In light of the current emerging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queensland Government has changed the 2020 funding round of the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships (AQIRF). The advertised fellowships program that was scheduled to close on 21 April 2020 has been closed and a new round focusing on COVID-19 response and recovery, and similar type future events is now open.

Key dates for Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships (COVID-19) 2020

  • Proposals open in SmartyGrants: 8 April 2020
  • UQ Research and Innovation (UQ R&I) Notification of Intent (NOI): 24 April 2020
  • Full Applications and UQ Cash Commitments due to UQ R&I: 27 April 2020
  • Full Applications close with Advance Queensland in SmartyGrants: 1pm 12 May 2020
  • Anticipated announcement: TBA


The Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships (AQIRF) scheme supports PhD-qualified researchers in undertaking original research of benefit to Queensland, in collaboration with Queensland-based industry and end-users. The current round is focussed on Fellowships that support COVID-19 research, including the social, economic and health impacts, and preparedness research for possible future pandemic or similar scale events. 

The following Fellowships targeting COVID-19 research will be available:

Short-term fellowships:

  • early career fellowships of up to $90,000 (excluding GST) for up to 18 months;
  • mid-career fellowships of up to $150,000 (excluding GST) for up to 18 months.

Standard fellowships:

  • early career fellowships of $180,000 (excluding GST) over three years
  • mid-career fellowships of $300,000 (excluding GST) over three years

Due to the serious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, preference will be given to short-term fellowships delivering impact and outcomes quickly.

Applicants are reminded that the focus of this scheme is industry partnerships. UQ requires that applicants’ industry partner/s contribute to cash matching. The Office of Sponsored Research recommends you contact your Research Partnerships Manager as soon as possible to seek support in partnering with industry.

For potential Industry partners wishing to investigate partnership opportunities with UQ researchers on a COVID-19 focussed AQ Industry Research Fellowships project, please send an enquiry to Joe McLean, Director, Research Partnerships, in the first instance or one of our Research Partnership Managers.

How to apply

Internal notice of intent process

All researchers intending to submit an application to the current Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships round are required to submit an internal Notice of Intent. NOIs will be collated centrally and distributed to Faculties and Institutes in order to provide maximum support to the UQ research community. Please ensure that you submit an NOI for the COVID-19 round as NOIs for the cancelled round will not be carried forward into this newly refocussed round.

Step 1: SmartyGrants registration and scheme reading

  • The applicant will need an active account in in Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID) SmartyGrants system.
  • Familiarise yourself with the key Advance Queensland (AQ) and UQ documentation on round opening 8 April 2020.

Step 2: Completing the application

  • Log into SmartyGrants and complete the Application, but leave the final Declaration/Certification pages blank (to prevent the draft from being submitted to DITID without UQ authorisation).

Step 3: UQ R&I internal review and feedback

  • In advance of internal review, ensure all online components are complete and valid. Generate a whole Proposal PDF for your records.
  • To initiate internal review, email your completed Funding Coversheet, whole Proposal PDF, draft attachments and Cash Commitment Proforma to UQ R&I at
  • Internal review by UQ R&I/feedback provided (compliance/eligibility/grantsmanship).

Step 4: Final submission

  • On receiving authorisation from UQ R&I, submit your Application online in SmartyGrants.

Readership and researcher support

Before applying, we recommend you:

You can view information session and workshops presentations for general advice on submitting an AQIRF grant application. Please bear in mind these were delivered prior to the grant opportunity changes as a result of COVID-19:

Key documents

A suite of templates and proformas to assist you in compiling your application will be made available here shortly.