Announcing the AeRO Cloud Grants Program

With the challenges of tighter funding and falling grant application success rates, we know that Early Career Researchers (ECRs) need support from colleagues and the community to build their research profile. In addition, during a time when computing has become a large part of researchers’ toolsets, on-campus computing facilities are becoming increasingly oversubscribed and ECRs are often not eligible to access national supercomputing infrastructure.

We haven’t been able to wave a magic wand to solve all these problems, but we have been able to bring together existing programs in a partnership between AeRO, Google and the Skills Development team at QCIF to provide access to cloud computing resources and training support for ECRs.

What we are announcing today

The new “AeRO Cloud Grants Program” is a Call for Applications for access to cloud computing resources from Google and training skills support from QCIF. The program will support projects that can benefit from access to scalable computing, storage and/or machine learning technologies.

Our call for applications is for up to 20 Awards that include:

  • Up to US$5,000 credit towards Google Cloud services to use in your research over the next 12 months
    • PhD students can also apply for this program, with up to $1,000 of Google Cloud services
  • Half day Google Cloud fun orientation workshop, provided through the digital Google Cloud Hero program
  • Option of either a one-day training course or a half day of 1:1 consultant support for your specific situation, provided by QCIF


 The AeRO Cloud Grants Program, is open to any PhD student or Early Career Researcher (up to 5 years post PhD) from accredited Australian, or New Zealand higher education institutions.

QCIF Support

QCIF will provide support to AeRO Cloud Grant recipients in the form of either a place at one of our regular scheduled training courses, or a half day of one-on-one assistance with one of our QCIF’s research computing support specialists. Our training courses are interactive hands-on workshops, delivered online by our team of experienced instructors, and cover a range of programming, statistics, and research data analysis topics. Our support team have a wealth of experience in data-intensive research and research computing support, especially in the applications of cloud, high-performance, and other specialist computing infrastructure, and will help you to get the most out of your Google Cloud credits.

 Making the application and award process easy and quick

This program is intended to allow researchers to move quickly with their research, so the deadlines and application process have been designed to be as rapid and efficient as possible.

While any eligible ECR or PhD student can apply, we strongly recommend that you register to attend the half-day Google Cloud Hero program before completing the application form. The Google Cloud Here event is designed to provide you with information about how you can use Google Cloud in your research.

AeRO have worked with the team at QCIF and Google Cloud to both reduce the admin and increase your chances of a successful application

  • Applications will be open from 22nd July, and close at midnight AEST on the 19th August
  • In addition to your profile, the application form requires a brief description of your research goals, with a maximum 500 word limit. We estimate the application form should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.
  • The Call for Applications will close at the end of Thursday 19th August, and the AeRO team will immediately prioritise the applications based upon rapid review of the research description.
    • As this call is for ECRs, a long publication track record is not required, nor considered as part of the application.
  • It is expected that successful applicants will be announced, and notified by email, around the 24th August
  • The Google Cloud credits and training options will be available to access by the end of August
    • The training and consultancy options will be available from QCIF until end of February 2022
    • Any unused Google Cloud credits will expire at the end of August 2022

Applications opened on 22nd July and closed on  19th August 2021.

Google Cloud Hero – 17th August 1-4 pm AEST

Google Cloud Hero Google is a gamified hands-on learning opportunity with Google Cloud where you will get an introductory tour of Google Cloud, and then compete in a learning game with activities that will teach you how to create virtual machines and other resources in the Google Cloud datacentres, and a quick start into Kubernetes in the cloud.

It includes a number of self-paced workshops. Participants can finish earlier if needed. Please be aware that if you leave before 4pm, your name won’t appear in the game leaderboard.

Register for the Google Cloud Hero event, please email

Judging process

Applications will be judged based solely on the information provided in the form. All decisions of the judging panel are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

  • Judges will be asked to declare if a conflict of interest exists and if so are excluded from the judging of that submission.
  • Should the judging panel believe that no application meets the standard required, it will not be obliged to confer any award.