Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant

Applications open February 2018

Policy AP370
Honour Roll
The Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant provides funds to Fellows and trainees who have limited research experience to assist them in developing and enhancing their research skills and experience.
The Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant (previously known as the New Investigator Research Grant) (the ‘grant’) was established by the ACEM Foundation in early 2014. Its purpose is to provide funds to those Fellows and trainees of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM/the College) who have limited research experience to assist them in developing and enhancing their research skills and experience.


2.1 Nature of Grant
The grant consists of a monetary sum ($30,000), the amount of which is fixed periodically by the ACEM Foundation.

2.2 Eligibility Criteria
The grant is open to Fellows who are less than ten years post Fellowship or trainees of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM/the College).

Applicants must be of good standing with the College.

2.3 Applications
Eligible persons interested in applying for the grant should complete the appropriate application form and submit it, together with the documentation specified therein, to the ACEM Foundation within the advertised timeframe. 

2.4 Selection Process
A panel of three (3) or more assessors convened by the Scientific Committee shall adjudicate the applications and recommend to the ACEM Foundation a recipient for the grant, based on the following criteria:

• the originality of the research
• its potential application to emergency medicine
• the level of evidence provided by the outcome
• appropriateness of the study methodology
• its probability of success.

The ACEM Foundation shall determine the recipient of the grant. The decision of the Foundation will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 

All parts of the selection process must be conducted in accordance with the College Conflict of Interest Policy.  

2.5 Acknowledgement of Grant
The winner of the grant is presented with a citation in acknowledgement of the grant at the College Ceremony held in the year the grant is made. 

2.6 Publication of the Grant
The ACEM Foundation may publish the recipient’s name and the working title of the project to promote the grant and raise the profile of the ACEM Foundation.


3.1 General
(a) ‘Recipient’ means the person or persons to whom the funds in question were made available. Where more than one person is the joint recipient of funds, a reference to the ‘recipient’ includes a reference to all those recipients.

(b) The recipient of a grant and any research, technical or other personnel involved in the grant project are not employees of ACEM. The College takes no responsibility whatsoever for any employment or other entitlements in respect of those parties.

3.2 Adherence to terms of project
The recipient shall adhere to the details of the research project and budget as approved by the College, and shall not make any alteration to either without the prior written approval of the College.

3.3 Completion of Grant project
An approved project is to be completed within 24 months of the date the grant was made, or within such other timeframe as the ACEM Foundation may in writing allow.  

3.4 Grant Funds
(a) The sums awarded will usually be paid in a lump sum as soon as practicable after the grant is made.  They are not subject to inflationary or other incremental adjustments.

(b) When a grant terminates (for any reason), any unexpended balance of grant funds must be returned to the ACEM Foundation.

3.5 Matters requiring prior approval
(a) The recipient must obtain the prior express, written approval of the ACEM Foundation in respect of the following: 

• changes to research program or budget 
• approval to apply for patent
• approval to purchase office equipment with grant funds.

(b) Applications for prior approval must be made in writing, addressed to the ACEM Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and include full details of the subject matter.

(c) Any approval will not be valid if it is not made in writing or does not specify the precise nature of, and limitations on, the approval.

3.6 Required notifications
The recipient shall notify the ACEM Foundation in writing, and in advance wherever possible, of:

• any periods of absence to be taken during the course of the grant (excluding those which are less than four week’s duration)
• their leaving, or intention to leave,  the relevant institution before the expiration of the grant and the name of the institution their next intended place of employment.

3.7 Ethics
(a) It is expected that any research conducted with the support of a research grant:

• will have all necessary ethical clearances, and 
• in particular, will comply with policies and statements on research involving humans published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). 

(b) Recipients shall also comply with all relevant procedures and policies of the host institution.

3.8 Obligations
(a) Reporting Obligations
The recipient shall provide the following reports to the ACEM Foundation:

(i) by 30 May of each year – a statement of expenditure charged to the grant (provided by the host institution)

(ii) by 30 June of each year – a concise summary of research progress (approximately 300 words)

(iii) at the termination of the grant – 

• a final statement of expenditure (provided by the host institution)
• a final report on the overall outcome of the research.    

(b) Publication Obligations
At the termination of the grant, the recipient shall present the results of their work supported by the grant through:

(i) presentation at the ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting, Winter Symposium or other appropriate scientific meeting approved by the ACEM Foundation, or

(ii) publication through the usual scientific channels.

All presentations or publications are to acknowledge the support of the Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant and the ACEM Foundation.

3.9 Intellectual Property
Any discovery arising out of work supported by the grant must not be the subject of application for patent, except with:

• the written approval of ACEM Board, and
• the agreement of the institution in which the work is carried out.

3.10 Ownership and disposition of property
(a) Equipment of any kind purchased from grant funds remains the property of ACEM. With the prior approval of ACEM, the grant recipient may transfer or donate such equipment to another approved project or relevant institution. 

(b) ACEM may arrange or direct removal or transfer of equipment between laboratories:

• at any time after completion of the original research projects, or 
• at such time as, in the opinion of ACEM, the equipment is no longer required for the purposes of the project.

3.11 Prohibited usage of funds
Grant funds may not be used to acquire office equipment such as personal computers, laptop computers, tablets, smart phones, facsimile machines, photocopiers etc. unless the recipient has obtained, in writing, the prior express approval of the ACEM Foundation.

3.12 Termination of Grant
(a) A grant may be terminated if the conditions of grant are not observed.  

(b) A grant will terminate if the recipient leaves the institution before the expiration of the grant, unless other arrangements satisfactory to the ACEM Foundation are made beforehand.

• AP464 Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant application form
• AP465 Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant score sheet
COR139 Conflict of Interest Policy
Al Spilman Early Career Researcher Grant
Year Awarded to Title of Research Project
2016 Matthew Maiden Changes to red cells in septic shock
2014 Stephen MacDonald Biomarkers to predict organ failure in sepsis
Applications open February 2018