Planktonic animal under the microscope.

Assessment of MNF GV

Applications for MNF Granted Voyages that fully utilise the vessel's capabilities and engage in international collaborations or programs are strongly encouraged. However, applications that do not fully utilise the vessels capabilities will also be considered as these provide further opportunities for collaboration and training activities.

RV Investigator aft view

RV Investigator aft view

The MNF remains strongly committed to training the next generation of marine scientists so applications that include involvement of students are also encouraged.

Multi-year applications for MNF Granted Voyages of up to three years will be considered according to the Applications timetable. Successful applications will be reviewed each year to ensure they have met agreed milestones.

To facilitate collaboration between applicants a Pre-proposal will be required prior to submitting an application for a Primary MNF Granted Voyage. These will be shared with all applicants to encourage the formation of larger teams in preparing the full application.

Eligible applications for a MNF Granted Voyage are assessed against the following three criteria:

Criterion 1

The scientific and/or technical excellence of the project.

Criterion 2

The potential of the project to contribute to Australia’s national benefit.

Criterion 3

The ability of investigators (demonstrated or potential, relative to opportunity) to successfully undertake the project.

The assessment process will operate as follows:

1.    A compliance check will be carried out to ensure applications address requirements. 

2.    Independent national and international assessors will score applications using the Criteria 1
and 3. 

3.    The National Benefit Assessment Panel (NBAP) will score applications using Criterion 2.

4.    Applicants will have the opportunity to reply to assessors comments. 

5.    The MNF’s independent Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) will then rank the applications based on the Criteria 1 and 3 and the NBAP against Criterion 2.

6.    The SAC and NBAP provide a written report to the MNF Steering Committee (MNFSC) which: 

  • details the rankings of the applications; 
  • provides recommendations on which applications should not be offered time; and 
  • provides any other advice that should be taken into account by the MNFSC when allocating time in the voyage schedule. 

7.    The MNFSC will decide which applications will be offered time in a voyage schedule. In reaching its decisions the MNFSC will take into consideration the: 

  • SAC and NBAP reports; 
  • efficient and effective use of the Facility; 
  • achieving a balance between multi-year and single year applications to avoid over-committing vessel time in future years; 
  • existing commitments; and 
  • available funding.

8.    A call for Supplementary applications for a MNF Granted Voyage will be made to fill unused capacity on Research and Transit voyages. This will provide the opportunity for researchers, early career researchers and students to carry out underway or opportunistic science. It also provides the opportunity for testing new equipment and techniques, and for obtaining pilot data to support future applications for a MNF Granted Voyage. 

9.    Supplementary applications will be assessed by a Supplementary Scheduling Committee (SSC) based on the: 

  • logistical integration with other applications; 
  • scientific, technical and/or educational excellence of the project;
  • potential of the project to contribute to Australia’s national benefit; and
  • the ability of the Lead Principal Investigator (demonstrated or potential, relative to opportunity) to successfully undertake the project. 

10.    The SSC will provide a draft final voyage schedule and supporting information to justify the selection of Supplementary applications to the MNFSC for consideration and final decision.

Updated: 21 April 2017