Peer Review

The ARC Funding Process is summarised in this flow chart. For more information on individual aspects of the Funding Process, please expand the text under the headings below.

Printable Version – Text Version

 ARC funding process flowchart

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Funding Rules

Every funding round begins with the development of Funding Rules—the blueprint describing the eligibility criteria and accountability requirements for proposals.

The Funding Rules are developed in consultation with the research community in Eligible Organisations. 

Funding rules are approved by the Minister, on advice from the ARC. Please visit the Funding Rules page for further information.

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Submission of proposals

Guidance Material

In addition to Funding Rules for each scheme, the ARC provides a range of guidance material for applicants including Sample Application FormsInstructions to Applicants and Frequently Asked Questions. The documentation covers all aspects of the requirements for submitting a proposal, including instruction on using the ARC’s Research Management System (RMS).

Requests Not to Assess

Applicants may provide a written request to the ARC naming assessors they do not wish to assess their proposal. They can nominate up to three assessors per proposal without the need for justification.

In extraordinary circumstances, the ARC may consider a request for more than three persons whom the Administering Organisation does not wish to assess a Proposal only if direct and comprehensive evidence justifying the exclusion of each named person can be provided. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or equivalent of the Administering Organisation must directly support the justification in writing, and provide appropriate justification and substantive evidence. However, if the ARC considers the evidence insufficient for one or more of the named people, the whole request may be rejected. 

The ARC does not support removing leading researchers in the field from the assessment process unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated.

Please visit the Request Not to Assess process page for further information. 

Eligibility

To be considered for funding, proposals must meet eligibility requirements specified in the scheme Funding Rules. Only the Eligible Organisations listed in the scheme Funding Rules may submit proposals. Proposals must also meet the format and submission requirements in the scheme ‘Instructions to Applicants’ document. Eligibility is determined by ARC staff and is an independent and parallel process to the assessment process undertaken by assessors.

Every proposal is initially checked by the ARC against the eligibility criteria set out in the relevant scheme Funding Rules. 

The NCGP Eligibility Committee considers all eligibility issues identified by ARC staff or assessors. If the Committee finds that the proposal is potentially ineligible, the Administering Organisation may be asked to provide further information to provide clarity on the issue.  Any information provided in relation to such a request must be consistent with the content of the original proposal. The Committee considers any further information provided by the Administering Organisation and an eligibility recommendation is made to the ARC CEO.

Possible eligibility issues identified by Detailed Assessors or General Assessors should be communicated separately and directly to the ARC as soon as possible by email to ARC_NCGP@arc.gov.au. These issues are kept strictly separate from the assessment process.  

Integrity

The ARC Research Integrity and Research Misconduct policy is available on the ARC website. Research integrity issues that are brought to the ARC’s attention are reviewed by the ARC Research Integrity Committee. 

Possible research integrity issues identified by Detailed Assessors or General Assessors should be communicated directly to the ARC as soon as possible by email to researchintegrity@arc.gov.au. These issues are kept strictly separate from the assessment process.

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Assessment

Most ARC funding schemes involve Detailed and General Assessors in the peer review process.

Detailed Assessors provide ratings and comments against the scheme specific selection criteria for the proposals to which they are assigned. Examples of the level of detail required from Detailed Assessors are available in the Assessor Handbook  PDF format (1MB)  Word format (182KB).

Applicants may respond to Detailed Assessor comments through a rejoinder process.

General Assessors undertake an initial assessment of the proposals against the scheme selection criteria. They then take into account information in the Detailed assessments and rejoinder before submitting their final ratings.

The Detailed and General assessment ratings are used to formulate a ranked list of proposals which is used as the basis of discussion at the scheme selection meeting.

You can find more detailed information about this process on the Peer Review Process page.

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Selection Meeting

At the selection meeting, the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC), made up of General Assessors, discusses the relative merits of proposals. The SAC provides the ARC CEO with recommendations as to which proposals should be funded and the extent of funding for successful proposals. 

You can find more detailed information about this process on the Peer Review Process page.

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Approval of funding

ARC CEO’s recommendation

On advice from the Selection Advisory Committee, the ARC CEO makes funding recommendations to the Minister, who reviews and approves proposed expenditure.

Notification

Once the Minister has approved and announced the details of funded proposals, the ARC will notify Administering Organisations of their proposal outcomes via their Research Office. Applicants are notified whether their proposal has been successful, unsuccessful or determined to be ineligible.

At the conclusion of each process a selection report is published on the ARC website providing an analysis of funding outcomes for the scheme round, and a list of successful proposals.

Feedback to applicants

The type of feedback provided varies from scheme to scheme. Where a proposal is determined to be ineligible, the ARC will advise the applicant accordingly. Applicants may also receive additional feedback from the ARC where a proposal has not been recommended for funding.   

Funding agreements

Administering Organisations that have been successful in having proposals funded are provided with a Funding Agreement, outlining the terms and conditions by which any successful projects must be administered. Funding for successful Project may only begin after the appropriate delegates of the Administering Organisation and ARC have accepted the Funding Agreement in the Research Management System.

Appeals process

The Funding Rules for the various ARC funding schemes provide for an appeals process. Appeals will be considered only against process issues and not against committee decisions or assessor ratings and comments. Appeals must be using the Appeals Form PDF Format (8KB) RTF Format (48KB). The form must be lodged through the relevant Administering Organisation's Research Office and be received within 28 days of the date on the letter notifying the outcomes of proposals.

You can find further information about the Appeals process page.

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