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Supported Researcher Scheme

The funding for this Scheme has been paused pending the outcomes of the University's strategic planning activity.

The purpose of the Supported Researcher Scheme is to provide recognition and incentive to staff who have met defined research performance criteria in attracting research grants, publishing research outputs and supervising higher degree research completions and who contribute substantially to the University's performance in the Research Block Grants. Individual grants of approximately $1500 per annum are awarded to staff, which must be spent on activities to further their research such as conference attendance and small-scale equipment purchases.

Who is eligible

The following staff are eligible for consideration as supported researchers:

  • Academic staff on a contract of 12 months duration or more
  • Adjunct staff that are not employed by another research institution

Higher degree research students and professional staff are not eligible for supported researcher funding.

Attaining Supported Researcher status

Achievement of Supported Researcher status will be via a dual mechanism, either:

  1. Via a points based system OR
  2. Via a 'quality' pathway

Points System

Staff will be awarded a score of 1 for:

  • each $5,000 of a national competitive grant or $10,000 for other research funding (apportioned by CI)
  • being the principal supervisor of a higher degree completion
  • being the sole author of a refereed journal or conference paper.

Weighted publication scores will be scored in the 4 publication categories collected via the Higher Education Research Data Collection and the 14 categories collected via the Internal Publications Collection

Where a staff member does not accrue the required points in the assessment year, scores may be averaged over the previous two years to take account of peaks and troughs in research performance.

The thresholds for achieving supported researcher status are:

  • Staff at Level A or B = 2
  • Staff at Level C = 3
  • Staff at Level D or E = 5

In recognition of the administrative workload carried by staff in senior academic management positions the threshold of 3 will apply to all Heads of School, Deans Research and Deans Teaching and Learning.

‘Quality’ pathway

Staff can also attain Supported Researcher status via a ‘quality’ pathway based on one of the following:

  1. holding an Australian Competitive Grant in the reporting year
  2. being an author of a research book in the reporting year which was published by a defined quality publisher in their field* - see List of Tier 1 book publishers (Word doc)
  3. published a refereed journal article in a journal ranked A* or A in the reporting year (refer to Journal Ranking webpage)

* Staff who attain supported researcher status via point 2 above will retain supported researcher status for three years.

Calculation of Supported Researcher status

This is not an application based process. The designation of a supported researcher is calculated annually, usually in August, after the research data collection process, and is based on previous years' activity (ie 2012 awards are based on activity in 2011).

New appointments

In order not to disadvantage newly appointed staff whose research performance would not be counted for Supported Researchers for a period of two years after appointment, Deans Research and Institute Directors will be requested to provide the names of new appointments in their area to Research and Innovation Services in July each year. Research and Innovation Services will contact the individual staff and request they provide a list of grants and publications held in the previous two years which, if employed at the university, would have factored in to the supported researcher calculations. If their research activity meets the cut-off scores for the points system or the criteria for the 'quality' pathway they will be accorded supported researcher status.

Supported Researcher appeal process

The results of the 2012 Supported Researcher Scheme were announced in the week commencing 8 October 2012.

Emails will be sent to all successful Supported Researchers as well as to Heads of Schools and PVCs.

Staff who believe they qualify for the Supported Researchers scheme in 2012 but have not received notification of their success may lodge an appeal by following these steps:

  1. Download the appeals form (Word template)
  2. Complete the appeals form including details of evidence that supports your claim for Supported Researcher status
  3. Send your completed appeal with evidence attached to Michael Crisp (email michael.crisp@unisa.edu.au)  

Appeals will not be accepted after: Wednesday, 31 October.

Expenditure of funds

The expenditure of funds by individual staff members in the Supported Researcher Scheme is monitored by the Head of School.