DACS research and innovation – funding round: questions & answers

Page last updated: 03 April 2017

The following questions and answers are specific to the 2016 DACS Research and Innovation funding round. For more information please also refer to the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund page.

  1. What is the DACS Fund?
  2. The Dementia and Aged Care Services (DACS) Fund aims to support older people who are suffering frailty or disability. It is designed to better support activities that respond to existing and emerging challenges including dementia care, better support services targeting people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and support special measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Fund can also be used to support activities that assist the Commonwealth in informing itself about aged care.

  3. What is the DACS Research and Innovation Funding Round?
  4. The DACS Research and Innovation Funding Round is an open competitive funding round under the DACS Fund. This funding provides support for innovative projects that address key priorities (grant opportunities), commencing in 2016/17 and concluding by the end of 2018-19.

  5. How many grant opportunities are there?
  6. There are six grant opportunities, these are:

    1. Support for existing and emerging challenges in dementia
    2. Better support for services targeting people from diverse backgrounds
    3. Developments that support innovation in aged care
    4. Support for activities focussing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    5. Capital support for activities focussing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and
    6. Seed funding for adaptive technology projects to enable consumers to stay in their own home.

    DACS Research and Innovation funding round structure:

    1. Program - Dementia and Aged Care Services (DACS) Fund
    2. Funding Round - DACS Research and Innovation Funding Round
    3. Grant Opportunity(s)

  7. What is a key area of focus?
  8. The key areas of focus provide further guidance to applicants on the types of activities that the department is seeking to fund through the DACS Research and Innovation Funding Round.

    Each grant opportunity has a one or more subset key areas of focus.

    Example: Grant Opportunity 2) Better support for services targeting people from diverse backgrounds, has three key areas of focus, these are:

    • inform and educate people from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds about dementia, to avoid delayed diagnosis
    • increase the awareness and understanding of planning for ageing (including advanced care planning) for special need groups, their families and carers, and
    • projects that provide support for consumers to receive culturally competent care to ensure special needs groups achieve health outcomes similar to those of other consumers.

  9. Can I apply for multiple key areas of focus?
  10. Yes. However, your application must address only one key area of focus. If you wish to apply for multiple key areas of focus, you must submit one application per key area of focus.

    All key areas of focus can be found in the individual grant opportunities, under section 2.1.1.

  11. What funding is available for this grant?
  12. Funding of up to $34 million has been allocated over three financial years, from 2016-17 to 2018-19, to fund projects in the DACS Research and Innovation funding round.

    Of this, eligible applicants are able to apply up to the maximum available amount under each grant opportunity, as specified in the table below:

    Grant Opportunity(s)
    Maximum available funding, per application (2016-17 to 2018-19)*
    Support for existing and emerging challenges in dementia
    $3 million
    Better support for services targeting people from diverse backgrounds
    $1 million
    Developments that support innovation in aged care
    $1.5 million
    Support for activities focussing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    $1.5 million
    Capital support for activities focussing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    $5.5 million
    Seed funding for adaptive technology projects to enable consumers to stay in their own home
    $1 million

    *All figures in this table are GST exclusive

    Note: These figures are subject to change. The department also reserves the right to negotiate the amount of funding offered to successful applicants.

  13. What period is the funding available for?
  14. It is expected that the DACS Research and Innovation funding will commence from April 2017 onwards, subject to execution of grant agreements. All grant funds entered into must be expended prior to 30 June 2019.

  15. Who is eligible to apply for these grants?
  16. For applicant eligibility requirements please refer to Section 4 of the individual grant opportunities. In order to apply, you must be an eligible entity as specified in the specific grant opportunity guideline Section 4.1 and meet all the application eligibility criteria in Section 4.2.

  17. What is a competitive open selection process?
  18. A competitive open selection process means that funding is available to all eligible entities wishing to apply under a particular funding round.

    Open processes are advertised through either the media, the Department of Health’s website, and/or other sources, as required to attract as much interest as possible. Open competitive grant rounds have open and closing dates for the submission of applications, with eligible applications being assessed against set assessment criteria.

  19. Where can I find the assessment criteria?
  20. Each grant opportunity has a list of assessment criteria (sometimes known as selection criteria), which is a list of questions that applicants will be required to address in their application, including but not limited to:

    1. Project Description
    2. Need & Benefit
    3. Organisation Capacity & Experience, and
    4. Project Evaluation.

    This information will form part of your overall application and will be used to assess your entities suitability for funding. You should refer to the individual grant opportunities for a list of assessment criteria.

  21. What is the grant assessment process?
  22. The department will initially assess applications against the eligibility criteria as set out in the specific grant opportunity guidelines at Section 4. Only eligible applications will proceed to the next stage.

    Eligible applications will then be assessed against the assessment criteria, and against other applications. Each application will be considered on its merits, based on how well it meets the criteria, including readiness, capacity to deliver, how it compares to other applications and whether it provides value for money.

  23. What are program guidelines?
  24. For the DACS Research and Innovation Funding Round, the Program Guidelines are comprised of the:

    • DACS Program Guidelines; and
    • Each unique Grant Opportunity.

    The Grant Opportunity compliments the Program Guidelines, and is designed to provide more detailed information to assist applicants to apply under the Funding Round. In some instances, the terminology Program Guidelines is used interchangeably and applies to both the Grant Opportunity and the Program Guidelines.

  25. In which ‘coverage type’ are you proposing to deliver the activity?
  26. The coverage type refers to the area in which applicants will deliver the activity. If you are proposing to deliver the project in a specific state, please select that state. You may also select multiple states. If your project is delivered nationally, please select ‘Australia’.

  27. In the application, what does the department mean by: “Provide a breakdown of the proposed grant funding by the chosen coverage type(s)?”
  28. This is where applicants are to enter the amount of funding they intend to deliver the activity in each area (state). If you propose to deliver your project across all states, please enter the whole funding amount under the ‘Australia’ column.

  29. How does the department define rural and remote?
  30. The department uses the Modified Monash Model (MMM) when classifying a location. MMM is a remoteness area classification system that has been developed to better categorize metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and population size.

    You can check your MMM classification on the DoctorConnect website.

  31. How can I provide documentation to support my legal entity type?
  32. As part of entering into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia an organisation may be asked to verify their legal entity status to determine their legal capacity to enter into a legally binding agreement.

    Depending on your legal entity type, you may verify your legal entity status by providing:

    • For Companies, Corporations and Incorporated bodies: Certificate of Registration, Incorporation or equivalent documentation.
    • For organisations established through specific Commonwealth or state/territory legislation: (public benevolent institutions, churches, universities, unions etc.) the relevant Act or Legislation under which the body was formed.
    • For Partnerships: valid and current registration details compliant with relevant State or Territory Government legislation for Limited or Incorporated Limited partnerships or copies of formal written partnership agreement for Normal Partnerships.
    • For trustee on behalf of a trust: valid and current Trust Deed/s. The department will review these documents to determine capacity to enter into a legal agreement. Proof of legal entity status of the Trustee will also be required.
    • For Australian Local, State or Territory Government body: the department may use confirmation on official government and council webpages and possession of a ‘.gov.au’ domain as validation of legal entity status.

    Alternatively, the department may verify your legal entity status but conducting a search of the:

    • Australian Business Number,
    • Australian Securities and Investments Commission,
    • Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, or
    • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, register(s).
  33. If my application is successful, what will the contract period be?
  34. This depends on your project. However, the contract period will always be from the date of execution of the funding agreement until the end date specified in the funding agreement. For capital works funding agreements, this may include a designated use period, during which time capital works funded under the project must continue to be used for the purpose for which funding was provided for a set period of time. If successful for funding, the contract period will be outlined in the funding agreement.

  35. Is there any flexibility in how the indicative project budget is presented, or is it possible to provide an amended form of the current table?
  36. No. You are asked to submit your indicative project budget on the provided template. This will make it easier for the department to assess your application, particularly in the event that a large number of applications are received, and, if successful, will improve the manageability of your project.

  37. Are the total funding amounts listed in the DACS Research and Innovation funding round GST inclusive or exclusive?
  38. All funding amounts listed throughout this document and the grant opportunities are GST exclusive.

  39. Can a number of organisations submit a joint application?
  40. Yes. However, a lead organisation must be specified as this would be the organisation the Commonwealth would enter into an agreement with. Refer to Section 8.5 of the grant opportunity guidelines “Grant applications from consortia” for more information.

  41. Would the department prefer a consortia (joint) application?
  42. Applications submitted from individual organisations will neither be preferred nor disadvantaged over applications from consortia.

  43. What are the contract conditions for this grant agreement?
  44. The department uses two different funding agreements under the DACS Research and Innovation funding round, which depends whether your project is for capital or non-capital funding.

    Capital funding will be administered using the Department of Social Services Standard Capital Works Funding Agreement, administered by the Department of Health.

    Non-capital funding will be administered using the Department of Health’s Standard Funding Agreement.
    A draft copy of these funding agreements can be found at the tenders and grants page.

  45. What is the closing time and date for submitting my application form?
  46. The closing time and date for applications is 17:00, Australian Eastern Daylight Time - Tuesday, 20 December 2016.

  47. What is the character limit for each criterion?
  48. Responses to each assessment criterion should be limited to 6,000 characters including spaces (approximately 900 words), as outlined in the grant opportunity guidelines

  49. Do I need to provide enough information to reach the specified character limit? Will I be disadvantaged during the application assessment phase if I do not reach the specified character limit?
  50. No. The character limit does not need to be reached in order for a response to be assessed as suitable. However, you will need to provide sufficient information within the maximum specified character limits to ensure that your application will be competitive when assessed against the assessment criteria.

  51. Can I provide more than the character limit?
  52. No. The electronic application form will not allow applicants to provide more information than the character limit. No additional text is able to be typed into the field once capacity has been reached.

  53. Can I include attachments to my application?
  54. Yes. However, only attachments requested in the individual grant opportunity guidelines will form part of application and will be used as assessable information. Other provided attachments not explicitly requested will not be assessed.

  55. Will late applications be accepted?
  56. The department may not accept any application submitted after the closing date and time. If an application is late, the department may determine that there were exceptional circumstances beyond the applicant’s control that meant the deadline could not be met. The applicant will need to supply documentary evidence to support any exceptional circumstances.

    The department has no obligation to accept late applications. Any decision by the department to accept or not accept a late application will be final.

  57. Can I withdraw my applicatin?
  58. Yes. Applications can be withdrawn at any time. Written advice must be provided on a letterhead and include your organisation name (as specified in the application), the application submission ID number and must be provided to the department at: aged_care_grant@health.gov.au by the applicant’s authorised person.

  59. I have submitted my application twice. Which application will be assessed?
  60. The department will assess the last application received as the final application.

  61. Can I update my contact details after the round closes?
  62. Yes. If your contact details change after the round closes, please email the relevant changes including your organisation name and application submission ID number to: aged_care_grant@health.gov.au.

  63. Can I call my grant manager in the department to discuss my grant application or the funding round?
  64. No. In the interest of fairness and equity for all applicants, all questions about this funding round should be emailed to: aged_care_grant@health.gov.au.

  65. Where should I go for further information?
  66. All information relevant to the DACS Research and Innovation funding round can be found on the department’s tenders and grants page.

  67. What is the definition of ‘own home’?
  68. For the purpose of all grant opportunities, where applicable: ‘own home’ excludes acute care facilities (e.g. for long stay patients) and residential aged care facilities, including:

    • aged care homes
    • Multipurpose Services, and
    • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care residential facilities.

  69. Are there page or word limits for the Project Plan or Risk Management Plan attachments for my application?
  70. There are no page or word limits for the Project Plan or Risk Management Plan. However, in assessing the merit of applications the department will consider the requested attachments only as supporting evidence for the responses to the assessment criteria in the application form.

    Please ensure that your written response to each assessment criterion within the application form stands alone as a complete and self-contained statement that does not rely on references to other documents.

    Further information on attachments can be found at Section 8.4 of the grant opportunity guidelines.

  71. Has the Department previously funded similar projects under the DACS program?
  72. This is the first open, competitive funding round being offered under the DACS program. Previously, projects have been funded through the Aged Care Services Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund (ACSIHAG), which was the predecessor to the DACS program. However, the key areas of focus for the current round differ from previous ACSIHAG rounds.

    Information on grants awarded by the Department of Health, can be accessed on the department’s website: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-contracts-index.htm

  73. What is the definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care service provider?
  74. The definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care service provider is an organisation delivering Commonwealth funded aged care services to a majority of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

  75. Can an organisation submit multiple applications for funding?
  76. There is no limit on the number of applications that can be submitted by an organisation. There is also no limit on the number of applications that an organisation may submit for each grant opportunity or key area of focus.

    However, each grant application should describe a separate activity and must address only one grant opportunity and key area of focus.

  77. Can I view the whole application form prior to filling it in?
  78. No. The application form is an online solution that has been designed to build on applicant’s responses as you move through the form. This includes the attachments page, if you have not yet attached the required documents, you cannot proceed further in the form.

  79. How do I know what information will be asked if I can’t view the full application form?
  80. The information required in the application form is standard organisation detail questions, financial information, and responses to the selection criteria.

  81. Can I save information into the application form so that I can revisit it later?
  82. Yes. To revisit your application, you will need to enter in your Submission Reference number you received when you started your application. This Submission Reference Number was emailed to your registered address when you saved your application.

  83. How do I find my “Organisation ID” that I need to access the online form? Do I need to apply for a new Organisation ID to apply for this funding round?
  84. If you have previously received grant funding from the Department of Health, you should refer to your previous grant agreement which should have your organisation ID on the front cover, or request this information from your Departmental contact for your existing agreement. If you have not previously received funding then you will need to select ‘no’ to being an existing grant recipient with the department and continue the application as normal.

  85. I’ve lost my username and/or password, how do I retrieve this information?
  86. You are not required to have a username and/or password to access a saved application form. To revisit your application, you will need to enter in your Submission Reference Number you received when you started your application. This Submission Reference Number was emailed to your registered address when you saved your application.

  87. What browser should I use to access and submit my application form?
  88. Your application should be lodged utilising one of the following browsers:

    • A recently updated version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari,
    • Internet Explorer 10 and above, and/or
    • Edge (Windows 10)
  89. Can I view the declaration page prior to completing the full application? Does the declaration include the acknowledgement?
  90. No, you cannot view the standard declaration page on the application form, however the details are provided below. The separate declaration form for Grant Opportunity Five is available on the Tenders and Grants Page and is called “Ownership Declaration for Grant Opportunity 5”.

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  91. How do I sign the online declaration? Do I need to have an electronic signature to do this?
  92. The online application form requires an authorised person to provide their name and position title and the date. This does not need to be a ‘signature’ and having the appropriate person’s name typed into the field will suffice the online form requirements.

  93. I am experiencing numerous errors with the online application form. Who do I contact to resolve these issues?
  94. Please email a screen shot of the error(s) encountered through to the aged_care_grant@health.gov.au inbox and we will respond to you as soon as we are able to.

  95. What is the definition of indigenous organistation?
  96. The definition of Indigenous Organisation in the context of models that address consumer choice and direction related issues, are organisations that deliver Commonwealth funded aged care services to a majority of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

  97. Can I use DACS grant funding to build new construction for Grant opportunity 5 - Capital support for activities focussing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
  98. No, funds are not permitted for this purpose. Permitted uses are described in Section 2.2, which allows for:

    • upgrades, extensions or replacement of existing aged care buildings to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of care recipients and/or staff.

  99. Can I apply to conduct a project under Grant opportunity 1 – Developments that support innovation in aged care in a residential care setting?
  100. Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, including number 5:

    The project addresses one or more of the following priorities from the National Framework for Action on Dementia 2015-19:

    • 2.0 The need for timely diagnosis
    • 3.1 Needs and preferences of people with dementia and their carers
    • 3.2 Support for carers
    • 4.1 Living at home
    • 5.3 Whole of hospital approach, and/or
    • 6.3 High quality service provision during end of life care.

  101. How can I list international consortia members?
  102. Eligible applicants may form a consortium with international members. However the online system requires applicants to insert an ABN for each consortium member.

    International consortium members may not have an ABN. If this is the case, the lead applicant should copy and paste their ABN into the relevant field as shown below.

  103. Do all consortia members have to fulfil the eligibility requirements in section 4 of the relevant grant opportunity?
  104. No. As noted in Section 8.5 of the Grant Opportunity document, only the Lead Entity of a consortium is responsible for entering into an agreement with the Commonwealth.

    Consortium partners, do not have to meet the eligibility requirements, including being a not-for-profit organisation.

    Interested applicants should confirm the profit status of their organisation as part of confirming their eligibility.

  105. What is the ‘aged care provider sector’?
  106. The ‘aged care provider sector’ is Commonwealth-funded providers of aged care services, including but not limited to Commonwealth-funded residential aged care, home care and home support services.

  107. What is the definition of adaptive technology?
  108. The definition of adaptive technology for the purposes of the DACS Research and Innovation funding round is “any object or system that is specifically designed for the purpose of increasing or maintaining the capabilities of aged care consumers.”

Contact information

General enquiries: dacs@health.gov.au
Funding Round enquiries: aged_care_grant@health.gov.au