Seed Funding 2016

The Melbourne Networked Society Institute (MNSI) is seeking applications from the University’s research community for innovative interdisciplinary research projects. The Institute supports research on the connectivity between people, places and things to solve the problems facing the networked society.

The Institute’s Seed Funding round seeks to catalyse new innovative interdisciplinary projects to further the Institute’s research agenda. The program is designed to support small-to-medium scale projects from $20,000 to $50,000 that have the issues facing the networked society at their core and show the potential for future external funding.

Seed funding provides the opportunity for the Institute to support novel, new research projects from University researchers. Projects will be well-defined and in alignment with the Institute. Project teams will be interdisciplinary and build research capacity at the University. Collaborations with external organisations is welcomed and projects will demonstrate the capacity to scale research through the attraction of external funding and partnerships.

2016 Focus Areas

In 2016, the Institute is seeking innovative interdisciplinary applications that address the challenges and opportunities present by the networked society. Increases in connectivity are having an impact across many domains. To facilitate research development, the Institute has identified the following broad focus areas accompanied by a non-exhaustive illustration, which are of interest.

  • Automation – the networked society is empowering increases in automation that are transforming work, information, manufacturing and transportation.
  • Connected Cities – cities are increasingly becoming connected across multiple domains creating an emerging fabric of a connected cities with impact on the urban environment, health, infrastructure and transport.
  • Internet of Things –  the increased connection of devices – things – to the internet is enabling the delivery of new services across the economy including resource management and optimisation, tracking and monitoring.
  • Financial – increases in connectivity, computing power and new concepts such as blockchain, are driving disruptions throughout the financial sector in emerging ‘fintech’ ecosystems.
  • Participation – connectivity is enabling new forms of participation in healthcare, politics, policy making, research and the economy.
  • Privacy – ever increasing volumes of data are being created, transmitted and stored globally. This creates both opportunities for surveillance and challenges for individual privacy.
  • Security – networks are the essential infrastructure making the networked society possible. Keeping networks and data secure and reducing and mitigating identity theft are some key security challenges.
  • Virtual Reality – virtual reality technologies open up new forms of social interaction, story telling and alternative workplace collaboration inside immersive environments.

Please note the above focus areas are non-exhaustive and the Institute welcomes applications that align broadly with the networked society.

Project Expectations

The Institute provides funding to projects to build the research capacity of the University of Melbourne. Projects must be directed to undertaking substantial interdisciplinary research that broadly aligns with the Institute.

Researchers will proactively engage with the Institute to support public engagement in relation to the projects.

Institute Support

Seed funding represents the Institute’s largest investment to support the development of interdisciplinary research on the networked society at the University of Melbourne. Team members are connected to the Institute and the Institute actively works in partnership with research teams to ensure the project meets its objectives and is well placed to secure future additional funding.

The Institute supports projects through ongoing engagement via the appointment of an Institute representative onto the team, access to facilities such as the C-Lab, and assistance in project profile, communicating research and creating impact to enable the future project development.

Information Session

MNSI will be hosting an information session to provide further information about the seed funding process.

  • Date: Tuesday 22 March 2016
  • Time: 1pm to 2pm
  • Venue: Brown Theatre, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building


MNSI will be hosting a workshop to allow researchers to share ideas and potentially find collaborators with complimentary skills and interests. Attendees are required to register beforehand and provide a brief summary of their research interests.

  • Date: Friday 15 April 2016
  • Time: 2pm to 4pm
  • Venue: Richard Newton Rooms, Level 5, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building
  • RSVP:


Registrations are essential for this event. Please email your attendance to and including the following:

  • Name
  • Department/Organisation
  • Research Interests

Attendee information will be collated and circulated before the workshop to facilitate networking.

Additional Information

The Institute actively supports research teams in the application process. The Institute is hosting two events to support research teams.

MNSI staff are available to provide information to prospective applicants and applicants are strongly encouraged to make contact to discuss their proposals beforehand.

How to Apply

  • Read the MNSI Seed Funding Guidelines 2016.
  • Complete the MNSI Seed Funding Application Form and append an accompanying CV for each researcher (1 Page maximum).
  • Send application as a single .pdf document to by 5:00pm Friday 6 May 2016.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the MNSI Executive Committee.
  • Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend a 20-minute Q&A session with the Selection Panel to be held on the afternoon of Monday 30 May 2016.
  • Successful projects will commence in Quarter 3 of 2016.

Application Form

MNSI Seed Funding 2016 Application Form (DOCX 414.7 KB)

Funding Guidelines

MNSI Seed Funding 2016 Guidelines (PDF 315.0 KB)

Selection Criteria

All projects will be assessed in relation to how they meet the following criteria:

Project Overview

The project researches an innovative aspect of the networked society. The project has a clear, interdisciplinary scope. Please note any background or previous research that informs the project.

Key project outcomes

The project has clear objectives, identifiable results and a well-defined development pathway.

How does the project align with the Institute’s research focus?

The project aligns with the Institute’s research focus, supports the furthering of MNSI’s mission and objectives and, where relevant, engages with the C-Lab.

How is the project innovative?

The project is new, innovative and undertakes novel and unique research in emerging problem domains.

How is the project interdisciplinary?

The project is interdisciplinary in nature, note any challenges to or novel approaches for interdisciplinary collaboration.

How will the project attract future resourcing?

The project has a clear articulation of how it will attract significant additional funding and by what mechanisms, i.e. competitive grants, developing partnerships with government or industry.

Budget Justification

The project has a tightly defined budget and identifies how the proposed budget allocation and resourcing supports the execution of the project.