Accelerating translation - Proof-of-concept and beyond 

The TRI Drive Grant is an initiative of TRI which aims to accelerate translation of innovations into the clinic, bringing together multidisciplinary teams of scientists, clinicians and commercial partners to address an unmet clinical need. 

This Grant will support research projects that are beyond proof-of-concept stage, address an important clinical question, and have a defined translational outcome. Areas of interest can include, but are not limited to, research addressing new therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, digital health, new clinical intervention programs and repurposing of new drugs. 

One Drive Grant will be available in 2019, up to a possible total of $500,000 over 3 years.

Interested in applying? 

Applications are now open. Please refer to key eligibility criteria, funding rules, and assessment criteria when preparing your application.

Complete the Application Form and ensure you familiarise yourself with the 2019 TRI Drive Grant Terms and Conditions before applying.

**Application deadline extended** Applications now close on Monday 20 May 2019

Funding Principles

The key objectives of the TRI Drive Grant are to:

• Accelerate translation of discoveries/innovations into the clinic to enable improved health outcomes for patients, in areas with an unmet research need.
• Facilitate formation of effective multi-disciplinary teams comprising of scientific, clinical and industry experts.
• Encourage successful commercialisation of new products, services or technologies.
• Provide funding for researchers to leverage when applying for other public and private sector funding. 
The Grant will be awarded subject to the key funding rules and eligibility criteria conditions being met.

Grant Amount

The TRI Drive Grant can be up to a maximum possible amount of $500,000. 

TRI will provide $250,000 towards the Grant. It is expected that each of the participating TRI shareholder organisations - The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Mater Medical Research Institute and Metro South Health - will provide $50,000 per Grant, if part of the multidisciplinary team. The industry partner is also required to contribute $50,000 to the Grant. 

The Lead Applicant is required to have secured these funding commitments in writing, as per the Key Eligibility Criteria below.

Key Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the TRI Drive Grant, applications must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

1) The Drive Grant Scheme is open to all researchers and clinicians who are TRI Membersa. Specifically, the Lead Applicant must be a TRI Member, and a significant portion of the work must be undertaken within TRI facilities.
2) The proposal involves the formation of a partnership/collaboration to address the research question. The team must include: 
Researchers and/or clinicians from at least two different TRI shareholder organisations (one of them being identified as the Lead Applicant’s organisation)
At least one CI that is based at TRI
An active clinician
An industry/commercial partner.
3) The research proposal must address a key clinical question in an area of unmet need. It must contain a well-articulated research and translation plan, a budget with clear milestones (maximum of three milestones; one per year for three years), timelines, and tangible translational outcomes. These outcomes should benefit clinical practice, potentially attract additional funding and increase the potential for commercialisation into new products, services or technologies.
4) Proof of concept data must be available to support the project proposal and demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed research project. 
5) The Lead Applicant must secure funding commitments of $50,000 AUD from each participating TRI shareholder organisation and the industry/ commercial partner. 
6) The Lead Applicant must secure a letter of support from each participating shareholder organisation, confirming their role and funding commitment to the research program outlined in the Grant application.
7) The Lead Applicant must also secure a letter of support from the commercial/ industry partner/s, indicating their intention to participate in the research project. The letter of support must outline whether the industry/ commercial partner supports the proposed research plan and objectives, and how they intend to be involved and contribute to the advancement of the research project. 
8) It is considered favourable for the Lead Applicant, and members of their proposed team, to demonstrate a track record of clearly acknowledging TRI support and facilities in their previous publications and presentations, in instances where that work has been conducted at TRI or has utilised TRI support and/or facilities in any way. 

Application Process

Applicants are required to complete the 2019 TRI Drive Grant Application Form, which will address Key Assessment Criteria.This form is designed to help applicants provide a broad overview of the project, outlining proposed research objectives and key milestones for delivery, the outcomes to be achieved, and the expertise and track record of the proposed team. 

TRI recommends the applicant, members of the proposed team and their institutions review the 2019 TRI Drive Grant Terms & Conditions and are in agreement with the proposed terms prior to applying.

The completed 2019 TRI Drive Grant Application Form and Letters of Support should be emailed by the Lead Applicant as a word document to [email protected] by close of business on Monday 20 May 2019.

The submission email should contain a statement that agreement to participate has been gained from all named Chief and Associate Investigators.

Letters of Support from the participating TRI Stakeholder Institutions and the Commercial partner must include the details of the cash and in-kind support committed to this proposal, contact details of the authorising representative and a brief statement on the value and reason for collaborating on this project.

For any further assistance with your application or if you have any specific questions, contact Dr Debra Kiss via email [email protected] or phone (07) 3443 7012.

Application Assessment

The submitted applications will be reviewed by an Independent External Expert Peer Review Panel. The Panel will be appointed by and chaired by the non-voting TRI CEO. At their discretion, the Panel may request further clarification of material, if required.

The Applications will be assessed against the Key Eligibility Criteria and the Key Assessment Criteria, respectively. Based on this assessment, a recommendation will be made to the TRI CEO regarding award of the 2019 Drive Grant.

Application Outcome

Applicants will be notified directly by email if their application has been successful.

Additional Notes 

It is the Lead Applicant’s responsibility to have read and determined their ability to satisfactorily meet and comply with the provided key funding rules and eligibility criteria for the 2019 TRI Drive Grant.

While we appreciate the effort that goes into drafting applications, please note that decisions by the panel and TRI are final, and appeals by unsuccessful applicants will not be considered.

Please note: If successful, the Grant Recipient and the Recipient’s Institute are required to return a fully signed copy of the TRI Drive Grant Terms and Conditions within 30 days of being notified of being awarded the 2019 TRI Drive Grant. TRI reserves the right to revoke the Grant if this requirement is not met.

Key Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed against the Assessment Criteria listed below. When preparing their application, applicants should consider how the proposal addresses each of these points.
1. The project addresses a key clinical question/s in an area of unmet need.
2. Applications should meet the following funding criteria:
(a) Applications should include a multidisciplinary team from at least two TRI shareholder organisations and an industry/commercial partner. 
(b) The Lead Applicant must be a TRI Member,a one of the CIs is required to be an active clinician, and at least one CI must be based at TRI.
(c) The Lead Applicant must secure a funding commitment of $50,000 from each of the participating shareholder organisations and the industry/ commercial partner, in writing.
(d) The team should demonstrate a willingness to be mentored by TRI.
3. The application must describe a well-defined and strongly developed program for translation of the innovation into the clinic. 
4. The application should describe the commercial potential of the project, the target market, competition current IP position and intended path to commercialisation. 
5. The application must set out clear milestones for delivery, including a description and key activities occurring at each milestone. There should be a maximum of three milestones, with one milestone due for completion every 12 months. The final milestone is due for completion at 36 months (three years) after the project has commenced. 
6. The application should demonstrate the long-term objective and impact of the proposed project in terms of demonstrable benefits to TRI, its shareholder organisations and Australia including social and economic benefits.
7. The application should outline key project risks and mitigation strategies.
8. Applications should demonstrate how the expertise and track record of the proposed team will help to progress the innovation along the translational pathway.

Key Funding Rules and Administration Process

1. If  the  application  for  funding  is  successful,  all  the  funds  committed by  the  industry  partner  and participating shareholder organisations will be transferred to TRI before being made available to the applicant organisation, unless an alternative administrative process is mutually agreed.
2. TRI will enter into a funding agreement with the Lead Applicant’s institute.
3. The applicants must declare they have read and agree to comply with the Drive Grant key funding rules and eligibility criteria.
4. The Grant funding will be milestone-based and paid only to the Lead Applicant’s administering institute, who will then be responsible for any further distribution to collaborating entities.
5. Upon being awarded the TRI Drive Grant, it is expected the Lead Applicant’s institute will finalise any relevant agreements, including the Inter-Institutional Agreements, and ensure relevant ethics and governance structures are in place. TRI recommends:
(a) Background IP will be owned by the respective parties.
(b) Ownership of the IP developed through the 2019 Drive Grant will reflect the respective inventive contribution of each collaborator.
(c) Commercialisation of any jointly owned IP will be led by the administering institute or as negotiated between the relevant parties who contribute IP.
(d) It is the CIs and the administering institutes responsibility to be aware and finalise any  ethical clearances, risk assessments and other administrative processes that may be required prior to the commencement of the project. If not completed, the CI and the administering institute acknowledge there may be a delay in funding.
6. For the purpose of the 2019 Drive Grant, as part of key milestones, the applicant must be willing to provide the following:
(a) Project Progress Reports at completion of Milestones One and Two, and a final report at completion of Milestone Three. 
(b) Agreement to be mentored by TRI to help achieve increased translational success.
(c) Provide details of any publications or presentation arising from the project funded by the Drive Grant.
(d) In any publications or presentations arising from any work conducted at TRI, or any projects utilising support and/or facilities at TRI in any way, evidence showing acknowledgement of TRI support and/or facilities.
7. TRI and the funding received from the Commonwealth of Australia for TRI must be acknowledged on all publications, presentations, media (social, digital, print) releases, any other materials etc resulting from research funded by the TRI Drive Grant. The following statement should be included, accompanied by the TRI logo (provided on request by TRI): ‘This work is funded by the 2019 TRI Drive Grant. The Translational Research Institute is supported by a grant from the Australian Government.’
8. The Grant funding must be expended in total within 36 months of being awarded (unless otherwise agreed in writing with the TRI CEO) and only for the purpose stated in the application form.
9.  Any failure to use the Grant funding for the purpose outlined in the application will lead to automatic cancellation of the Grant and a requirement that the recipient to reimburse TRI in full within 60 days of the date of cancellation. Recovered funds will then be redistributed on a pro-rata basis to contributing partners.
10. The Grant recipient must provide TRI with information if requested to determine compliance with these terms and conditions.
11. It is an Applicant’s responsibility to keep TRI advised of any changes to their contact details during the selection process using the e-mail: [email protected]
12. TRI reserves the right, in its sole discretion to modify, suspend or cancel the Grant and not provide the funding.

Additional Information

1. The TRI Drive Grant (“The Grant”) are being coordinated by Translational Research Institute Pty Ltd as trustee of the Translational Research Institute Trust (“TRI”).
2. TRI reserves the right, in its sole discretion to modify, suspend or cancel the Grants and not provide the funding.
3. Information received during the conduct of this grant will be dealt with in accordance with TRI’s Privacy Policy a copy of which can be viewed at https://www.tri.edu.au/governance.
Specific Application Form submission instructions are provided in the 2019 Drive Grant Application Form.
For any further assistance with your application or if you have any specific questions, please email [email protected] or contact Dr Debra Kiss on (07) 3443 7012 or [email protected] 


aTRI Members are scientists from TRI shareholder organisations (UQ, QUT, Mater and Metro South Health) who are undertaking research of an international calibre that is translatable, and also includes clinicians from both the Mater and the Princess Alexandra Hospital. If you are unsure whether you are a TRI member, please contact your organisation's research office or email [email protected]. Please note the criteria for TRI Membership and the application process are currently under review. It is anticipated that more details will be available later in 2019.