Reports for Commonwealth funded grants are important elements in ensuring the accountability and good management practice for publicly funded research. Reports also assist in drawing the ARC, funding entities and the Research Offices to concerns and problems that researchers face.
Outcome reporting plays an increasingly significant role in government research funding and policy. The ARC and funding entities compile statistics on the outcomes from publicly funded research. Final Reports provide information on the number and types of outcomes that have been generated, which may include the research training that has been supported and the research personnel involved. Statistical information compiled from these reports supports ARC and funding entity's advocacy for the funding of quality research that brings benefit to the Australian community.
Relevant reporting requirements for each project are outlined in the applicable Grant Agreement for each Grant Opportunity. Grant Agreements are available on the relevant instance of RMS.
Subject to the Grant Agreement, the funding entity may reserve the right to withhold payment of further instalments of any funded project until the appropriate reports have been received and assessed as satisfactory. Details of reports that may be required are provided below.
Some awarded grants are required to provide periodic progress updates against set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), to ensure a program achieves the objectives and intended outcomes. The KPI report enables grantees to set targets against the standard program KPIs for each project included in the report, and KPIs that show progress of the grant project may also be required.
The intention of establishing KPI targets is to set aspirational performance goals, which would reflect the highest possible level of achievement for a grant. It is important to note that KPI’s are one measure of progress and will be reviewed in context of other reports and outreach and engagement activities.
KPI report targets may be auto-populated in Progress Reports to assist with completion of the progress report.
Some awarded grants are required to provide periodic progress updates. The Progress Report is intended to capture the current progress or status of the grant project. All Progress Report details for the grant project should reflect the aims, activities and anticipated outcomes as outlined in the original application.
Progress Reports may also require grant projects to report against the aspirational performance targets set in the KPI report when the grant was funded, and may require updates in outreach and engagement activities. It is important to note that KPIs and progress reporting are one measure of progress and will be reviewed in context with other reports, outreach and engagement activities.
Progress Reports will be submitted at the frequency specified in the grant agreement.
The majority of awarded grants required a report to be completed once all allocated funds are fully expended and/or relevant research activities are complete. The Final Report covers the duration of the grant and is likely to require information about key achievements against the program and project objectives, any issues encountered and how they were addressed, and important metrics on outputs and outcomes.
It may also include a request for a case study to showcase the research outcomes. The Final Report form will be developed in consultation with the funding entity and will be used to assess the successful outcomes and issues of the project, as well as provide critical information for the program evaluation phase.