bridging the funding gap – FAQs

The new veski inspiring women grants – bridging the funding gap, is a pilot program designed to support women in STEM who face systemic barriers to success at a critical point in their career to enable them to continue their research in Victoria.

Q. Who does the veski inspiring women grants – bridging the funding gap pilot aim to support? Updated 4 Nov 2022 at 1pm.

A.  This pilot aims to support equity, diversity and inclusion in Victoria’s research workforce and is targeting women who face systemic barriers to success.

The bridging the funding gap grants are provided to eligible individuals who narrowly missed out on funding to commence in 2023 via the following award programs;

  • the 2022 NHMRC Investigator Grants in the Emerging Leaders 2 EL2, and L1 streams, receiving a minimum category score of 5 or 6, or
  • the 2022 ARC Future Fellowship Funding FT1, FT2, or FT3 receiving an overall application band of between 10% to 25% of unsuccessful or top 10% of unsuccessful applications.

and those who identify as a woman and who have intersectional identities including but not limited to to: First Nations people; person of color; ethnically diverse; religious minority; English as a second language; person with a disability; neurodivergent; refugee or asylum seeker background; mental health; gender diverse; non-binary; transgender; LGBTQIA+; low socioeconomic background; Age.  Applicants may also identify with another historically marginalised community or identity not listed here.

All of the groups stated above have equal opportunity for this bridging the funding gap pilot.

Q. Can I apply if I am currently on Maternity leave?

A. If you are currently on Maternity leave, and meet all the eligibility criteria then you are welcome to apply.

Q. I am currently working 0.4 FTE. Am I eligible to apply?

A. No, you must be employed at a minimum of 0.6 FTE.

Q. Am I able to use the veski funding to support my own salary?

A. Yes.

Q. Does the 8-15 years post-PhD refer to years worked at Full Time Equivalent?

A. Yes.  You are able to subtract any time taken for career breaks to care for someone, or due to illness, or for relocation ‘down time’.

Q. Do I have to request the full veski funding amount of $75,000 AUD?

A. No, you are able to request an amount up to $75,000 AUD, and in this case, your institution will need to match the total funding requested.

Q. Do I include time taken for career breaks or relocation ‘down time’ in my FTE calculations?

A.  No.  The FTE calculation is the time you have spent undertaking research, subtracting your career breaks.  Therefore do not include career break duration or down time when calculating the minimum 8 years FTE professional postdoctoral experience – to 15 years.

Q.  Can I use the ARC ‘s method to calculate career breaks i.e. 2 years for each child?

A. We do not use the same system to calculate career breaks, instead we request that you calculate the time you have taken off for career breaks and subtract this from the actual time that has passed since your  post-doctoral role commenced.

Q. Can the $75,000AUD matched cash funding from the applicant’s primary employer be spent on the applicant’s salary?

A. Yes. Any cash contribution from the primary employer that supports the applicant and the program’s objectives, including contributions to the applicant’s salary is acceptable.

Q. I need to calculate my FTE (Full Time Equivalent) and convert this to years and months worked.  How do I calculate this?

A. How to calculate your FTE for the application form.

Calculate your contracted hours per week;
FTE uses the following measurements:
1 day = 0.2 FTE
2 days = 0.4 FTE
3 days = 0.6 FTE
4 Days = 0.8 FTE
5 days = 1 FTE
Take your FTE and multiple by the number of months your worked at that FTE
This example illustrates a year worked at various FTE’s:

0.8 FTE for 4 months = 0.8 x 4 = 3.2 months
0.6 FTE for 6 months = 0.6 x 6 = 3.6 months
1 FTE for 2 months = 1 x 2 = 2 months
TOTAL = 3.2 + 3.6 + 2 = 8.8 months

Q. Does the applicant need to provide evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria? Updated 4 Nov 2022 at 1pm.

A. Applicants will be required to provide the following evidence during the application process:

Either their NHMRC Investigator Grant application submission in either the EL2 or L1 stream (minimum category score of 5 or 6) for funding commencing in 2023 including;

  • The 2022 NHMRC Application Assessment Summary (max 10MB PDF Upload);
  • The full 2022 NHMRC Application (max upload 20MB PDF Upload).

Or their ARC Future Fellowship application submission for either FT1, FT2, or FT3 streams (receiving an overall application band of between 10% to 25% of unsuccessful or top 10% of unsuccessful applications) for funding commencing in 2023 including;

  • Screenshot of the 2022 feedback tab and the assessment tab providing the details of the outcomes (Max 10MB PDF upload).
  • The full ARC Future Fellowship Application (max upload 20MB PDF Upload).

As well as A Statement of Support from their primary employer.

Q. What is the responsibility of the applicant’s primary employer?

A. The primary employer of the applicant is responsible for providing the applicant with a Statement of Support ahead of the closing date for applications (12:00pm 14 November 2022) [read requirements of the Statement of Support here]; as well as a financial acquittal of the program funding within one month of the end of the 12-month award period to demonstrate how the funding has supported the intended outcomes of the grant.

Q. How long does the Statement of Support have to be?

A. The Statement of Support must be a maximum of ONE A4 page and provided on institution letterhead.

Q. How do I obtain a Statement of Support?

A. A Statement of Support must be from your primary employer and signed by the person who is able to authorise the organisation’s financial support of the required matched funding (up to $75,000AUD) for example, your Head of Institution or Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Director, Dean, or Head of Department.

Should you need additional guidance in obtaining a Statement of Support, please contact your institution’s Research Office.

Please also read the Statement of Support Guide for more information to understand the Statement of Support requirements.

Q. Is matched-funding a requirement?

A.  Yes. The primary employer of the researcher must provide matched funding of up to $75,000AUD as a cash contribution to support the researcher to achieve their intended outcomes.

Q. Are there any guidelines on how the funds awarded through the bridging the funding gap pilot program can be spent?

A. Please refer to the application guide here for information on what it can be used for.

Q. Are there any guidelines on where the funds awarded through this Pilot program CANNOT be spent?

A. Funding should not be used for a facility or an administrative cost that would be provided by an institution in the normal course of undertaking and supporting research, including:

  • indirect costs and administrative overheads
  • land, buildings and fixtures
  • international students’ fees, Higher Education Contribution Scheme and Higher Education Loan Programme liabilities

Q.  Since being notified of the outcomes of my NHMRC/ARC submission, my employer has provided with me with funding to support me in 2023.  Can this be put towards the primary employer matched cash funding?

A. Yes

Q. How is the applicant’s personal information going to be used?

A. This pilot aims to support equity, diversity and inclusion in Victoria’s research workforce and is targeted to women who face systemic barriers to success.  We would like to reassure you that information we are seeking from applicants, awardees and employer organisations is directly for this purpose. Information that may help provide evidence for the need of this program may be reported to program partners, but specific and identifiable information will not be made publicly available or be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, unless required or authorized by law.

If you wish to alter any of the personal information you provide to veski, please send an email to [email protected].

In developing this pilot, the team at veski has been mindful of sensitivities around the language we use and how we request information from you.  We recognise we don’t have it 100% right and sincerely hope we have not caused you any offense. If you have the time and energy we would welcome your feedback on how we can make out programs more inclusive.  Please direct any comments or suggestions on how we might look to improve via [email protected]