Macquarie University Research Fellowships (MQRF) in Sydney

The Macquarie University Research Fellowships (MQRF) Scheme has three main objectives:

To provide support to researchers within three years of the award of their PhD who have an outstanding track record (relative to opportunity) and/or who show evidence of excellent research potential.

To provide an incubation research period for early career researchers, allowing them to increase their competitive edge in securing research funding from non-University sources.

To enhance the research capabilities of existing and emerging areas of research strength at Macquarie University. To contribute to one or more of the University’s five Future-Shaping Research Priorities. Applicants who believe their research is in an area of emerging strength (outside of the Future-Shaping Research Priorities) must discuss this with their Macquarie Sponsor and address in the application.

Funding and Fellowships Available

Macquarie University will offer up to ten Research Fellowship positions commencing in 2018. Positions will be awarded on a competitive basis and will be tenurable for three years.

The fellowships are offered in two formats:

  • 100% research over three years
  • 75% research and 25% teaching over 4 years.

Where the second option is chosen, the Department is responsible for salary to cover the 25% teaching component of the Fellow’s salary costs.

Positions will be awarded on a competitive basis. Fellowships must commence by 30 June 2018, otherwise the award will lapse (in exceptional circumstances a request can be made to vary this date).

The salary range for the Fellowship will be awarded at step 6, 7 or 8 of Level A of the Academic Salary Scale, plus annual leave loading and 17% employer superannuation.

These salary levels will be adjusted in line with movements in the Academic Salary Scale. Fellows will be paid on a fortnightly basis through the University's payroll system.

Salaries above Level A, step 8 cannot be supported by the Fellowship. However, supplementation by the host department may be negotiated by applicants prior to application submission.

Applicants should retain written confirmation of the agreed salary level from the Head of Department, and submit with the full application if shortlisted. Such supplementation may be considered appropriate where a Fellow is currently occupying a position above Lecturer Level A. The Fellowships Panel will provide advice on appointment levels if requested to do so by the Host Faculty. However, Panel approval of the appointment level that is decided by the Host Faculty is not required.

Applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal may apply for up to $50,000 over three years for research costs associated with the proposed project (up to a maximum of $20,000 in any one year).


Applicants are eligible only if their PhD was awarded on or after 1 March 2014, or will be submitted on or before 7 August 2017. The Fellowship cannot commence until the PhD has been awarded, which must be by 30 June 2018.

Applicants who do not meet the eligibility criterion set out above in 2.1, must make a convincing case for early career researcher status in Section 7 of the Expression of Interest Form. Circumstances establishing early career status beyond the definition in 2.1 could include career interruptions due to non-research employment, debilitating illness, childbirth, misadventure or carer responsibilities.

If a successful applicant is not an Australian citizen and does not have permanent resident status, s/he must obtain the necessary visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection before taking up the Fellowship. Please note that relocation and visa costs are not covered by the MQRF scheme; they are the responsibility of the Host Department.

Fellows must be in full-time attendance at Macquarie University for the entire term of the Fellowship, with the exception of approved field work and travel.

Applicants who were/are PhD candidates at Macquarie University, or who have had full-time, part-time, or casual employment at Macquarie University since the beginning of2015, must make a case (in section 10.2 of the Expression of Interest Form ) for why it is appropriate for them to continue or recommence their research career at Macquarie University.

Only applicants who have the agreement of a Macquarie University Sponsor are eligible to apply; see section 4.2 and section 6.1 below.

Application Process

Macquarie University Research Fellowships involve a two-stage application process.

The Expression of Interest stage is open to applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and have the agreement of a Primary Sponsor within their proposed host department at Macquarie University. Expressions of Interest should be submitted to the Research Office, which will manage receipt and distribution of Expressions of Interest to the relevant faculties for assessment.

The Faculty will then nominate a shortlist of proposals to go forward to full application. The number of proposals on each Faculty’s shortlist is shown in the following table:

Faculty Number of full applications permitted

Arts                                                   9

Business and Economics           2

Human Sciences                           9

Medicine and Health Sciences 5

Science and Engineering          15

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a full application in accordance with the 2018 Full Application Funding Rules.

All Expressions of Interest must be reviewed and approved by the host faculty prior to formal submission to the Research Office. Internal Faculty deadlines and contacts are available from the Research Office website.

Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of grant writing assistance provided within their proposed host faculty. The application must be informative to non-experts in the field, such that readers can understand what it is that the applicant is proposing to do, and how this might be achieved.

Please avoid copying and pasting standard form text(e.g. from the MacquarieUniversity website), particularly in relation to sponsor fit and environment. These sections should demonstrate real engagement between the sponsor and the applicant, and a detailed understanding and analysis of Macquarie University’s appropriateness as the project location. Applicants can read examples of successful EOIs from the Faculty and Central Research Office grants libraries.

Expressions of Interest must be completed on the MQRF Expression of Interest Form:

  • The Research Office will not accept any amendments to the Expression of Interest Form after the closing date.
  • Do not modify any parts of the Expression of Interest application form. All responses must be in Times New Roman 12-point (except for references, which can be 10-point).
  • Do not delete any instructions from the form.
  • Responses must be recorded in the boxes provided where applicable, and must be within the prescribed format.
  • Expressions of Interest are to be submitted in PDF format only. Use the ‘save as’ function in Word to generate a PDF rather than submitting a scanned version.

The Research Office will check all Expressions of Interest for compliance with formatting guidelines. Expressions of Interest that do not comply with the formatting guidelines will be ruled ineligible.

Fellowship Sponsor

It is the responsibility of the applicant to identify and secure the support of an appropriate Fellowship Sponsor.

Applicants and their proposed Fellowship Sponsor must consult closely with one another in developing the MQRF Expression of Interest.

Each Fellowship candidate must nominate a Sponsor from within the host department at Macquarie University. In addition to having a research profile appropriate to the proposed Fellowship project, the Sponsor’s association with an area of recognised or emerging research strength within the University is important. Applicants must work with their Sponsor to identify how the proposed research aligns with existing strengths or emerging areas of strength for Macquarie University. Sponsors should only agree to sponsor applicants who they believe unreservedly have the capacity to undertake the MQRF.

A Primary Sponsor may be named on only one Expression of Interest, and subsequent Full Proposal, per round of the MQRF Scheme. Co-Sponsorship for MQRF applicants is acceptable. A Co-Sponsor may be named on only one Expression of Interest, and subsequent Full Proposal, per round of the MQRF Scheme.

Adjunct staff members and those holding University honorary positions are eligible to act as Sponsors provided their on-going research is primarily carried out at Macquarie University, such that their affiliation in respect of authorship of published work is given as Macquarie University.


Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Applicant (40%)

  • Track record of the applicant relative to opportunity and career stage.
  • Research performance and potential.
  • All applicants must be able to demonstrate a promising track record based on high quality publications, generation of research funding and other achievements such as scholarships, awards and prizes.

Project (total 45%)

Significance (15%)

  • Does the research address an important problem within the discipline?
  • Will the anticipated outcomes advance the knowledge base within the discipline?
  • Are the project aims and concepts significant and innovative?
  • Will new methodologies or technologies be developed?
  • What is the potential for the research to contribute to the National Science and Research Priorities? How will Australia benefit from this research?

Approach and Methods (15%)

  • Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analysis adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate to the aims of the project?

Feasibility (15%)

  • Are there sufficient and appropriate resources (infrastructure and/or financial) available for the project?
  • Is the project timetable realistic and achievable?
  • Have issues such as ethics and workplace safety been addressed where appropriate?

Sponsor Relationship, Environment, and Benefit to Macquarie University (15%)

  • Is the intellectual environment appropriate to foster a successful outcome for the project and provide a strong foundation for the Fellow’s career?
  • Does the Sponsor have the appropriate track record and the capacity to provide mentoring and intellectual leadership in the subject area of the proposed project?
  • Has the applicant made clear why Macquarie University is the appropriate place for this project?
  • Will the applicant and the project be integrated into a current or emerging research strength of Macquarie University?
  • How will the University benefit from the conduct of this project, including tangible benefits (such as publications, research, commercialisation, and other income, and capacity building), and intangible benefits, such as an enriched research culture. (This is especially important for applicants who have a PhD from Macquarie, or who are already employed, or have been employed since the beginning of 2015, by the University.)

Assessment Process

Expressions of Interest are assessed and ranked by the relevant Faculty. The Faculty nominates a shortlist of proposals to go forward to full application in accordance. The number of proposals on each Faculty’s shortlist is shown in the table in Section 3. Shortlisted applicants are then invited to submit a full application in accordance with the 2018 Full Application Funding Rules.

Application date
5 May 2017
3 or 4 years
Oceania Australia
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History History & Philosophy of Science Linguistics Literature Media Studies Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology Other Agronomy Biology Chemistry Computer science Engineering Mathematics Medicine Physics
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 4 years
Grants available