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Research Incubator

Supporting rapid urban growth in Australian cities
Learn more about our flagship program, an incubator designed to support talented teaching and research academics to focus on a major research project.

The Research Incubator program assists one talented teaching and research academic to complete on a major research project with the assistance of a small research team partly funded by the Trust.

Total funding of up to $360,000 will be available over the three years.

The Trust is very interested in seeing their limited funds being augmented by funds from other sources including both internal and external funds. The ability of the incubator bids to leverage other funds is an important criterion which the Trust will consider when assessing proposals.

Trust funds cannot be used to pay for conference travel, international travel, travel for international partners, or for equipment. However, the Trust is happy for additional funds raised through other incubator funding partners to be used for these purposes.

Applications for the incubator program are currently closed. For enquiries please contact: 

Professor Peter Phibbs
+61 420 303 867

To cut down the work for applicants, the application for the Trust’s Research Incubator grants will be a two-step process.

Stage 1
  1. Introduce the research program you would like to complete as part of the incubator project.
  2. Identify the research questions you are trying to address. Why are these important questions? Describe the likely impact of your work if you were funded and your project was successfully completed. (Note: the total word limit for 1. and 2. combined is 750 words)
  3. Identify what level of commitment you anticipate obtaining from your faculty and/or other sources to support your research incubator.
  4. Provide a two-page CV of the chief investigator and any associate investigators.
Stage 2

Short-listed proposals will be asked in stage 2 of the application process to:

  1. Produce an executive summary of the research incubator program background paper;
  2. Prepare advertisements for the PhD scholarship and the Postdoc and the practitioner-in-residence (if they are part of the bid)
  3. Outline a broad schedule for your program.
  4. Identify the main risks in your program and what you would do to mitigate them
  5. Describe a research dissemination strategy for your program.
  6. Obtain a formal letter of support from your Head of School/Dean or AD(R) and/or other funders confirming the funding identified in Stage 1 of the application.
  7. Describe a detailed budget for your project including additional funding

Potential applications are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of the Trust, Professor Peter Phibbs ( to clarify any issues before they lodge their proposals.

The judging the panel will consider:

  1. Alignment of the research questions with the Trust’s infrastructure theme
  2. Quality and potential of the chief investigator
  3. Quality of partner/associate investigators
  4. Additional resources that the application can identify besides the investment of the Trust
  5. Quality of the application
  6. Quality of the executive summary of the background paper

The judging panel will include academic members of the Advisory Board, Professor Ann Forsyth, the Academic Advisor to the Trust. Applications may also be assessed by external assessors. Note that shortlisted applicants may be asked to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

In addition to undertaking the normal obligations of a research project, the chief investigator would need to organise:

  • A presentation on the progress of the Incubator at the annual Festival of Urbanism, beginning in 2020.
  • Participating in a major public event at the completion of the Incubator 
  • Completing a short annual progress report 
  • Meeting with the academic advisor to the Trust on an annual basis