SIEF / CSIRO: STEM + Business Fellowship Program

STEM+ Business enables SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) to build on existing successful collaborative projects by providing funding support for the placement of early career researchers from Australia’s research organisations into their business to develop and implement new ideas with commercial potential.

Funding & Duration

The STEM+ Business program places early-career science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) researchers into SME businesses for two to three year research projects. The program aims to build deeper connections between researchers and SMEs, accelerate the adoption of new ideas and technology, and help SMEs grow into larger and more profitable organisations.

CSIRO teams work alongside the SME and research organisation to establish the project and facilitate financial assistance in the form of a STEM+ Business grant of up to $105,000 per annum, which must be matched in cash by the business.

The research project can be carried out in conjunction with any publicly-funded Australian research organisation and has no industry sector-restrictions – the project must simply be research involving science, technology, engineering or mathematics.


Australian SMEs must:

  • Have completed, or be in the process of completing, an AusIndustry Researcher-in-Business or Research Connections / Innovation Connections project.
  • Have an annual turnover or operating expenditure between $1.0m and $100m in the current or two preceding financial years, AND
  • Has collaborated with a research organisation on a 1-1 basis for at least 5 months, with the company contributing at least $25k.

Eligible Early Career Researchers must:

  • Have completed a research higher degree (PhD or Masters) in a STEM subject, or have a bachelor’s degree in engineering with relevant research experience, AND
  • Have no more than 6 years relevant experience since conferral of their last degree.

If there is no ECR currently available at the chosen research organisation, funding can still be approved on the condition that an eligible ECR be hired at the start of the project.

Submit an Application

Researchers cannot apply directly for a SIEF STEM+ Business Fellowship but can apply for fellowship positions advertised by a participant research organisation.

Applications may be submitted at any time. Applicant SMEs will be advised of the outcome of the assessment with 10 working days of the application being received by SME Connect’s SME Business Manager.

Further Information

Need Help?

  • SMEs: Paul Arthur, Business Partnership Manager (ECMS, Arts & Professions)
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