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Universities - Submit An Application

Apply for funding - 2020


The Rugby League Research Committee invites applications for funding for research projects for season 2020. The Committee has identified several priority areas for which it seeks applications for research funding.

Apply for funding or endorsement – application form

Application form-read only version.

NOTE: this is a read-only document designed to provide a guide for how to complete the form. If you wish to apply for funding for a research project, and/or to seek endorsement (without funding), please send an email to the Program Manager of the Rugby League Research Committee, at , to request a Word document version that you can complete. The completed application form should be sent by email to the Program Manager.

Critical dates

The Committee invites applications by Monday 23rd September August 2019, by 5.00pm AEST. This is in advance of the third meeting of the Committee, to be held on Tuesday 24th August 2019. The Committee will then consider applications.

Funding will be decided soon after meeting 3. All applicants, including any successful applicant(s), will be advised of the status of their application by early October 2019.


This application process relates primarily to applications for funding.

If a party wishes to apply for endorsement only (as opposed to funding as well) to conduct a research project in Rugby League, then the party can

  • apply for a project that falls outside the indicated priority research area
  • apply outside the timeframes stated for applications for funding

Please note: The application for endorsement (but not funding) will still be required to use the Application form linked above.

Funding available

The total funding pool available for the call for 2020 is $70,000.


For 2020, the Rugby League Research Committee invites applications from universities or research institution wishing to transform a research priority into a topic.

If an applicant wishes to seek funding to conducting research, then a funding application should relate to one (1) of the shortlisted priority research questions only.

Duration of the study

Duration of the study will be based upon timelines in any research application, and therefore considered and endorsed by the Research Committee.


  • The following budget items will not be granted funding:
  • Institutional overheads or institutional support;
  • Tuition and study fees
  • Expenses incurred prior to the effective date of the grant;
  • Purchase of capital equipment or tools of the trade (e.g. laptop, camera, printer, phone etc.)

The following budget items will typically not be granted funding, unless it is demonstrated that inclusion of particular items is in the interests of the project, the RL Research Committee or program:

  • Salary and/or fringe benefit items, including insurance, for a chief investigator or lead researcher
  • Domestic/conference travel – unless there is a dissemination component to the grant, or inclusion is justified as above. This travel component should not be greater than 10% of the project budget.

Ethics application

The Rugby League Research Committee recommends that once any applicant starts to prepare an application for funding to RLRC, that it simultaneously prepares and submits an application for ethics approval at their institution. Commencing the ethics application process early as possible, may allow any successful applicant to commence their project on or soon after November 1.

Deliverables and responsibilities

As part of the terms and conditions for the granting of funding, a research agreement must be agreed between the National Rugby League (on behalf of the Rugby League Research Committee) and any successful applicant(s), on terms acceptable to the NRL (on behalf of the Rugby League Research Committee). The research agreement would cover areas including, but limited to, the following:

  • Intellectual Property
  • use of findings
  • requirements for submission of progress reports and final reports

Along with execution of the research agreement, a tax invoice must be submitted to

  • National Rugby League (on behalf of the Rugby League Research Committee)
  • NRL’s Accounts Payable team

Specifically, the invoice must be sent via email to the following email addresses: and

These conditions must be met before any funds can be disbursed. If RLRC approves an application for funding, then for funds to be processed and provided, the chief investigator/applicant must submit an invoice in sufficient time. At the very latest, the invoice must be submitted by 24th October of the calendar year. The onus is upon the chief investigator/applicant.

The Rugby League Financial Year runs from 1st November in the previous calendar year, to 31st October in the current calendar year. Rugby League Financial Year 2020 (corresponding to season 2020) runs from 1st November 2019 to 31st October 2020.

Research project update template

If RLRC provides funding and/or endorsement to a research project proposal, then the chief investigator of the project is required to submit a status update before each RLRC meeting, for the duration of the research project.

For 2018, a schedule is listed below for when you need to provide an update on your project to the Research Committee:

RLRC Meeting Project update is due 
Month Date  Month Date Day   Time 
1 April 30 April 12 Friday 5:00 PM
2 July 17 June 28 Friday 5:00 PM
3 September 24 September 6
5:00 PM
4 November 26 November 8 Friday 5:00 PM

The Status Update form can be viewed, or downloaded, as a read-only document here.



The RL Research Committee will objectively evaluate applications for funding against a series of criteria, in line with the defined priority research areas, and the game's Strategic Plan. The criteria listed below are indicative only, and not exhaustive:

  1. relevance to the Priority Research Topic and the relevant Strategic Pillar(s);
  2. alignment of the research plan with the RLRC’s priority topics and broad research aims;
  3. level of innovation or provision of new insights to the game;
  4. significance of the project’s outcomes to the game;
  5. feasibility and appropriateness of objectives, methods/protocols, and proposed timelines;
  6. adequacy of accounting for ethical considerations;
  7. demonstrated capacity (in terms of requisite expertise, knowledge, and experience) of the project team to execute the project;
  8. specificity and adequacy of project budget.

The RLRC has absolute and sole discretion in relation to the EOI process, the evaluation of Proposals and the selection of a proposals for funding, and:

  1. may fund one or more Proposals;
  2. may fund the whole or any part of a Proposal, and may accept a Proposal either conditionally or unconditionally;
  3. may fund separable parts of the Priority Research Areas (or Priority Topics) to different applicants;
  4. is not bound to accept any Proposal or to enter into a Research Agreement;
  5. may withdraw this EOI at any time; and
  6. reserves the right to accept non-conforming Proposals.

Contact information

For further information, please contact the Program Manager of the RL Research Committee, at

Previous application periods: