Partnerships to support new knowledge generation and innovation occur beyond funding schemes offered through Research Councils and charitable agencies. Developing relationships with industry, government and other sectors can occur through a number of mechanisms such as contract research and tenders. These often lead to the development of stronger relationships and research proposals to access Research Council and industry funding schemes.

Contract Research

Contract Research projects, also known as Commissioned Research projects, aim to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes with a partner organisation, primarily industry or government. They are different to grants in that they are directly negotiated with the partner, rather than competitively applied for.

Contract Research projects can be characterised as follows:

  • they are typically applied in nature
  • the University may make an in-kind contribution to the project, such as staff salaries, laboratory resources or office space
  • the University may expect to have an ongoing right to own or use project intellectual property, for further research and publication purposes
  • they are categorised by the Federal Government, Department of Education, as Category 2 and 3 research income
  • Research Block Grant benefits will arise
  • publications are likely
  • indirect costs are negotiated.

Your Research Partnership Manager will assist you in the development of your contract research project.


Tender requests are typically issued from federal, state and local governments for the supply of goods and services. Tenders are similar to a grant application, where a Funding Body requests a tender application for competitive award. Government agencies generally advertise tender opportunities through their own websites but a number of systems have arisen to support the sourcing and identification of tender opportunities.