The Australian Research Council

The ARC’s mission is to deliver policy and programmes that advance Australian research and innovation globally and benefit the community.

The ARC is responsible for administering the National Competitive Grants Programme (NCGP) and providing advice to the Minister for Education on research matters. It is also responsible for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), a research quality and evaluation system.

To pursue its mission, the ARC is guided by a strong commitment to four principles:

  • Excellence
    Excellence in programme and policy delivery to support excellence in research
  • Engagement
    Engagement with and responsiveness to all stakeholders to support relevant programme and policy development
  • Benefit
    Benefit to the community through economic and social return on investment, informed decision making, and efficient operations
  • Accountability
    Accountability through transparent, efficient and effective processes and adherence to ethical standards.

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International collaboration

The ARC’s overarching aim in supporting international research collaboration is:

To maximise Australia's contribution to and benefits from international research collaborations, partnerships, developments and  policy

The ARC undertakes a range of international activities including direct support of international researcher collaboration, participation in research forums, and liaison with funding agencies overseas.

National Competitive Grants Programme (NCGP)

Through the funding schemes of the NCGP, the ARC provides flexible opportunities and a range of support for international research engagement.

  • International researchers are eligible for all ARC schemes (with application through an eligible organisation and, if successful, they are required to reside predominantly in Australia).
  • International travel costs are eligible budget items under most funding schemes.
  • Discovery International Collaboration Awards which provide support for travel and subsistence costs are available under the Discovery Projects scheme.
  • The Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme fosters cooperative use of national and international facilities.
  • The ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious hubs of expertise attracting; from within Australia and abroad, researchers of high international standing as well as promising research students.
  • International organisations are eligible to be partner organisations under the Linkage Projects scheme.

Please visit the NCGP page for further information. For information on ARC funding opportunities available for international researchers, refer to the Information for International Researchers page.

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

ERA evaluates research excellence at a discipline level in eligible higher education institutions. The initiative uses expert evaluation by leading national and international experts, informed by a range of discipline-specific indicators. The ERA objectives are:

  • establish an evaluation framework that gives government, industry, business and the wider community assurance of the excellence of research conducted in Australia's higher education institutions
  • provide a national stocktake of discipline-level areas of research strength and areas where there is opportunity for development in Australia's higher education institutions
  • identify excellence across the full spectrum of research performance
  • identify emerging research areas and opportunities for further development
  • allow for comparisons of Australia's research nationally and internationally for all discipline areas.

ERA supports the overarching aims of ARC international policy by providing robust and reliable information for potential overseas partners in research collaboration. Please visit the ERA page for further information.

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Review of ARC International Strategy

The ARC's Strategic Plan for 2013-14 to 2015-16 outlined the ARC's commitment to reviewing its international strategy as a priority.

The review, undertaken throughout 2014-15, considered the possibility of, and options for, strengthening international links, as well as improving the visibility and effectiveness of ARC support for international collaboration within NCGP funding schemes.

The review confirmed that the ARC’s current approach to encouraging international research collaboration is effective in providing appropriate opportunities for international researchers to partner with Australian researchers and institutions across the various funding schemes of the NCGP.

As a result of the review the ARC has increased the profile and visibility of current support available for international collaboration through:

  • creation of an international webpage on the ARC website
  • creation of an international news feed
  • creation of an information for International researchers webpage
  • the release of data on the international webpage regarding instances of collaboration on ARC funded projects
  • direct advertising of ARC schemes to international audiences and promotion of international opportunities.

The ARC is committed to continuously monitoring its support for international research collaboration, and in doing so ensuring that appropriate opportunities are made available within its current funding structure.