AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program open call

AgriFutures Australia’s investments are driven by research, development and extension (RD&E) plans that address the needs of industries and stakeholders, and ensure our priorities are industry and government-driven.

AgriFutures Australia is inviting applications from suitably qualified research providers for projects relating to the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program.

The public open call for research proposals closes at 1pm (AEDT) Tuesday, 4 February, 2020.

Open call overview

In planning and submitting proposals for AgriFutures Australia-funded projects, prospective researchers need to familiarise themselves with the application procedure, the Corporation’s overarching goals and strategies, the goals and strategies of the relevant RD&E program and the specific priorities for RD&E for the year for which the proposal is being submitted.

Where appropriate, we encourage your collaboration with other research providers to build the critical research mass necessary to meet our objectives.

AgriFutures Australia is conducting two open calls for research proposals for the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program, scheduled for the period September 2019 to February 2020.

Round 1: 2 September 2019 – 10 October 2019 – concluded

Round 2: 2 December 2019 – 4 February 2020

Proposals should clearly indicate:

  • Who will be undertaking the majority of the research including details of new staff or students that may be engaged in project delivery?
  • Who will be undertaking the statistical analysis (if required) including their expertise?
  • What the extension activities are for outcomes of the project (beyond distribution of summaries and conference presentations)?
  • If the proposal is to undertake RD&E that won’t have immediate outcomes that can be applied by industry, then thought should be given to what the extension activities might be when the RD&E is able to be applied and who the stakeholders are – this will help frame the direction for the project.
  • Where appropriate, proposals should include collaboration (minor or major consultation) with the international experts in the field, which may not be located in Australia.

2019/20 Research Proposals

The key priorities for the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program investment align with the Chicken Meat Program RD&E Plan.

Not all priorities may be funded even if proposals seek to address the strategic plan. AgriFutures Australia reserves the right to make the final decision on investment. Any proposals that don’t address the stated priorities must have been discussed with AgriFutures Australia prior to submission otherwise they may be rejected or deferred at the discretion of the Corporation.

Where numerous proposals are received to address a single priority during an open call, AgriFutures Australia will undertake a preliminary assessment to determine which proposals will progress to the Advisory Panel for review. Proposals that are deemed to insufficiently address the priority will be rejected or deferred at the discretion of the Corporation.

To improve industry engagement with the research, and ultimately improve the adoption of research outcomes, contracted projects may have a steering committee with membership selected by AgriFutures Australia.

RD&E objectives

RD&E objectives

AgriFutures Australia welcomes Preliminary Research Proposals including post-graduate scholarships, that address one or more of the strategies within the four RD&E objectives for the industry, and outlined in the Chicken Meat Program Five-Year RD&E plan 2019-22

The broad RD&E objectives are:

  1. Improving Food Safety of Australian Chicken Meat
  2. Develop and implement measures to improve industry’s impact on the environment
  3. Improve chicken meat production through the whole supply chain
  4. Improved ability to meet consumer needs.


Key research questions are outlined below relating to their relative objective. Some research questions address more than one objective. For proposals which do not directly respond to topics outlined below, it is strongly encouraged that you contact the Manager, Research to discuss prior to your submission.

Objective 1 Improving Food Safety of Australian Chicken Meat

  • A project that looks at the development of a confidential industry database for Campylobacter and Salmonella.
  • Evaluation of the efficacy of litter amendments to address chicken health and food safety challenges.

Objective 3: Improve chicken meat production through the whole supply chain

  •  An investigation into novel replacements for soybean amino acid profiles that are Australian made products, however not currently commercially.
  • A project that could undertake a risk assessment of imported hatching eggs and surveillance of other new global poultry diseases
  • Development of national protocols for whole-flock depopulation by carbon dioxide inhalation and water-based foam.
  • What are the welfare implications of multiple pickups?
  • How do litter management practices on-farm, impact the control of Campylobacter? What is the impact of reduced pick-up frequency on Campylobacter load if required and what are the barriers to this?
  • Agri-engineering solutions for on farm labour on chicken meat farms
  • Evaluation of the efficacy of litter amendments to address chicken health and food safety challenges.

Proposals should clearly indicate the following:

  • Economic evaluation of the intervention or practice change on a cents/kg of chicken basis or other relevant cost analysis
  • The objectives and outcomes of the proposed project and the link to the R&D objectives
  • The researcher’s understanding of past research in this field.

Projects that involve live bird trials (including field research) must:

  • Assess impact on litter quality
  • Assess impact on water consumption; extend to 42-49 days of age
  • Measure relevant chicken parameters that may include carcass characteristics or welfare
  • A review of diets by a commercial poultry nutritionist
  • If ethics approval is required, then AgriFutures Australia must be advised of any proposed changes requested by the Ethics Committee
  • Exclude the use of maize in diets unless its’ inclusion has been previously discussed with industry.

Researcher submission checklist

The researcher must complete the checklist prior to the submission being accepted:

  • Has the proposal been discussed with AgriFutures Australia?
  • Has the proposal been discussed with people in the Program industry?
  • Does the proposal identify if the work potentially relates to the Program objective?
  • Does the proposal clearly identify who will be undertaking the bulk of the work (it might not necessarily be the Principal Investigator)?
  • If the project requires statistical analysis, has a qualified statistician been engaged to undertake project design and data analyses?
  • Does the proposal clearly articulate what the applied outcome for industry will be? (even if it is a long-term applied project there should still be a focus on an applied outcome).
  • Is the Principal Investigator an early career researcher (less than five years since postgraduate study completion)? AgriFutures Australia encourages applications from early career researchers
  • Does the proposal clearly outline what the potential process might be for identifying extension opportunities? (Excluding publications and opportunities for presenting the work at conferences).
  • Does the proposal take into consideration where the international expertise is in the area of research?
  • Has the Principal Investigator complied with the application process within Clarity?
  • Has the Principal Investigator familiarised themselves, and any poultry farmers involved in the research, with the biosecurity on farms during research fact sheet?

Submitting a Preliminary Research Proposal

AgriFutures Australia business with research providers is facilitated by the online project management system Clarity. This system manages all stages of project administration.

Preliminary Research Proposals must be submitted online using Clarity.

Users must create a Clarity account before submitting a proposal and usernames and passwords will only be issued while the applicable round is open.

If your Research Organisation already exists in clarity, please use this online form and we will assign your profile to that Research Organisation


If your Research Organisation does not already exist in clarity, or you are unsure, please use this form to create a New Research Organisation and User account simultaneously.


For further assistance with navigating Clarity during your project, refer to the Clarity resources and templates in the first instance.

Research contracts


AgriFutures Australia uses a standard form contract for RD&E projects (Research Agreement), which sets out the terms on which AgriFutures Australia will engage successful applicants to carry out the project.

Applicants must be familiar with the Research Agreement before lodging Preliminary Research Proposals (PRPs), and are advised to seek legal advice on it before lodging a PRP.


The Research Agreement has been developed to reflect AgriFutures Australia’s statutory and other responsibilities in funding projects. AgriFutures Australia will generally not negotiate substantive amendments to any clauses of the Agreement unless:

  • It is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist that require amendment to the standard form
  • The applicant completes a statement of non-compliance for each of those clauses.

Applicants will be taken to have agreed to all clauses in the Research Agreement that are not referred to in a statement of non-compliance. The extent of any non-compliance will be a factor in AgriFutures Australia’s evaluation of the application.

If you require further information regarding the Research Agreement, contact Louise Heaslip, General Manager, Corporate:


It is strongly advised that researchers contact the Program Manager prior to submitting a proposal.

Georgie Townsend AgriFutures™ Manager, Research, Chicken Meat Program

The AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program open call closes 1 pm Tuesday 4 February 2020.