GEMOC's research program is based on a high level (approximately double the Key Centre grant) of pre-existing research funding from ARC, other DEET sources, internal University and Industry sources. The success of GEMOC relies on maintaining this existing funding level from non-Key Centre resources for research projects. This budget strategy is integral to ensuring that GEMOC is viable beyond the DEET funding cycle by requiring that research projects are competitive on the open market and do not become dependent on the Key Centre funding.
The Key Centre funds are deployed for:
- gaining leverage for other funding
- new initiatives (people and pilot projects)
- dedicated specialised infrastructure
- scholarships and support to encourage Honours and postgraduate participation
- international visitor program
- operating funds
STRATEGY: CONTINUATION BEYOND 6 YEARS
The guidelines for this round of Key Centres required a strategy for funding continuity beyond the six years of Commonwealth Key Centre funding.
Management of the DEET funding is designed to provide leverage as shown by the following examples:
- Research operating money is a small budget item and is allocated for pilot studies or top-up only. No mature research programs are funded by the Key Centre.
- GEMOC aims to capitalise on the flexibility provided by assured core funding as a multiplier. For example, researchers can be attracted for limited times and then transfer to external support.
- Recruitment of quality staff will bring more external funding.
- Industry involvement and interaction creates collaborative links of mutual benefit.
- Staff replacements are assured by Macquarie University and ANU and will bring new funding bases and collaborative networks.
- GEMOC's structure is a blueprint for renewal and strengthening of the Geology, Geophysics and Mining areas at Macquarie and for the maintenance and expansion of Resource Geology at ANU.
- PhD funding strategy
* Funding in GEMOC provides assured placement for outstanding students
* Students can then have funding transferred into other schemes
* Others programs are funded by industry collaboration (including APA I)
The geochemical facilities are a high-budget item for maintenance, running costs, replacement and especially for new purchases to maintain frontline developments. Funding strategies in place include:
- User-pays system for running, maintenance and development costs
- University annual contributions
- R&D ventures with manufacturers leading to replacement equipment
- Applications to funding schemes (eg ARC Research Infrastructure) for matching funds for new purchases
- Provision of services to external clients including industry