For researchers

For Researchers

Conducting research with RIRDC

Applying For Funding

RIRDC's investments are driven by five-year RD&E plans that address the needs of industries and stakeholders, and ensure our priorities are industry and government-driven. Overall, our outcome is to increase knowledge that fosters sustainable, productive new and existing rural industries and further understanding of national rural issues through research and developing in government-industry partnership.

If you think you or your organisation can help address the needs of our programs as outlined in the current research priorities, we would welcome your application for funding.

RIRDC welcomes proposals that will meet the specific objectives, or a number of objectives, as outlined in the research priorities and in more detail in program five-year Plans.

We also welcome and encourage your collaboration with other research providers to build the critical research mass necessary to meet our objectives.

In planning and submitting proposals for RIRDC-funded projects prospective researchers need to familiarise themselves with the application procedure, the Corporation's over-arching goals and strategies, the goals and strategies of the relevant R&D programs and the specific priorities for R&D for the year for which the proposal is being submitted.

Open call for research proposals

RIRDC's 2017 open call for research project proposals opens on Monday, 14 August 2017.

The timetable for research proposal applications is:

  • Research open call opens - 9am (AEST), 14 August 2017
  • Preliminary research proposals (PRP) due - 5pm (AEST), 20 September 2017
  • Results of PRP assessments announced - 8 December 2017 
  • Full research proposal (FRP) submission round begins - 9am (AEDT), 13December 2017
  • Deadline to submit FRPs - 5pm (AEDT), 7 February 2018
  • Contracts entered into - 30 July 2018

Submitting research proposals

Before applying for RIRDC R&D funding please: 

  • Ensure your proposal is aligned with current research priorities. 
  • Check key dates for proposal submission. 
  • Ensure proposals contain a clear pathway for adoption.
  • Follow the Clarity application instructions.
  • Public sector research must apply through the administration office.

Research Contracts

RIRDC uses a standard form contract for R&D projects (Research Agreement), which sets out the terms on which RIRDC will engage successful applicants to carry out the project. Applicants must be familiar with the Research Agreement before lodging Preliminary Research Proposals (PRPs), and are advised to seek legal advice on it before lodging a PRP. 

The Research Agreement has been developed to reflect RIRDC's statutory and other responsibilities in funding projects. RIRDC will generally not negotiate substantive amendments to any clauses of the Agreement unless: 

  • it is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist that require amendment to the standard form; and
  • the applicant completes a statement of non-compliance for each of those clauses. 

Applicants will be taken to have agreed to all clauses in the Research Agreement that are not referred to in a statement of non-compliance. The extent of any non-compliance will be a factor in RIRDC's evaluation of the application. If you require further information regarding the Research Agreement please contact Louise Heaslip, General Manager Business and Finance –

Direct and Indirect Costs 

Direct costs of a project are those which would not be incurred unless the project took place e.g. salary, salary on costs, lab supplies, travel etc. Indirect costs are those which may be used during a project but would have been in place irrespective of the project taking place e.g. rent for a breeding trial/office space/lab space, library fees, computer log-on costs etc.

Direct costs are included in IP calculations. Indirect costs are included in IP calculations for industry but NOT for research organisations.

Fraud Control

The RIRDC Fraud Control Policy and Plan sets out the approach for the prevention and management of fraud or allegations of fraud within the Rural Industries R&D Corporation. The Corporation’s risk appetite for fraud is zero tolerance.

The Fraud Control Plan includes the process for notification of any suspected fraud and the relevant contacts. The template and guidelines for reporting an allegation of fraud are located below.

The RIRDC Fraud Control Plan 2016-18

The RIRDC Fraud Control - Allegation reporting template and guidelines


RIRDC’s business with research providers is facilitated by a web-based project management system called Clarity. This system is used to manage all stages of project administration.

Clarity can be accessed at: 

Preliminary research proposals must be completed online using Clarity.

Clarity user guides

To set up a secure account before submitting a proposal please contact the RIRDC helpdesk for a username and password. Usernames and passwords will only be issued while the applicable round is open. Please email:

To give feedback or if you require support, please do not hesitate to contact the Clarity support team:
Ph: 02 6923 6900


Research Priorities

The following program/s are participating in the 2017 RIRDC open call.


RIRDC are conducting an open call for research, development and extension proposals that address the priorities of the Ginger Program RD&E Plan 2017 – 2022.

The Ginger RD&E Plan 2017 - 2022 is formulated around three critical objectives:

1. Drive on-farm productivity – disease management, innovative technology and certified seed

2. Lift the demand for Australian ginger – brand and market research

3. Encourage industry engagement – extension, communication, leaders and partners.

RIRDC has been managing a Ginger RD&E program based on a statutory levy since 2012.  The statutory levy is based on income from fresh ginger sales and is levied at a rate of 0.5% of the sale price.  The benefit: cost ratio of this program for the ginger industry has recently been assessed at somewhere between 8 and 19.9 dollars of industry benefit for each research dollar invested. 

See for detail of this analysis.  RIRDC completed consultation and analysis on a new 5 year RD&E plan in March 2017.  This plan can be found at

Please direct any inquiries to the Ginger Program Manager (it is recommended you discuss your proposal with the Program Manager prior to PRP submission):

Duncan Farquhar
Phone: 02 6923 6912

Honey Bee and Pollination Program

Project proposals that address the objectives and strategies of the Honey Bee and Pollination 5 year RD&E Plan will be considered, with priority given to proposals that address the following strategies.

 Undertake Tropilaelaps clareae research and ensure incursion response strategies are appropriate and best practice

  • Develop non-chemical controls for pest and diseases to ensure Australian apiary products
  • Develop better understanding of the interaction between native flora/fauna and honey bees
  • Develop technologies and techniques for determining floral resource yields
  • Determine native flora flowering cycles
  • Determine the likely climate change impact on floral production and the beekeeping and pollination services industries through a desktop study

Please direct any inquiries to the Program Manager (it is recommended you discuss your proposal with the Program Manager prior to PRP submission):

Dr Dave Alden
Phone: 02 6923 6918

Pasture Seeds

Details to be advised

Export Fodder

Details to be advised

Progress Reports

Guidelines for preparing annual progress reports

The purpose of these reports is to inform the Corporation of:

  • Progress against agreed milestones and the significance and implications of the research to date.
  • Problems that could influence the conduct and outcomes of the project and that may require mutually agreed modification of the workplan and budget.
  • Opportunities for new projects, workshops, media releases, the protection of intellectual property, commercialisation etc.

The information provided allows RIRDC to consider both opportunities and problems arising from the research project and will be the primary benchmark used by RIRDC’s research managers to check that the project is on track. Scheduled payments each year are dependent on the annual progress report being assessed as satisfactory by the RIRDC research manager.

A user guide for submitting progress reports can be downloaded from RIRDC’s online database management system, Clarity.


Reporting dates are as specified in Schedule 6 of the Research Agreement. Reports must reach the Corporation by the agreed reporting date and should be completed in Clarity whether the milestones have been achieved or not.

The Corporation may withhold funding for a given project:

  • When a report is not received by the due date.
  • When satisfactory progress does not appear to have been made
  • When significant changes to the workplan and budget need to be agreed.

To avoid delays in payment, early warning should be given when it appears likely that an agreed milestone cannot be achieved on time.

Report format

The report should be entered into RIRDC’s online database management system, Clarity. The structure below shows the headings in Clarity you will be asked to address.

Project objectives

Agreed objectives as stated in the Research Agreement

Progress against agreed milestones

Use the agreed performance indicators to indicate whether the milestone(s) have been achieved or not and, where appropriate, provide copies of material generated by the project. Comment on the significance or implications of the milestone(s) achieved to the targeted rural industry or community sector. Where the agreed milestones have not been achieved, provide reasons for this and propose a revised reporting date.

Outcomes, issues and recommendations

Outline any outcomes, issues and recommendations, also include a proposed management strategy for any issues.

Demonstration/promotion/extension activities/research reporting

Researchers should identify issues such as commercialisation, advertising, communication/extension and opportunities for new projects, workshops etc arising from the research.

Confirmation of industry funding, if not already notified

Where the project budget shows a contribution from industry, RIRDC requires confirmation that the research organisation has received that contribution for the relevant financial year. To release research funds it is essential to complete this section in Clarity if your project budget has an amount in the "industry contribution" column.

Variation requests not already identified to RIRDC

Variations to the project, including timing, staffing and budgets, will need to be approved by the Corporation. A justification for the changes sought must be provided.

Other comments

This section is for any other relevant comments.

Length and content

As annual progress payments are made following approval of progress reports, sufficient information should be provided to allow research managers to fairly assess progress against the agreed tasks. Reports should enable RIRDC to:

  • Determine if milestones have been achieved.
  • Respond to any problems that have arisen.
  • Consider variations that are proposed.
  • Develop ideas and opportunities arising from the project.

As indicated above, they should address the significance and implications of the outcomes reported as well as providing information on the work completed. Clarity will restrict the content to 250 words per heading.

Reports should be written in a user friendly manner with minimum use of scientific jargon and acronyms. New technical terms should be explained where necessary.

Do not repeat information included in previous reports.

Final Report Templates

The final report is the final milestone of a research project. It must be submitted via RIRDC’s online database management system, Clarity by the completion date of the project. Guidelines are provided below to assist researchers to prepare their final reports using the templates provided. 

For ALL reports please refer to the:

Before submitting your report to Clarity please refer to:

For ALL travel reports please use the:

For mainstream RIRDC reports please use the:

For Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership final reports please use:

IP & Commercialisation

The following high-level Intellectual Property (IP) and Commercialisation Policy Principles guide RIRDC’s protection and commercialisation activities:

  • Maximise the uptake and benefits flowing from research investment in Australian rural industries by making new technologies, products, processes and services available as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible.
  • Research is undertaken in the broader context of increased profitability and sustainability of Australian rural industries. Returns through royalties to RIRDC, licence fees, etc, are products of commercialisation and should not be key drivers.
  • Facilitate RIRDC's ability to influence the development of the Intellectual Property and the progress of its commercialisation to ensure Australian rural industries are the primary beneficiaries of RIRDC funded research.
  • Ensure the building of strong, sustainable alliances with the rural sector, related commercial industries and other key stakeholders.
  • Ensure royalties and other financial returns are channelled back into related rural industries research.
  • Ensure RIRDC funded intellectual property, not involving commercial-in-confidence restrictions, is available free of charge for research purposes.
  • Be managed with due care, skill, diligence and accountability in accordance with all relevant legislation, policies and guidelines, including those relating to different cultural and community knowledge.

New product feasibility

Before RIRDC commits funding and resources to conducting R&D for a new product (plant or animal) it undertakes a rigorous assessment process.

The first step in the process is the completion of a new product feasibility analysis. This will require the completion and submission of a new product feasibility analysis form.

Download the new product feasibility analysis form here

This form is an interactive PDF – it is recommended you save the template to your computer and then type information into the fields.

Save the document once complete and submit the form via email to the relevant RIRDC Senior Program Manager.