Swinburne Neuroimaging (SNI) Access and Support Scheme: Kick-starting high quality, innovative research

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Swinburne Neuroimaging (SNI) is offering a new competitive Access and Support Scheme designed to promote, facilitate and support world-class innovation and research in neuroimaging. The scheme recognises the challenges associated with obtaining external neuroimaging research funding, and accepts internal applications from early career researchers and those seeking i) feasibility data, ii) to develop novel and cutting-edge neuroimaging methods, and iii) requiring a top-up to other granted funds to adequately power a study.

Applications for the following grants are now being accepted:

  • SNI Early Career Research Grant
  • SNI Feasibility Grant
  • SNI Enhancing Capability Grant
  • SNI Top-Up Grants for Innovative Research


The SNI Access and Support Scheme aims to address specific barriers to obtaining external research funding in a fair and transparent manner, and assist researchers to go on to be successful in future external funding applications. These specific barriers include research projects for which there is:

  • a lack of demonstrated expertise using imaging methods;
  • a lack of pilot data demonstrating that the methods to be used in a grant application are feasible;
  • a lack of demonstrated capability at SNI in certain methodologies, particularly new and innovative techniques;
  • insufficient external research funding for an appropriately powered neuroimaging budget.

Applications will generally be assessed according to their ability to bring in new research funding for SNI facility use, through increased grant applications to research councils and engagement with third-party contributors (charity and industry). Increasing high quality research outputs (publications, software, datasets, technologies) and impact are also major considerations. Applications are required to clearly outline how the proposed research activity addresses the criteria of the specific grant scheme.

Applications will be reviewed by the SNI Scientific Committee, who will consult with the SNI Operations Committee and/or other experts as necessary. Applications will receive approval, advice to resubmit, or rejection. All approved projects will be bound by specific obligations and deliverables, and must acknowledge the SNI grant and facility in all publications that arise. In addition to the specified deliverables all research undertaken at SNI will abide by SNI policies and procedures as outlined in the project-specific Access Agreement. Projects must be run in accordance with FAIR guidelines for Open Science, as detailed in the Access Agreement. Grants will have a dollar value sufficient to cover the cost of facility access.

Applications meeting one or more of the following criteria will be prioritised: 

  • Industry partnerships
  • Cross-disciplinary research involving researchers across Swinburne faculties and research centres
  • ECR projects involving multiple ECRs, particularly in the case of Honours and HDR projects
  • Demonstrated outputs (publications, grant applications, other outputs) from previous research supported by SNI grants or equivalent (e.g. “gratis” scans)