Launch Pad 2024: Research and career development support for PhD Students and community-based Researchers


1.     About
2.     Eligibility
3.     Funding Rules
4.     Application and Submission
5.     Review Process
6.     Notification of Outcome and Awarding of Funds
7.     Contact

1.     ABOUT


Launch Pad is intended to support research and career development activities for PhD students at the ALIVE National Centre Partner Universities, and to support community-based researchers in the ALIVE National networks and Partner Organisations. Consistent with the ALIVE National Centre values and goals of integrated lived-experience knowledge and expertise in research and systems change, Launch Pad has a particular focus on support for lived-experience research involvement and skills-building.

This fills a current gap in available financial support for research activities where people with Lived-Experience are involved as participants and collaborators. This gap can be common in PhD research where minimal funding is provided in addition to scholarships and studentships and where there are shortfalls in coverage of publication costs or funds to register for a major conference. LAUNCH PAD is small step in responding to this gap.

Funding parameters

  • One application per person per three-year cycle of the award, up to a maximum of $2000 awarded per applicant.
  • Maximum allocation of two awards per year.
  • Rolling applications (standing call, no due dates). The annual cycle for the ALIVE Nation Centre follows a March to March calendar year. This scheme will renew again in March 2025 for the next 12-month period to commence.
  • Eligible activities paid for directly by ALIVE National only.
  • No reimbursement possible for activities already paid for.


  • PhD students are required to be enrolled at a university listed as the Administering or a Participating Institution on the ALIVE National Centre Multi-Institutional Agreement, or at an alive collective University Partner.
  • PhD students must be a member of the ALIVE National Next Generation Researcher Network (NGRN) and/or Lived-Experience Research Collective.
  • Community-based researchers must be a member of the ALIVE National Lived-Experience Research Collective.
  • Community-based researchers should be currently undertaking, or have undertaken in the past six months, research-related work. This may include work as a research assistant, a research-based co-designer or an advisory group member, or similar roles. The request for support for Lived-Experience reimbursement must be for a project that the individual community-based researcher receives funding to conduct (this can be funding from government, a research body or the employer of the individual). The project needs to be currently active and resulting in a planned research output (either as a report, a policy or evidence brief, an implementation brief or a paper).
  • Post-PhD ECRs and MCRs of the ALIVE National NGRN are not eligible to apply for Launch Pad funding. Post-PhD ECRs and MCRs can access other capacity-building funding programs of the network (Seed Funding and PACE).


Activities eligible for funding include:

  • Paying research participants (e.g., survey respondents, interviews, membership of small research-related advisory groups) within a reasonable range, as outlined within an established reimbursement policy that is referenced in the application. This applies for PhD and community-based researchers applicants.
  • Research that actively involves people with Lived-Experience in research design, implementation, evaluation and analysis processes (e.g., reimbursement for co-design or a group meeting or focus group participation). Here, reimbursement is for time spent on direct research activities being conducted in collaboration with people with Lived-Experience .
  • Only research activities that have an existing ethics approval in place can be reimbursed. An approval letter shall be attached to completed applications on submission. If the community-based research project has been commissioned without an ethics approval, research activities may not meet the criteria of research in this instance. The review process will assess this and you may be asked to provide organisational letter of support for the activities.
  • Contribution towards open access publication costs.
  • Contribution towards conference registration.
  • Contribution towards skills-building courses (research methods, implementation and translation related workshops).
  • Software applications, resource books (for community-based researchers only).

Outside scope/ineligible activities:

  • PhD scholarship stipend top-ups.
  • Any salaries (for the applicant or other researchers).
  • Coursework, software applications, resource books and training costs that are usually part of the PhD program.
  • Non-research-related professional development.
  • Conference travel support.
  • Payment for participation of people with Lived-Experience in non-research projects already funded and being conducted by a community-based researcher’s primary employer.
  • Payment for participation in large (e.g. government, major community project) advisory groups for non-research related activities. An example here would be co-design of an organisational policy that is for the organisation in question and is not for research outcomes.

General funding rules:

  • Total award value is $2000.
  • Awarded funds must be expended within 12 months of receipt.
  • Successful applicants will be required to acknowledge the ALIVE National Launch Pad funding received in all public dissemination activities arising from supported activities (e.g., publications, presentations, reports, briefs or other activities), and to inform the ALIVE National Centre Hub of all dissemination activities. Please note that this is to publicise the work and ensure that we can track the impact of the funding scheme. The following acknowledgement of the funding source must be included in all presentations, posters or papers and public media related to the project:

This research was supported by a Launch Pad Funding Award as part of the ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation Next Generation Researcher Network Capacity Building Funding Scheme 2024.


  • The Application form can be found here.
  • Please save the file as ALIVE Launchpad_[APPLICANTS SURNAME] and send the completed application as a PDF document to


  • Applications will first be assessed for eligibility by the ALIVE National Hub administrative team.
  • Eligible applications will undergo review by members of the ALIVE Executive Research Leadership Committee (ERLC) at a monthly meeting of the committee. This will be as close to the time of submission as possible, depending on when the application is received. Applications will be reviewed against their alignment with ALIVE National Centre research programs, the specific program objectives and Consensus Statements, and the suitability of the activity for developing the applicant’s research and career.


  • Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application within one week of the ERLC meeting at which they were reviewed.
  • The review may result in further requests for information where ethical requirements have not been clearly outlined and an approval letter provided.
  • If your application is successful, you will be asked to sign an acceptance form indicating adherence to the terms of the award.
  • In most instances the National Centre can coordinate payments for funded activities, but in some instances reimbursement of successful applicant for eligible incurred costs may be more appropriate. The most suitable approach to funding will be discussed with successful applicants.


For all queries, please email

Click here to join the Next Generation Researcher Network and/or the Lived- Experience Research Collective.