Stakeholder engaged scholarship projects are research projects that are guided by the needs of the organisations we partner with.

We understand there are various levels at which needs arise. Every organisation has specific priorities for its clients, programs and services. Large numbers of organisations might be facing the same systemic or ‘big’ issues present in areas of the community sector. At the same time, some issues might be narrower in focus and specific to a particular organisation or program.

For this reason, our researchers work on two kinds of projects and produce high-quality outputs that reflect the nature of the project. They might be reports, brochures or presentations, depending on the need of the organisation.


We offer two kinds of projects


Submit a proposal for an organisation-specific research project to inform, shape, evaluate or grow your organisation’s programs or services, whether those activities be domestic or international in focus.

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Submit or vote on a broad research question to address a systemic or ‘big’ issue which affects several organisations in the community sector. You are welcome to submit your own research question or to consider a list of suggested questions and vote on one that addresses your needs.

Learn more

You are welcome to submit organisation-specific EOIs as well as sector EOIs or to choose from one or the other. For both types of EOIs, you are welcome to partner with other organisations to make a joint submission to address your shared needs.

Submissions for the 2020 round of Expressions of Interest (EOIs) closed on 1 July.

We invite you to consider applying for the 2021 round of EOIs which will open in due course.

What happens once you submit an EOI?

Submission of an EOI is the first step in the application process.

All 2020 submissions will be assessed by the Advisory Group in July 2020. SESU staff will advise you of the outcome of your submission after this date.

The Advisory Group will be guided by a set of underlying principles:

  • Does the project address a broad or systemic issue that faces multiple community organisations? (For sector projects)
  • Does the project align with the ACU Mission?
  • Does ACU have the academic expertise/capacity to undertake the project?
  • Does the project add value to the issue being raised and/or to the organisation/sector?
  • Does the organisation have the experience to contribute to the issue?
  • Will the project have measurable impact?
  • Will the project engage with clients/end-users?

If your EOI proposal or research question is successful, SESU staff will engage you in the second stage of the application process, which is scheduled to occur in August 2020. The second stage will involve working with you to develop a project plan and budget. 

Project plan

The project plan will outline the aims and intended outcomes as well as the research design and methods of the project.

Project budget

Project budgets will consider the costs of undertaking a project and may include: 

  • Salary costs for academic staff undertaking the project
  • Special equipment costs
  • Travel costs associated with data collection
  • Incidentals associated with data collection

The examples given here are not exhaustive, nor will all examples be applicable to every project.

As outlined in the Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Policy, it is expected that the partner will normally contribute a minimum of 50% of the actual cost of undertaking the project. For projects that involve more than one partner organisation, the cost of the 50% contribution will be negotiated between partner organisations. In exceptional circumstances, unfunded projects will be undertaken (i.e., fully funded by ACU) where the project is strongly aligned with ACU’s Mission, the need is urgent, and the stakeholder does not have the capacity to contribute to the project. Recommendations for the approval of unfunded projects can only be made by the Advisory Group and approved by the Vice-President of ACU.  

Research Ethics

Depending on the nature of the proposed project, SESU staff may be required to gain research ethics approval for your project before it can commence. Research ethics refers to ethical conduct in research, including the protection of research participants. Universities are required to seek ethics approval for research that involves interactions with human participants or their data.

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Partnership agreement

A signed partnership agreement between ACU and your organisation is required before the project can commence.

Child Protection Policy

Promoting the safety, wellbeing and dignity of children and vulnerable adults is consistent with ACU’s Mission and values. All children and vulnerable adults who interact with University members on ACU’s site or in the wider community have the right to feel safe and be safe. In line with our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all children and vulnerable adults, we will ask you to provide a copy of your organisation’s child protection policy if you are an organisation that works with children.

Learn more about ACU’s work in the area of safeguarding children and young people



If you are interested in partnering with us but have some questions, we invite you to contact us about your needs.


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