Section 1: Project rules and requirements

This section explores the details on Eligibility, Ethics and risks, Contracting, budget, and Embedding Lived Experience.


The Department is not able to enter into a funding agreement with individuals. Sole traders are ineligible to apply. All grants from the Department must be awarded to a legal entity.

Applicants must be an eligible Australian-based organisation.

Eligible applicants

Only Australian-based organisations are eligible for the research grants. This includes not-for-profit entities, Australian universities, or research centres.

Applicants must be:

  • be an organisation incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012, Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or equivalent state legislation, OR
  • be a company incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 and registered as not-for-profit through the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission.

A not-for-profit entity must show the organisation is registered:

  • with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • with Consumer Affairs Victoria as an incorporated association, or
  • under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic).

Please note, Independent Statutory Bodies are out of scope for Phase 2 of the Research Program.

Applicants will need to have:

  • a current Australian Business Number
  • no overdue reports with the Department.

Eligible types of research

Grant applicants are encouraged to apply for Phase 2 of the Research Program regardless of whether their research project is to be funded exclusively by this process or will draw funding from a range of sources (such as Australian Research Council grants or philanthropic donations).

All the following types of research are eligible:

  • systematic literature and evidence reviews
  • secondary reviews and analysis using existing data
  • research projects involving any form of primary research
  • research projects using active participant methodologies
  • research projects using quantitative methods
  • research using a mixed methods approach.

All grant applicants will need to:

  • conduct any research involving people affected by family violence or sexual assault solely with Victorian populations
  • ensure that the project has a primary focus on producing outputs that have a practical, positive impact on improving outcomes in Victorian family violence, and sexual violence and harm, policy and practice
  • demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of Victorian family violence reform, its attached social context, and the Victorian family violence sector or Victorian sexual violence reform and sexual assault services
  • adhere to ethical research practices and approaches
  • demonstrate appropriate research and practice expertise and collaboration
  • embed lived experience and implement the lived experience guiding elements (see Embedding lived experience).

Ineligible types of research

The following research is not eligible for grants:

  • stand-alone evaluations of existing or planned programs
  • research focused on the area of primary prevention
  • research with individuals or populations outside Victoria
  • analysis of data collected from individuals or populations outside Victoria.

Ethical research practices and risks

The lead organisation must have policies and processes in place that ensure adherence to the current Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. A copy of this code can be downloaded from the NMHRC website’s Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 page

Where applicable, research teams must adhere to the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research to ensure that research with and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples follows a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity between the researcher and the individuals and/or communities involved in the research. A copy of this code can be downloaded from the AIATSIS website's Ethical Research page.

All research projects funded under Phase 2 must receive ethical clearance from an Australian recognised Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for approval if working with human participants. In some cases, ethical approval may also be required to access data or other written information, such as unit records, particularly where there is risk of reidentification. We encourage applicants to utilise university HREC’s to avoid costly private fees. We will fund the cost of ethics approval where this is a fit-for-purpose amount, identified and justified in the application’s budget. More information is on NHMRC’s Human research ethics committees page.

Applicants will be asked to indicate in their funding application where they believe their research may entail ethical risks. Where such risks exist, applicants must explain how they will be mitigated, especially where there are risks to privacy or to social groups that face particular forms of discrimination or disadvantage.

In addition to any conflict of interest or ethical concerns, applicants will be asked to identify any further risks which may impact on the progress or success of the research. An associated risk mitigation strategy must be briefly detailed in the application.


Successful applicants will need to hold appropriate insurance coverage for grant activities and provide evidence of this in their application. For more information about public and product liability cover for community and non-profit organisations:


Successful applicants must provide the following project deliverables.

Progress reports

To give evidence of the rigour of the study and help identify any emerging issues, these reports are to be completed using a proforma provided by the Department.

Progress reports will provide information on:

  • the progress of activities to date
  • methodological issues and their resolution
  • engagement with partners and other groups (such as Dhelk Dja Koori Caucus)
  • if applicable, the approach to the literature review
  • updates on ethical issues (e.g., a copy of the letter advising that ethical approval has been granted by a HREC after that occurs)
  • any changes to the research plan or methodology
  • ways in which the lived experience guiding elements have been embedded in the research
  • any risks to the completion of the project and the tactics to mitigate the risks
  • progress on the proposed knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) strategy and proposed deliverable.

Final research report

A plain English report based on guidance provided by FSV (for publication).

Knowledge translation deliverable

Applicants will be asked to advise on their preferred KTE deliverable in the application form and will seek to negotiate these with the successful applicants. These could include toolkits, guidelines, interactive reports, webinars, mini symposium, toolkits and policy presentations.

Lived experience report

A short, plain English reflections piece in any format to give the Department insight into the piloting of the lived experience guiding elements and to be utilised in evaluating them.

The format could be in the form of a written report, video, or website page, for example.

This deliverable must be completed by research teams in a co-design process with people involved in the project with lived experience or led by those with lived experience who have been involved in the project.

Successful applicants will be required to attend a sequence of progress meetings with Departmental representatives throughout the project’s lifecycle. All deliverables and project milestones will be clarified in greater detail when contracts for successful projects are negotiated.


Victorian Common Funding Agreement

Once the Minister or delegate has approved the funding recommendations, the Department will prepare the Victorian Common Funding Agreement (VCFA) for each project.

The VCFA establishes the parties, their obligations to each other (including the purpose of the funding and reporting requirements) and sets out the general terms and conditions of the funding.

A copy of the VCFA is available on the Victorian Government’s Victorian Common Funding Agreement forms and templates web page.

The VCFA must be executed by an organisation prior to the funding being paid. The VCFA (including the Schedule and Standard Form Terms and Conditions), will be sent electronically to successful applicants to review and sign. If you have any questions in relation to this process, please feel free to contact us by sending an email to

Upon the expiry or termination of the VCFA, the Department may request by notice in writing, the return of any unspent and/or uncommitted funding from the organisation.

Successful applicants will have their project details (including organisation name, project title and grant funding provided) published on the Department’s Grants web page.

Intellectual property

The standard Terms and Conditions that form part of the VCFA cannot be changed. Accordingly, the intellectual property rights will be managed in accordance with clause 16 of the VCFA.

In accordance with clause 16.3(b) of the VCFA, the Department will require a licence to use all or part of the project intellectual property for any purpose, including publication on the internet.

One of the core principles of the Research Agenda is Aboriginal self-determination, a key enabler of which is to increase Aboriginal ownership and control of data. Aboriginal data sovereignty recognises that Aboriginal communities and organisations should have governance, choice and control over data collected from and about their communities and have ready access to data and data analytics capacity necessary to support strong organisational governance and service planning.


Funding ranges

Except for the ‘system lens’ research topic, research grants will be offered in one funding range with project funding up to $150,000 (exclusive of GST) and a project duration a maximum of 1.5 years. The ‘system lens’ research grant will have a maximum budget of $300,000 (exclusive of GST) and a project duration of 1.5 years.

Please note: Maximum budget limits and timeframes for project completion cannot be changed and will not be negotiated.

Embedding Lived Experience

The Embedding Lived Experience in Research: Guiding Elements to support a partnership model (the lived experience guiding elements) will be piloted in Phase 2 of the Research Program. These elements are:

  • embedding lived experience in the initiation of research projects
  • embedding lived experience in the design of research projects
  • embedding lived experience in the conduct of research projects
  • embedding lived experience in research analysis
  • embedding lived experience in the translation and exchange of research outcomes, and
  • embedding lived experience in the continuous improvement of research projects.

The lived experience guiding elements will enable shared decision-making, leadership, and influence of people with lived experience through a partnership with researchers.

Applicants must demonstrate their proposed approach to implementing the lived experience guiding elements in their applications.

A key deliverable for each project will be focused on reflections from the project on the implementation of these elements.

A copy of the Embedding Lived Experience in Research: Guiding Elements to support a partnership model is available.


Budget limitations and justification

Applications must include an itemised budget outlining all project-related expenses and their calculation.

The budget must be accompanied by a budget justification, detailing the need for each expense.

Please note: while budget maximum limits are non-negotiable, successful projects may be funded at a lower rate than requested in the grant application. The final award amount is at the discretion of the Department.

Certain conditions govern the costs that will be covered by the grants funded under Phase 2, including:

Area Will be funded Will not be funded
Field work
  • Transport costs where travel is necessary to undertake essential project fieldwork.
  • For Victorian-based organisations, transport costs within Victoria.
  • For organisations that are based interstate, transport costs to and within Victoria.
  • Daily allowances, where researchers must spend multiple, successive days undertaking fieldwork at a location away from where they are based.
  • Accommodation costs, where researchers must spend multiple, successive days undertaking fieldwork at a location away from where they are based.
  • Transport costs where travel is not related to essential project fieldwork.
  • Transport costs to attend conferences, unless justified by project methodology (for example, data is to be collected through conference participant observation).
  • Overseas travel.
  • Transport costs to enable team members to meet in person unless a compelling case can be made as to why digital means of communication are not appropriate in the circumstances.
  • Personnel costs justified by the need to employ new staff, such as a research assistant, whose work funded under the research grants scheme will be entirely related to the project.
  • Personnel costs justified by demonstrating that investigators cannot accommodate the project within their usual employment and thus require salary support.
  • teaching or other duties for academic researchers.
  • Consultation
Expert services
  • Expert services that form an essential component of the project and cannot be performed efficiently in-house by applicant organisations.
  • Expert services may include, but are not limited to private ethics review, transcription of interviews, translation services, purchase of essential datasets or archival access.
  • Administrative costs up to 15% of the total amount of funding requested.
  • Administrative costs may include but are not limited to access to digital and physical tools required to conduct research (such as a computer, necessary software, and office supplies), access to library resources, access to administrative support (such as IT assistance and grants management staff)
  • Administrative costs of more than 15% of the total amount of funding requested
Conferences and publications
  • Conference attendance that is integral to the project methodology.
  • Conference attendance that is not integral to the project methodology.
Online presence and didgital tools
  • Standalone websites, where required as a core element of the project methodology. This must be thoroughly demonstrated in the application and budget justification materials.
  • This must not exceed 10% of the amount of funding requested.
  • Development of mobile phone apps.
  • Use of social media – this should be freely accessible to researchers and their organisations.
Project outputs
  • Where applicants believe they have a compelling reason for needing funding to produce project output materials, they may make the case in their application and budget justification. Note: this will only be funded in exceptional circumstances.
  • Printing related to funded projects.

More information


  • Where possible, transport costs must be calculated using the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) guidelines. The use of these rates must be clearly stated in the budget justification.
  • Where the ATO rates are not available, the budget justification must explain how reasonable costs were calculated.


  • Salary costs must be requested with reference to the relevant pay scale, enterprise agreement or similar of the employer and at an appropriate salary level for the work being undertaken, including up to 30% on-costs. Such details must be explained in the budget justification.

Online presence:

  • Where possible, it is expected that any project website is hosted on the organisation’s existing website at no or minimal added cost.

Project outputs:

  • Project findings should primarily be disseminated through free channels, whether academic journals, organisation websites and social media, media organisations or other means. If outputs include webinars, mini symposiums and the like, costs should be mostly absorbed by the lead organisation.

Implementing the lived experience guiding elements

As a part of embedding implementing the lived experience guiding elements in their projects applicants need to consider the resources (including budget) and sequencing of key activities required to engage people with lived experience during the development of proposals. Applicants need to ensure that their proposals reflect these considerations.

Researchers are encouraged to utilise their own networks to engage with people with lived experience.

Based on feedback from Phase 1 of the Research Program, applicants who wish to request support from the Department in recruitment of members of the Victim Survivor Advisory Council (VSAC) as part of their project, should include the following in their budget and clearly indicate this request in their budget and milestones:

  • approximately $4,000 plus GST for each engagement involving a small group of people with lived experience
  • approximately $3,500 plus GST for room bookings, travel and accommodation if face-to-face engagement is planned (recommended if public health guidelines allow)
  • $2,000 plus GST for the cost of a person with lived experience to support each occasion of small group facilitation.
  • $60 per hour plus GST for the cost of working with a person with lived experience.

Consideration needs to be given to the time and resources needed in both to face-to-face / direct contact and in non-face-to-face / non-contact activities required to prepare for, follow-up and de-brief from project activities.

For further information on engaging with people with lived experience through the Department, including through VSAC, please email the FSV Research and Evidence team in the first instance.