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The Queensland Defence Science Alliance (QDSA) is pleased to support research collaborations aimed at accelerating new projects through to capability in key Defence priority areas.

In doing so, the QDSA will award successful recipients with funding of up to $250,000 per grant. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis, subject to prioritisation against the selection criteria and available funding. QDSA anticipates that there will be up to two callouts per year, based on available funding.

This Expression of Interest round calls for project proposals aligned with the priorities set out in the 2023 Defence Strategic Review:

  1. Northern Australia Capabilities – Improving the ADF’s ability to operate from Australia’s Northern bases.
  2. Innovative Asymmetric Technologies – Lifting our capacity to rapidly translate disruptive new technologies into ADF capability, in close partnership with Australian industry. National Security Science and Technology Priorities.


Projects that are awarded a QDSA Collaborative Research Grant will:

  • Support Defence research collaborations in Queensland and across the Australian Defence Science and Universities Network (ADSUN).
  • Support new ideas for Defence with a view to developing these ideas into concepts that can attract further investment from government or industry for transition into capability.
  • Demonstrate high potential to satisfy Defence capability need.
  • Align with one or more of the priority areas listed.
  • Support job creation and talent retention in Queensland and contribute to Queensland’s and Australia’s Defence science and industry capability.

Key Dates

EOI Applications Open – 14 August 2023
EOI Applications Close –
11 September 2023
EOIs shortlisted and ranked – 6 October 2023
Request detailed proposal – 6 October 2023
Detailed proposal due – 6 November 2023
Selection panel meets – to be advised
Anticipated notification of outcomes – to be advised


To be eligible for a QDSA Collaborative Research Grant:

  • The project must be led by a QDSA member university (Griffith University, James Cook University or the University of Queensland)
  • The project must be a collaboration with one or more of the following:
      • Australian industry partner holding an Australian Business Number (ABN), headquartered in Queensland or with business units based in Queensland; or
      • Additional Australian university, which may be based in Queensland or another State or Territory.
  • The project must have already reached Technology Readiness level 3 (proof-of-concept) or 4 (subsystem demonstration/validation) and, with additional support, define a clear pathway through to TRL 6 to 7 (prototype stage).
  • The intent is to support the technology up to a readiness level appropriate for further development into a capability by a larger party (Federal funding scheme/Defence prime). Therefore, the project must have a clear plan for transition to capability beyond the 12-month project.
  • For security purposes, the applicants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Projects under the first category (Northern Australia Capabilities) should align to one of the following Defence needs:
      • Resilient Supply Chains & the GWEO Enterprise
      • Small, Multi-role, Scalable UAS
      • Deployable, High Energy Power Systems
      • Alternative Fuels
      • Tropical Health & Infectious Diseases
      • Human Performance in the Tropics
  • Projects under the second category (Innovative Asymmetric Technologies) should align to one of the following Defence needs:
      • Undersea Warfare Capabilities (e.g. Sensing)
      • Quantum Technologies
      • Advanced (e.g. High-Temperature) Materials
      • Cyber Security & Cyber Warfare
      • Agile Command & Control
  • Projects that do not align to the Defence needs listed above may be considered as long as they are aimed at supporting other Defence Strategic Review priorities.

It is desirable that eligible applications will also have co-investment from a Defence industry partner or QDSA member university.

Note: Successful projects that have made significant progress toward Defence acquisition may be considered for subsequent funding opportunities at the conclusion of the contract (not associated with this selection process).

Application Stages

Grants will be administered across two stages as follows:

Stage 1 – Call for Expressions of Interest (NOW CLOSED)

A two-page brief is to be submitted outlining:
  • Lead Institution and Lead Researcher
  • Project Title
  • Project Description – Description of the research focus and how will this relate to developing Defence needs. What are the likely outcomes anticipated and is this part of a larger anticipated road map to capability?
  • Project Area Alignment and proposed Impact for Defence
  • Collaboration – Who are the teammates or partners and their proposed roles?
  • Funding Requested – Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM)
  • Co-investment, if any, from a Defence Industry partner or QDSA member university

Stage 2 – Request for Detailed Proposal

A detailed proposal for the project is to be submitted. The proposal should include as a minimum:
  • Lead Institution and Lead Researcher
  • Project Title
  • Executive Summary
  • Background – including teammates and partners participating
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Methodology – including any dependencies
  • Schedule of key activities, milestones and deliverables
  • Resources required
  • Subsequent Phases or Further Research pathways likely to develop


By submitting an application for this grant, you are confirming you accept the following conditions and requirements:

  • you agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the attached funding agreement
  • the project timeline is to be confirmed with QDSA and Project Lead/Chief Investigator prior to commencement
  • a one-page update is to be provided to QDSA per three-month block (or as agreed)
  • a final presentation/ demonstration showcasing the project outcomes is to be provided to QDSA upon project completion
  • a final project report is to be provided to QDSA with 21 days of the project conclusion


Further clarifications relating to QDSA Collaborative Research Grant Stage 1 call for Expressions of Interest or Stage 2 Detailed Proposals should be directed to info@qdsa.au


Submission of Stage 1 Expressions of Interest are now closed.

Stage 2 Detailed Proposal submissions close 5pm AEST 19 October 2023 via info@qdsa.au


All applications will be competitively assessed by the Selection Panel, nominated by the QDSA Governance Board, based on the following selection criteria:

  1. Project feasibility
  2. Impact for Defence
  3. The extent of collaboration across nominated participants
  4. Alignment with the priority areas listed above

Thanks for your interest in the QDSA Collaborative Research Grant.