Seed grants

Seed grants are a university-wide seed-funding scheme. They provide seed funding for interdisciplinary projects that are aligned with Swinburne's research institutes and external partnerships and collaboration objectives. 

Expressions of interest

The seed grants scheme will be focused on supporting projects that address complex, societal and industry challenges with external partners of relevance to each of Swinburne's five research institutes.

We are after game-changing ideas that will make a real impact while also building on our research excellence.

The seed grants will also facilitate internal collaboration, alongside the development of relationships with external partners in priority areas.

The seed grants have two key elements:

1. Institute-initiated projects

  • Enable institutes to develop projects with external partners and identify the best capability within Swinburne
  • Enable structured conversations and alignment with institute priorities
  • Institute directors will directly contact researchers with the relevant capability or run special calls.

2. Researcher-initiated projects

  • Enable participation of the research community (part of the institute engagement process)
  • Regular expressions of interests called for on a monthly basis. Expressions of interest will focus on the project and partnering concept
  • Expressions of interest will be due on the last Friday of each month at 5pm.

Seed funding of up to $20,000 will be provided per project.

Download the application form and guidelines

Next steps

The following activities will be held to support expressions of interest:

  • Information sessions about the scheme
  • Canvas workshops – targeted research development workshops aligned with the institutes to enable you to develop an initial expression of interest aligned with institute priorities. 

Download previously successful seed grant proposals

The following proposals were successful in the first round of seed grant applications. You are encouraged to read them before submitting your own as they are exemplars of extremely well-written proposals.

  • PDF

    Previous proposal 1

    News Savvy Seniors: Enhancing social inclusion through digital stories and social media participation (Dr Anthony McCosker)

  • PDF

    Previous proposal 2

    A digital prototype addressing loneliness in older adults (Dr Michelle Lim)

Successful proposals from round one

Learn more about the successful proposals and projects from round one of the seed grants scheme.

Round one recipients

Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute

Team members: Michelle Lim, Associate Professor Sunil Bhar, Dr Abdullah Al Mahmud

External partner: Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV)

Project title and summary: A digital prototype addressing loneliness in older adults

Our partner, Relationship Australia Victoria (RAV), is a leading provider of family relationship services with an established profile in addressing loneliness in older adults. Our partnership will facilitate the development of a sound comprehensive digital tool, providing a one-stop solution to those at risk of developing loneliness and those who are suffering from loneliness. Use of digital solutions does not always promote the development of close relationships (1). An interdisciplinary psychology and human-computer interaction (HCI) approach will generate solutions to optimize content engagement, leading to real life outcomes in establishing positive and meaningful relationships (e.g., gamification or safe digital spaces).

Data Science Research Institute

Team members: Shakuntla Gondalia, Dr Ahsan Morshed, Professor Con Stough, Professor Andrew Scholey

External partner: Soho Flordis International

Project title and summary: i-Platform (Intelligent platform) for microbiota analysis and visualisation

This project will develop a new methodology to allow us for the first time to describe how our gut bacteria (“microbiome”) are related to brain, cognitive and mood processes. This is a new research study and the development of science-based interventions for gut health will enormously impact the Australian economy. The extraction of knowledge from the ocean of microbiota data is a significant challenge. In partnership, SFI, the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology and Swinburne Data Institute will bring together leading expertise on gut microbiota, psychological health condition, data science and analytics to create the first intelligent platform for microbiota data visualization.

Manufacturing Futures Research Institute

Team members: Yvonne Durandet, Professor Syed Masood, Associate Professor Dong Ruan, Dr Charles Ranscombe, Dr Ambarish Kulkarni

External partners: CNH Industrial (IVECO Trucks Australia Ltd), Dandenong, Australia and CNH Industrial, Turin, Italy

Project title and summary: Additive manufacturing of parts for IVECO trucks

IVECO, a member company of global CNH Industrial group, wants to partner with Swinburne Manufacturing Future Institute to address industry challenges in the low volume and highly customized production of trucks in Australia. The aim of the proposed research is to assist IVECO determine where and how additive manufacturing can be viably used to produce lighter weight components to increase production flexibility while decreasing lead time, warehousing, and costs. An interdisciplinary team with capabilities in industrial design, mechanical, manufacturing and materials engineering at Swinburne will work with IVECO to identify potential parts to re-design for light weighting or consolidation, and manufacture via 3D printing route.

Manufacturing Futures Research Institute

Team members: Dr Mehran Motamed Ektesabi, Saman Asghari Gorji, Dr Hassan Gholipour Fereidouni, Dr Amir Moradi Motlagh

External partners: TJ Supply Limited Partnership, Naresuan University

Project title and summary: IoT based Home Appliance Systems (Smart Fan)

The individual user’s comfort is one of the fundamental components of satisfaction. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air‐Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55‐1992 describes the definition of thermal comfort as “the satisfaction of hot conditions and surroundings when the human body temperature balances with the heat”. Manufacturing new products with the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the innovative solutions that can improve this requirement: As the individual user’s profile satisfaction. This project aims to introduce a smart IoT based cooling fan with motion and human body temperature sensors. The proposed system captures, detects, identifies, and analyses real‐time data of individual users by face recognition algorithms. Then, the control unit automatically adjusts the cooling system based upon the thermal comfort of the individuals. The smartness of the system will increase the overall efficiency as well as the comfort, based on the previous captured data. This project is a multidisciplinary research study aiming to use the Economy of manufacturing, Marketing acceptance as well as the design and implementation for IoT.

Manufacturing Futures Research Institute

Team members: Han Lin, Xuewen Wang, Scott Fraser

External partners: Ningbo FLO Optical Technology Development Co. Ltd

Project title and summary: 3D Laser Printed Ultra-thin Graphene Lenses for Human Vision Corrections

In this project we aim to develop ultra-thin and ultra-light-weight eyeglasses with 3D laser-printed graphene oxide material based on our recent achievement in laser nanofabrication of graphene oxide ultrathin flat lens. We will collaborate with our external partner, Ningbo FLO Optical Technology Development Co. Ltd, which has more than 30-years expertise in clinical research, optometry, ophthalmology and opticianary, to design and fabricate prototype graphene eye glasses for human vision corrections, including presbyopia, myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. In addition, a large-scale manufacturing process suitable for industrial production will be developed.

Social Innovation Research Institute

Team members: Anthony McCosker, Dr Diana Bossio, Dr Hilary Davis, Dr Max Schlese

External partners: Telstra, Knox City Council, Boroondara City Council

Project title and summary: News Savvy Seniors: Enhancing social inclusion through digital stories and social media participation

This project develops and evaluates a community-based intervention addressing the difficulties in sustaining digital skills development and social inclusion among older Australians. Partnering with Telstra and two local Melbourne Councils, the project team will develop and evaluate a workshop series and skills development model involving seniors in digital storytelling and social media. The model has dual aims: a) to empower seniors to connect with each other; to participate in local communities and to provide feed-back to local governments using digital devices and social media platforms, and b) to embed sustainable digital engagement practices into existing localised training processes to improve digital inclusion outcomes.

Social Innovation Research Institute

Team members: Michael Moran, Associate Professor Carolyn Barnes, Associate Professor Fiona Martin, Krystian Seibert

External partner: Justice Connect

Project title and summary: Co-designing social enterprise legal models in Australia: a user-centred approach

A long-running debate in Australia’s not-for-profit (NFP) sector is whether social enterprises need a special legal structure to facilitate access to capital through equity investments while preserving their mission-focus. Debate splits between promoting US-style Benefit Corporations and hybrid legal forms such as the UK’s Community Interest Company, but lacks substantial empirical evidence about the needs of end-user enterprises. The project aims to bridge this gap by collaborating with Justice Connect – the largest pro-bono legal service for NFPs – and end-users to co-design contextually-appropriate models for Australian social enterprises. It teams NFP lawyers with academics in law, design, and social innovation to mobilise end-user knowledge in public policy design.