AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program Targeted Open Call 

AgriFutures Australia (AgriFutures) is seeking the services of an individual or organisation to deliver effective and efficient industry extension and engagement services that will develop a stronger and more resilient tea tree oil industry. This is an exciting opportunity to create genuine change and be involved in an innovative and forward thinking industry.

Working across the Australian tea tree oil industry, the aim of the project is to increase adoption of best practice management and innovative research and development (R&D) outcomes related to improving productivity, profitability and sustainability of tea tree oil businesses. The project will facilitate the extension and adoption of AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program’s R&D investments to support a sustainable future for the industry. The project will improve communication, cooperation and collaboration between growers, researchers, industry stakeholders and government bodies.

The aim of this project is to:

  • Provide AgriFutures with a quality extension service that benefits the Australian tea tree oil industry.
  • Facilitate the adoption of R&D outcomes resulting from the AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program.
  • Improved communication within the direct tea tree oil industry and externally to industry stakeholders.

The project will work closely with the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (ATTIA), who are providing in-kind support for this project. Support includes mentoring and fostering development and growth over time, resulting in an extensive understanding of the tea tree oil industry from planting through to marketing.

The project will report to a Project Steering committee led by AgriFutures. This committee will collectively monitor project progress against aims, respond to feedback to prioritise tasks and ensure the project delivers value for the tea tree oil industry.

Applications to the AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program opportunity closes 12 noon (AEDT) Tuesday 15 December 2020. It is anticipated the date of commencement of the project is March 2020.

Background

AgriFutures Australia investments are driven by Strategic RD&E Plans that address the needs of industries and stakeholders, and ensure our priorities are industry and government-driven. Our aim is to increase knowledge that fosters sustainable, productive new and existing rural industries and further understanding of national rural issues through research and developing in government-industry partnership.

This project will address the investment priorities as outlined in the Tea Tree Oil Program RD&E Plan 2018-2022, specifically Objectives 1 to 3: “Improving supply”, “Increasing demand” and “Extension, sustainability and human capital”.

There are continuing pressures on tea tree oil producers to become increasingly cost-efficient, productive and sustainable. In conjunction with the AgriFutures Communication project managed by ATTIA, this project will provide traditional extension activities to improve productivity. The project will also have a market development focus by communicating research that demonstrates the safety, efficacy and provenance of 100% pure Australian tea tree oil to buyers of tea tree oil.

Some examples of projects that the successful project will be expected to implement include:

  • Implement the recommendations of the recently completed Scoping study of sustainable weed management in tea tree oil plantations. This may include activities such as coordinating field trials, field walks for demonstrating best management practice and new technology and developing extension materials will result in improved industry-wide management of weeds.
  •  Dissemination of the results and outcomes of the current project: An updated evidence map on applications, efficacy, and safety of Tea Tree Oil. Successful dissemination and adoption will result in increased usage in neat bottles (aromatherapy) and formulated products (e.g. personal care and medicinal care) as well as opening new markets (geographic and product development).

Project deliverables

  1. Extension of AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program outcomes and other relevant R&D outcomes, biosecurity awareness and natural resource management advice to growers to help improve grower productivity.
  2. Liaison with AgriFutures, researchers and other extension providers to coordinate outputs and ensure consistent messaging to all industry stakeholders (supply side and demand side).
  3. Involvement in engagement activities, such as, specific grower events, activities and newsletters in coordination with the ATTIA Communication Project.
  4. Development of various tea tree oil growing materials such as tea tree oil weed management best practice guide, crop protection guide, fact sheets and contributions to industry newsletters.
  5. Reporting grower RD&E feedback to the project Steering Committee, the AgriFutures Research Manager, and Advisory Panel, as well as raising production issues with the ATTIA CEO, to ensure future industry R&D remains on target.
  6. Monitoring for any changes in demand over time and reporting feedback to the AgriFutures Research Manager and R&D Advisory Panel for understanding the effectiveness of R&D projects and communications.
  7. Participation in the Project Steering committee to monitor project progress, prioritise tasks and accountabilities.
  8. Complete project reporting requirements satisfactorily.

 

Successful respondents will demonstrate:

  • Strong knowledge and understanding of current farming systems, including tea tree oil based farming systems, and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills effective across the supply chain.
  • A proven ability to communicate with influence to drive practice change and adoption of R&D outcomes and best management practice guidelines with farmers as well as the effective dissemination and engagement of R&D deliverables to all industry stakeholders is critical.
  • Knowledge of and experience in working with stakeholders across an industry, including growers/farmers, researchers and other advisors, the peak industry body, agronomists, government departments, chemical agencies, distributors/brokers and manufacturers.

Proposals from either individuals or partnerships are encouraged. Successful submission will include:

  1. A detailed budget
  2. The project design with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound) milestones aligned to the deliverables listed above
  3. Draft extension strategy including the plan for industry consultation including industry bodies and tea tree oil producers
  4. Details of the applicant’s skills, attributes and experience as they relate to the execution of this project.

 

AgriFutures Australia anticipates this project will commence in March 2021 and conclude in March 2024.

In the preparation of the Project Proposal, it is expected the applicant will liaise closely with the AgriFutures Research Manager and the ATTIA CEO.

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 R&D program and the specific priorities for R&D for the year for which the proposal is being submitted.

We also welcome and encourage your collaboration with other research providers to build the critical research mass necessary to meet our objectives.

RD&E objectives

In addition to the requirements listed above proposals should clearly indicate the following:In addition to the requirements listed above proposals should clearly indicate the following:

  • The project benefits for growers
  • The objectives and outcomes of the proposed project and the link to the R&D objective
  • Who will be undertaking the majority of the work, including statistical analysis (it must be clear if new staff and/or students are to be employed to undertake the work)
  • Where relevant, proposals should include collaboration with experts in the field, which may not be located in Australia
  • An understanding of past research in this field

Researcher submission checklist

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

  • Is the Principal Investigator an early career researcher (less than five years since postgraduate study completion)?
  • Has the proposal been discussed with AgriFutures Australia?
  • Has the proposal been discussed with people in the tea tree oil 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 (might not necessarily be the Principal Investigator)?
  • 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).
  • The Principal Investigator must comply with the application process within Clarity.

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.

Request new user: Clarity

Users must create a Clarity account before submitting a proposal. To set up a secure account before submitting a proposal, contact the AgriFutures Australia helpdesk for a username and password: helpdesk@agrifutures.com.au

Usernames and passwords will only be issued while the applicable round is open.

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

Provider Agreement

AgriFutures Australia has two standard form agreements that are used for contracting the provision of research services (Research Agreement or Provider Agreement). These agreements outline the terms on which AgriFutures Australia will engage successful applicants to carry out the project.

The successful applicant for this Open Call will be contracted under a Provider Agreement. Applicants must be familiar with the Provider Agreement before lodging Preliminary Research Proposals (PRPs), and are advised to seek legal advice on it before lodging a PRP.

Read Provider Agreement

The Provider 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; and
  • 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 Provider 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 Provider Agreement, contact Louise Heaslip, General Manager Business and Finance: louise.heaslip@agrifutures.com.au

Contact

Researchers are strongly advised to contact the Manager, Research prior to submitting a proposal.

Gae Plunkett
Research Manager, AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program
0490 091856
Gae.plunkett@agrifutures.com.au

The AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program open call closes 12 noon (AEDT) Tuesday 15 December 2020.