The Victoria University Research Fellowship program was established to support, promote and progress outstanding, innovative and strategically aligned research.

VU Research allocates and approves the University's resources for research and research training through the Research Fellowship program.

Research Fellowships are open to College-based academics to undertake research that aligns with University’s priority and accreditation fields of research. For more information on the University’s strategic alignment, check VU research focus areas & expertise.

To explore funding opportunities that can support the research costs associated with your Fellowship, use the Research Professional funding database to find a range of sponsors in Australia and overseas.

Fellowships available

There are three types of Research Fellowships available:

  • Priority Research Fellowship: for research and/or research training undertaken under the Priority FoR codes that contribute to the University’s research focus areas
  • Accreditation Research Fellowship: for research and/or research training undertaken under Accreditation FoR codes that contribute to the University’s research focus areas
  • Research Training Supervision (Only): for research training undertaken by academic staff who do not hold a Research Fellowship (Priority or Accreditation). This type includes, but is not restricted to the P18 Supervision.


All academics interested in having VU Research Fellowship in 2021 should read the Research fellowship guidelines 2021 for more information regarding the VU Research Fellowships process.

Applying for a 2021 VU Research Fellowship

Applications for VU Research Fellowships in 2021 will open on Tuesday 15 September.

Applicants should read the VU Research Fellowship Program Guidelines (see above) for complete details of the program, including changes made for 2021.

All academics wishing to have a VU Research Fellowship in 2021 must apply through this round (see the Changes in 2021 section below for details of the Out-of-Cycle round).

Key dates

  • Standard round opens – Tuesday 15 September 2020
  • Applications close – Wednesday 7 October 2020
  • Applicants and Colleges notified of final results – Friday 30 October 2020


Applications must be made using the online form:

Information session

An information session on changes for 2021 will be held via Zoom for all interested staff.

A new application form has been developed by a working group consisting of current VU Research Fellowship representatives, a Dean and Institute executive directors, reducing the word limits for compulsory questions from at least 2300 words to 550 words.

VU Research Fellowship FTE Allocations for 2021 will now be offered in increments of 0.1 FTE and be fixed for the whole of 2021. The VU Research Fellowship FTE allocation will include the research time, HDR supervision time and externally funded research time. The workload arising from fluctuations in HDR supervision (and externally funded time) will be monitored three times during the year and any difference will be added or subtracted as an adjustment to the VU Research Fellowship in 2022. These adjustment figures will be advised to VU Research Fellows during the application round for 2022.

A provisional track-record selection criterion score (worth 40% of the overall score for any application) will now be calculated using MORA. The Institute panels will adjust this score in light of performance in 2020 (outside the MORA data-collection period), and factors affecting research career opportunity. Academic staff will be advised their provisional score, based on their MORA while applications are open, and when provisional MORAs have been calculated using the recently revised procedure.

VU Research Fellowships up to 3 years will be offered to academics selected from those who the Institute Panel recommends to receive a research allocation of 0.4FTE. Three year VU Research Fellowships will be offered subject to continued high performance, and recipients will be required to report on their progress annually.

Applications for Bridging Support will now normally be expected (where practical) before an academic takes extended Parental, Sick, or Carer’s Leave. This will provide academics seeking Bridging Support more certainty and facilitate their planning before returning from leave.

An Out-of-Cycle round will be held in the first half of 2021 for College-based academics who are on extended leave covering the period 1-14 October 2020. VU Research Fellowships offered in the 2021 Out-of-Cycle round will run from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Appeals process for VU Research Fellowship applicants

The appeals process is designed to ensure that Research Fellowship applications have been assessed in accordance with the procedures in the fellowship guidelines.

VU Research will only consider appeals against administrative process issues and not against Flagship Panel recommendations, Deputy Vice-Chancellor decisions, any rankings or comments.

Read the research appeals guidelines and then use the appeals form to make an appeal.

Appeals are due within 14 days of applicants receiving notification by email, including details of the appeal process.

Supervision of higher degrees by research (HDR) students

Research Training Supervision (Only) fellowships are allocated automatically based on HDR supervision arrangements, reported by the Office for Research Training, Quality and Integrity.

Research Training allocations for college-based academic staff in 2019 will be notified through the University’s Measure of Research Activity (MORA) System.

College deans are formally notified of Research Training allocations four times per year.

Externally funded research projects

Externally funded research projects are handled through the VU Research office. Externally funded research time is in addition to other research allocations.

Research time (FTE) spent on research that has been secured and financed through external funding schemes, grants or research contracts is automatically allocated to researchers, based on the VU cover sheet and costing tool used when the funding was secured.

College deans are formally notified of externally funded FTE allocations four times per year to assist in planning and organisational capacities.

For more information regarding institutional support for researchers intending to apply for external funding, please visit grants and funding.