Channel 7 Free Scholarships
Channel 7 Free Scholarships are awarded by Channel 7 Adelaide, Australia's television network the institution behind these scholarships is called the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation of South Australia Incorporated (CRF), these awards started in 1976 and have been going ever since, originally Channel 10 was the channel number for this television station, which has since moved to channel 7.
The scholarships are awarded for the research and advancement in knowledge about any health condition that might affect children in South Australia and the Northern Territory, that might be research scholarships for prevention of childhood disease, diagnosis and treatment of children with medical conditions or disease in South Australia and the Northern Territories.
Children's Research Foundation
The Children's Research Foundation CRF has a budget of one million Australian dollars per year which the foundation uses to fund scholarships and financial awards to help improve the health and wellbeing of the children of South Australia. The foundation provides funding to universities, health providers and institutions in South Australia and the Northern Territories only, these institutions must be undertaking work which improves the health, education or welfare of children in South Australia, if you are an individual looking to get a scholarship or other financial award from Channel 7 then your need to apply on behalf of an institution, university or health provider within South Australia and the Northern Territories.
Research Within South Australia or the Northern Territories
The research must take place within South Australia or the Northern Territories, the institution may be located elsewhere although the research and medical outcomes must directly affect children from South Australia. Only research in the following fields will be eligible for a grant, these fields include Medicine, Mental Health and Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Social Sciences and Environment. There are three areas where an institution can submit a research grant and these include community based studies, clinical studies and basic science/medicine.
One Or Two Year Grants
The Channel 7 grant can be for one or two years of study with the maximum finance available for the research of $75,000 Australian Dollars, if the research programme is over two years then only the maximum amount of $75,000 will be paid regardless of the length of the research. New researchers who have not carried out clinical trials or field based research before will receive an Early Career Grant of $35,000 this award is made directly to the researcher and is a one off payment for heading up this research.
$75,000 Institution Awards, $35,000 Lead Researcher Awards
Institutions can receive a maximum of $75,000 whilst lead researchers can receive a maximum of $35,000 Australian Dollars, generally if the research is to be conducted by one person at a university or similar institution then the Chief Investigator scholarship or award should be applied for and if the research is to be carried out by a department at a hospital or university then the institution grant should be applied for.
Full Institutional Grant Or Chief Investigator Scholarship
Researchers who wish to receive either a full institutional grant or a Chief Investigator scholarship should apply directly to the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation, after the initial expression of interest EOI is made to the CRF shortlisted researchers will be contacted to submit a full research application for up to $75,000 (institution grant) or $35,000 (researchers grant), note that these figures are maximum grants that are available a specific research project lasting one or two years may require and therefore receive less funding if the CRF decide full funding is not required.
Expression Of Interest (EOI)
The process for receiving a grant or scholarship is to first submit an Expression Of Interest (EOI) and then if shortlisted to submit a Full Grant Application and once the funding has been approved and the research finished the lead researcher has sixty days to submit an acquittal report detailing the findings and outcomes of the research or trials.
Once the lead researcher at a university, hospital or other medical based institution submits an expression of interest detailing why the institution or lead researcher requires funding then the application will be considered by the CRF Research Committee on the basis of relevance to the health, education or welfare of children and the scientific merit of the study, assuming these criteria are met the application will be shortlisted and the lead researcher contacted to make a full submission.
University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University
The research committee that make up the CRF board include the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University as well as other specialist researchers able to assess applications detailed in the lead researchers Expression Of Interest. The research committee, as lead researcher or Chief Researcher making the application you will be required to submit details of independent referees that can be contacted to assess the merit of the research proposal, the CRF board will either use these independent referees submitted by the lead researcher or other referees of its own choosing.
The research committee have the final say on what research projects get funding, the decision of the research committee needs to be approved by the Channel 7 CRF board but it is the research committee that are making the funding decisions. Channel 7 receive many applications for funding, so many that it's not possible to get back to every researcher regarding the Expression Of Interest, however every shortlisted research project even if unsuccessful will receive referee comments about the validity of the research request, these comments will not be identifiable to any researcher volunteered by the lead researcher making the application or any other researcher appointed by Channel 7, so funding applicants will be able to read the feedback which will hopefully be used to improve the research being suggested but will not know or be able to contact the CRF researchers used to make the decision to not fund a project.
Once an award has been made and money made available the research project can begin, sometimes research projects overrun and the lead researcher has until sixty days after the proposed end of the research or study to inform the CRF that the research has overrun and an extension has been requested, an extension can be granted for up to an additional one year but note that no extra money will be made available, the reason for asking for the extension is because you have to submit an Acquittal of Grant report within sixty days of the project concluding, and so technically it is an extension of the Acquittal of Grant report that you are asking for when the researcher asks for an extension.
Acquittal Of Grant Report
The Acquittal of Grant report has several requirements which must all be included in the report, the first of these is a one page summary of the key outcomes of the research this summary should be written in laymen's terms and explain the purposes and outcome of the research, it is this summary that will be made available to the media for reporting on the Channel 7 television network as well as in wider media and to the press.
The lead researcher will also need to make available a signed reconciliation statement listing all expenditure of the research project, basically where did all the money go and how did the researcher spend that money, the lead researcher will need to account for the money spent in pursuing the research.
List All Publications
The lead researcher will also need to make available a list of all publications that have documented the research work that has been undertaken, in all publications the financial support of Channel 7 must be acknowledged, additionally for each publication the researcher must state whether the article has been published, is awaiting publication, being submitted for publication, in the press or a conference paper or unpublished work.
As articles are published about the research once the research has been completed a copy of these articles must be made available to the Children's Research Foundation. If the researcher is asked to appear in the press to talk about their research then the CRF must be contacted first to give Channel 7 the right to be the first to publish the story (even before the original media outlet who requested the story).
Further Research Funding
If a satisfactory acquittal report is received from the lead researcher than that researcher will have to option to apply for further research funding for different or continuation projects, should the Children's Research Foundation regard the acquittal reports as being insufficient or the research having been carried out as being insufficient then the option of additional funding will not be made available.
Whilst the lead researcher may apply for additional funding this must be at the end of a period of research, research must not be ongoing when additional funding requests are made even if that funding request is for a different project, all outstanding documentation and if the researcher did not spend all the grant then surplus money must be returned to the CRF before any further funding will be given. Failure to submit the documentation or return funding that has not been used will mean that future finding for that researcher or that researcher's institution may be withheld.
Intellectual Property Rights
Researchers and institutions who are successful in their request for funding may have to assign rights to the findings from that research to the CRF, this means that should a new medical treatment or product become available then the CRF will own the intellectual rights to that research, the exact level of intellectual rights that the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation will want to pursue is made clear to all research applicants at the time the funding is made available.
Researchers and partner institutions like universalities and medical establishments not willing to hand over the intellectual rights to the CRF should not receive money (awards or scholarships) from the CRF as to do so will mean that the research institutions willingness to hand over intellectual property rights has bee agreed with. The exact level of handover of intellectual property rights will be discussed with the lead researcher at the time the funding is made available and dissuasions can take place on a case by case basis so that both the CRF and the researcher or researchers partner institution are agreeable to the terms.
Researchers or research institutions that profit from work that has been financed by the CRF will be required to pay royalties on money received to the CRF, these royalty payments again as with intellectual property rights will be discussed with the researcher and the researchers partner institution at the time the award is made available and the level of royalties will be negotiated between the CRF and the researcher or the researchers partner institution or university.
If no specific agreement is made on receipt of the funds regarding royalties then if the research leads to a commercial product later the CRF expects to receive royalties on a 'good faith' basis, the exact level of royalties to be paid will be determined by the level of involvement made by the CRF and the researcher and partner institution in that research work, for example if the research work was 100% funded by the CRF then the CRF will expect a larger royalty payment than if only 25% of the research was funded by the CRF.
Whilst this research award is made to universities and other medical institutions in South Australia and the Northern Territories there are a great many other scholarships that researchers can apply for if their research work is not focussed on Australia or if the intellectual property assignment and royalty payment requirements are not suitable, these other scholarships which can apply both for medical based research or other fields of study at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level include the Tylenol scholarship, Bill Gates Foundation Scholarship and Fulbright Scholarship as well as general university and college scholarships like the Free Will Baptist Scholarships, Harvard University Scholarships and Brandman University Scholarships.
For researchers who would make qualified referees for projects financed by the CRF there is the opportunity to be part of research assessments, these researchers can be based in Australia or worldwide and must be independent of the research projects being considered, such qualified researchers who are interested in supporting the Children's Research Foundation work are encouraged to register as an independent researcher for the CRF.