identify their competitors
  • Determine which peak bodies are active in this sector
  • Which potential partner organisations have stakeholders who could benefit from your research outputs?
  • Are there potential partner organisations that provide services or products in your research area, or conduct manufacturing, sales or R&D activities in your research area?
  • Can you identify the potential challenges or problems your research might address for these organisations?

When conducting an environmental scan for potential partners the library has databases which can be mined for a great deal of information (refer Resources section).  For example IBISWorld Industry Market Research covers over 500 industry reports, offering the latest content on every Australian industry. Each report consists of 30 to 40 pages of key statistics and analysis on market characteristics, operating conditions, current and historical performance,major industry participants and more.

Checklist - prospect identification and initial contact

Note:  The following checklist is for use by researchers and does not need to be submitted with funding proposals.  

□ I have a research idea that may help to solve a problem/open up an opportunity for an external partner organisation, or

□ I have identified or been approached by an external organisation to discuss a potential research project.

□ I have made some initial background enquiries about the partner organisation(s) and/or industry sector and their future plans to identify problems or challenges they are trying to address or opportunities they want to exploit.

□ I have liaised with my Research Partnerships Manager about my interest and intentions and completed Sections 1 and 2 of my Macquarie application form (APLI/coversheet).

□ I have advised my Head of Department of my interest and intentions

□ I have referred to the following resources for further guidance:

Download checklist

Step 2: Develop a Proposal

Partner discussions

I have had conversations with my potential partner(s) to:

  • understand their needs
  • find synergies in our interests and capabilities
  • identify problems or challenges they are trying to address or opportunities they want to exploit
  • start to understand the mutual benefits of partnering
  • exchange ideas on potential projects
  • understand and document some of the key pre-contractual terms that will be important to each party

Checklist - partner discussions

Note:  The following checklist is for use by researchers and does not need to be submitted with funding proposals.  

□ I have had conversations with my potential partner(s) to understand their needs, find synergies in our interests and capabilities, understand the mutual benefits of partnering and exchange ideas on potential projects

□ I have sought input from my Research Partnerships Manager (or where applicable, Corporate Engagement Manager) and/or the Commercialisation and Innovation Office about costing and pricing, intellectual property and publication rights essential to negotiation of my contract (refer Contracts and agreements).

□ I have consulted with my Head of Department and Faculty General Manager about use of University facilities for the project including access to additional IT/computing equipment, building space and accommodation for project personnel.

□ I have received the advice I need to continue to work with my partner organisation to develop a pitch/preliminary project proposal and draft Term Sheet

□ I have completed Section 3 of my Macquarie application form (APLI/coversheet).

□ I have referred to the following resources for further guidance:

Download checklist

Step 3: Submit a Proposal

Proposal finalisation, negotiations and approvals

Develop a formal proposal for your partner/s to:

  • articulate your concept of a mutually appealing project
  • demonstrate your understanding of their needs, and how your project addresses their need
  • understand the resource requirements for the project (e.g. personnel, budget, equipment)
  • express expectations around IP, timelines, etc
  • secure Macquarie approvals. Enter project details into the Macquarie research project form (APLI/coversheet)

Checklist - proposal development and submission

Note:  The following checklist is for use by researchers and does not need to be submitted with funding proposals.  

□  I have developed a formal proposal for my partner(s) which makes a compelling case for the research, articulates the resource requirements for the project (e.g. personnel, budget, equipment) and expresses expectations around IP, timelines, etc

□  I have completed a Macquarie application form (APLI/coversheet) to formally obtain my Head of Department and Faculty approvals

□ I have sent my proposal with all appropriate documents to the partner organisation and copied my Research Partnerships Manager at research.partnerships@mq.edu.au

□ I have referred to the following resources for further guidance:

Download checklist

Resources

Guides

Guide to conducting research with external organisations 
A Q&A based guide to the phases of partnering as well as available support and resources.

Quick guide
A one page summary of partnering phases, support and resources. 

Mapping potential partners
A question-based guide to developing an action plan to expand partnering opportunities.

Industry sector information and databases

To find a suitable partner, it helps to have an awareness of where your research might have relevance in particular sectors of the economy and society.  Scanning the following sources of information and databases can provide you with valuable insights into important issues and trends to inform this task.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
The ABS provides official statistics on a wide range of economic, social, population and environmental matters of importance to Australia.

IBISWorld
Industry Market Research database that covers over 500 industry reports, offering the latest content on every Australian industry. Each report consists of 30 to 40 pages of key statistics and analysis on market characteristics, operating conditions, current and historical performance,major industry participants and more.

Australian Government Industry Growth Centres
An industry-led approach to drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness by focusing on areas of competitive strength and strategic priority that will help Australia transition into smart, high value and export focused industries.

Australian Government National Innovation and Science Agenda
Programs and support to assist researchers and universities collaborate with industry and other external organisations.

New South Wales Government Key Industry Sectors
Descriptive and statistical information about key industry sectors in New South Wales.

New South Wales Government Innovation and Research
Programs and initiatives to support the creation of strong linkages between higher education, business and the community.

Action plan

Research action plan
A strategy document to assist in development of individual and/or group research activities.

Templates - proposal and budgets

Partner pitch template
A two page template to help to initially profile your research interests and capabilities with potential partners.

Partner proposal template
A template for preparing formal project proposals.

Budget template
A spreadsheet for preparing detailed costings and a budget summary for partner-funded research projects.

Policies - indirect costs (overheads) and intellectual property

Indirect (Overheads) Costs Policy
To factor in the real costs incurred by the University while doing research projects.

Intellectual Property Policy
To facilitate the efficient and timely transfer of our research to industry, government and the community.

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