The ARC is committed to best practice in the identification and management of conflicts of interest. The ARC Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy is designed to ensure that all conflicts of interest are managed in a rigorous and transparent way. It aims to prevent individuals from influencing decisions unfairly and maintain public confidence in the integrity, legitimacy, impartiality and fairness of the peer review process.  

The information on this page is designed to assist ARC assessors and participants on ARC funding proposals to apply the ARC Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy.

For the implementation of the policy the ARC distinguishes between organisational and individual conflicts of interest.

Organisational conflicts of interest
An individual may be deemed to have a conflict of interest with an organisation for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, if that individual:

  1. is employed by that organisation;
  2. has been employed by that organisation within the past two years;
  3. has an arrangement for future employment or is negotiating employment at that organisation;
  4. holds a financial interest in that organisation;
  5. holds another appointment with that organisation, but only where the individual would reasonably be perceived to have a conflict of interest regarding funding proposals or funded projects involving that organisation. Non-remunerated appointments are not generally considered to give rise to a conflict of interest unless other factors arise (such as collaboration or co-authorship, or appointments enabling strategic decisions over research in the organisation) are also present.

Handling of organisational conflicts of interest
All individuals involved with any ARC business must update their RMS profile with their current employment and any previous employment within the past two years to assist the ARC with the identification and management of organisational conflicts of interest.

Individuals participating in ARC funding proposals must declare their organisational conflicts of interest with participating organisations to the Administering Organisation in accordance with the relevant Funding Rules.

Individual conflicts of interest
An individual may be deemed to have a conflict of interest with a named participant on a funding proposal or funded project for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, if that individual:

  1. has a close personal relationship (including enmity) with that named participant;
  2. has a professional relationship with that named participant including;
    • currently holds, or has held within the past two years, funding conjointly with that named participant;
    • has a current application or is negotiating an application for funding with that named participant;
    • has been a collaborator or co-author with that named participant on a research output within the past four years;
    • has been a co-editor with that named participant of a book, journal, compendium, or conference proceedings within the past two years;
    • has been a postgraduate student or supervisor of that named participant within the past five years;
  3. could otherwise be perceived to benefit materially from the awarding of funding to the proposal involving that named participant.

Handling of individual conflicts of interest
Assessors reviewing ARC proposals who have identified a conflict of interest must reject the proposal in RMS to assist the ARC in the management of conflicts of interest.

Individuals applying for ARC funding have the opportunity to nominate persons whom they do not wish to assess a proposal by submitting a Request Not to Assess to the ARC through their Research Office. However, they should familiarise themselves with the above information before submitting a Request Not to Assess, as in many cases the submission of a Request Not to Assess may not be necessary.