Faculty Supported Collaborations FAQs

Each faculty pre-pays MDAP for an amount of research support per annum. This answers frequently asked questions about engaging with MDAP supported by this faculty pre-payment.

For Researcher-funded Engagements visit the Funded Engagements FAQs.

  • What are the selection criteria?

    NB, this only relates to assessment of full applications in each competitive round.

    Research collaborations will be evaluated on the following four criteria, on a scale from 0 to 10 (low to high score):

    1. Alignment with Advancing Melbourne priorities and strategic value for the Faculty​ (for example, but not prescriptive: multidisciplinary research, research involving external collaboration, Indigenous led or research involving reciprocal learning with Indigenous peoples and communities, strengthening an emerging area, working with or within community, or communicating research impact).
    2. Degree of methodological novelty and strategic value and for the research group, including capability development (for example, but not prescriptive: training ECRs/staff, gathering pilot data for grant submissions, or producing open source software/tools).
    3. Alignment with MDAP capability.
    4. Likelihood of producing the stated outcomes within the proposed timeframe.

    Preference will be given to researchers who have not previously engaged with us through a Research Collaboration on a similar topic.

  • Who is the contact person for MDAP in my Faculty?

    MDAP researchers are not designated to individual Faculties. However, MDAP comprises academics from multiple domains who will address discipline-specific queries. Information about our Research Data Specialists. Further questions can be sent to us at mdap-info@unimelb.edu.au.

    Petascale Campus has Academic Convenors that provide a contact point for each of the Faculties. 

  • Is someone in my Faculty coordinating a collective response to this call for EOIs?

    The Faculty level coordination may occur at the discretion of each individual Faculty. Each Faculty (and a small number of relevant platforms and services) will be provided with a list of relevant EOIs to facilitate this. We recommend that in the first instance you contact your Faculty Research Manager to discuss your intended EOI submission.

  • What can I expect from a collaboration with MDAP?

    MDAP researchers work collaboratively on a research project and expect to be acknowledged in any publications or other research outputs developed, and where appropriate, share authorship.​

    Working with us may include, but is not limited to:​

    • Collaborative research design process​
    • Expertise in computing, data management and processing, computational analysis, visualisation, interpretation and more​
    • Tools familiarisation and upskilling​
    • MDAP researchers available to co-present in seminars, conferences etc​
    • Contribution to grant or funding applications where appropriate​
    • Advice on avenues for publishing or sharing research outcomes​

    Our contribution will depend on your research and its requirements, and we invite you to contact us at mdap-info@unimelb.edu.au for further information. We can also redirect you to other platforms and groups at UoM who might be better suited to advance your research.

  • Is there a service cost or any other commitment associated with an MDAP collaboration supported by faculty contributions?


    We are a team of academic specialists, co-funded by Chancellery and all Faculties, under the Petascale Campus Initiative. While there is no cost to work with our team, MDAP researchers will work collaboratively on a research project and expect to be acknowledged in any publications or other research outputs developed, and where appropriate, share authorship.

  • Who is eligible to collaborate with MDAP?

    Any researcher who would be recognised as a faculty member by their relevant Associate Dean Research. This typically includes academic staff working at least 0.2 FTE within the University of Melbourne or holding an honorary appointment (and not employed elsewhere).

    For graduate researchers, this may mean you need to apply with your supervisor as the Chief Investigator. Or, if you hold an academic staff position of at least 0.2 FTE, such as a research assistant, you can apply directly. All graduate researchers are encouraged to discuss any potential applications with their supervisor(s).

    If you fall outside these categories, but would value a collaboration with MDAP, we encourage you to contact us at mdap-info@unimelb.edu.au so that we can discuss your needs further.


  • What size project would suit a collaboration with MDAP?

    There are no fixed criteria to define the scope of collaboration to which MDAP can contribute. However, there is an expectation that MDAP engagement will last between 3 to 9 months, and that significant impact/outcomes will be attainable within this time period (e.g., contribution to peer-reviewed journal articles, public code releases, conference proceedings, etc.).

    The number of MDAP team members involved in any collaboration can vary during its life cycle, depending on the required skills and expertise at any one time. MDAP seeks to engage equally with researchers from all Faculties across the University.

  • What is 'data-intensive research'?

    Disciplines vary in terms of data collection, analysis, and interpretation but there are recurring questions regarding management, computation, and infrastructure. Our team of Research Data Specialists can help you to determine what is most suitable for your research questions and data, and how either MDAP or other academic and/or service provision groups across the University can best assist you.

  • Is my data suitable?

    In most cases, it will be. If you’re unsure, send us an email at mdap-info@unimelb.edu.au.

    Researchers and academics across all disciplines deal with diverse, significant and vast data sets. These can often benefit from bespoke consultations and collaborations with academic specialists about management, curation, computation, analysis, infrastructure, and preservation. Given increased demands around research design, data management and open scholarship, it is important to recognise key points of the research cycle, and to ensure that these are adequately supported now and into the future.

  • So, what is a Research Data Specialist?

    Within MDAP, these are academic specialists who can provide advice and collaborate with researchers on any activity related to analysis, collection, storage, and presentation of data in support of research at the University of Melbourne. Further, they advise researchers on issues related to software, computing resources, and relevant infrastructure.

  • How do I structure my response to “Project requirements and justification” in the full application form?

    NB, this only relates to the full application form.

    Your response should include the following:

    • Specify whether MDAP contributions are consistently required over the period of the collaboration, or whether there will be peak times where MDAP contributions are needed.
      • Example: The team will require higher contributions from MDAP collaborators at the commencement of the project when establishing XXXX.
      • Example: The team will require a consistent level of input from MDAP collaborators throughout the project to establish XXXX, analyse XXXX (etc.).
    • Provide an estimate and justification of FTEs required and over what duration. This FTE may be split amongst several MDAP team members working on your project. NB, it is unlikely that the RAC will approve more than 1.0FTE to a single project.
      • Example: X MDAP collaborators are sought. MDAP contribution is expected to be X.X FTE, over X months. This will allow the team to XXXX (e.g., meet regularly, develop algorithms, develop research outputs such as journal articles, develop grant applications)
    • Indicate the kinds of skills required to complete the research.
      • Example: The skills sought from MDAP collaborators for this research include XXXX

  • In the application form, what is meant by “Have you confirmed Faculty support for this project with your Associate Dean of Research or equivalent?”

    NB, this only relates to the full application form.

    The ‘Faculty support’ is an acknowledgement that either your Associate Dean (Research) and/or Faculty Research Manager support the research proposed in the application, and agree that it is aligned with Faculty strategy and research priorities.

  • Is it compulsory to submit an EOI via Qualtrics before the full application?

    Yes, unless there are extenuating circumstances. The benefit of submitting an EOI (which is relatively short) is that the project can be appropriately triaged prior to the full application.