Selection Report: Learned Academies Special Projects 2017


Overview 

The objective of the LASP scheme is to support the development of Australian research. LASP aims to provide the Learned Academies and the Australian Council of Learned Academies with the flexibility to achieve that objective.

The broad research program themes for Learned Academies Special Projects for funding commencing in 2017 are concerned with, or include: 

  • National and international collaboration in research;
  • Significant advancement of discipline knowledge and application;
  • Professional development for early and mid-career researchers;
  • Interdisciplinary research across the academies, as well as within;
  • Advancing gender equity and diversity in the research workforce; and
  • Other areas, as approved in advance of the closing date by the ARC.

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Selection Process

Proposals for funding commencing in 2017 opened on 15 May 2017 and closed on 28 June 2017. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS). This report outlines recommendations from the selection process for that round.

The proposals were assessed by a Selection Advisory Committee comprising four ARC Executive Directors (EDs) and Mr Harold Lomas, Acting Branch Manager, Department of Education and Training.  The ARC has prepared recommendations for submission to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The recommendations were based on advice from the Selection Advisory Committee which:

  • assessed proposals and ranked proposals relative to other proposals
  • assessed and recommended budgets.

This report reflects the approved recommendations by the Minister. Unless otherwise specified, figures presented in this report exclude withdrawn proposals.

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Selection Criteria

Assessment of proposals for LASP was based on the following criteria:

a. The contribution to the development of Australian research      25%
b. Collaborative and/or interdisciplinary approaches to research and research training 15%
c. Research and research training in two or more of the research program themes 15%
d. The merit of the Proposal in relation to its  15%
    • goals and potential outcomes;
    • conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses; and
    • budget justification and value for money
e. The extent to which the Proposal may be expected to have results of broad benefit 15%
f. The potential for the research to contribute to issues of national significance.     15%

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Funding Levels and Duration

The minimum level of funding provided by the ARC under LASP is $50,000 per year of funding and the maximum is $500,000 per project. Funding is provided for up to four consecutive years.

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Summary of Outcomes

The ARC received a total of 10 LASP proposals for funding commencing in 2017. The overall success rate for LASP for funding commencing in 2017 is 50 per cent.

Total requested funding over the financial years 2017–18 to 2018–19 for all approved proposals received was $1,532,439. Total approved funding is $1,149,565 equating to 75 per cent of the total funding requested for approved proposals, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funds for recommended LASP proposals from 2014 to 2017

Funding year

Proposals considered

Proposals recommended

Success rate

Requested funds over project life (all proposals)

Requested funds over project life (recommended proposals)

Funds allocated over project life

Allocation as a percentage of request

2014

5

2

40%

$1,818,810

$834,160

$834,160

100%

2017

10

5

50%

$3,022,457

$1,532,439

$1,149,565

75%

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Outcomes by Science and Research Priorities

Table 2. Recommended funding and success rate for LASP 2017 proposals by Science and Research Priorities

Science and Research Priorities

Proposals considered

Proposals

recommended

Success
rate (%)

Recommended funds (over project life)

Energy

1

0

 

 

Environmental change

2

0

 

 

Food

1

1

100

$118,089

Health

1

0

 

 

Resources

1

0

 

 

Transport

1

1

100

$345,000

Unspecified

3

3

100

$686,467

Total

10

5

50.0

$1,149,565

Total within Science and Research Priorities

7

2

28.6

 

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

70

40

 

40.3

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Selection Outcomes by Organisation

The number of proposals considered and recommended, and funding requested and approved, by administering organisation are shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Number of proposals and percentage funded, by administering organisation

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals recommended

Funding requested (all proposals)

Funding recommended over project life (approved proposals)

Recommended funding as a percentage of requested funding

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

4

1

$1,264,879

$170,000

13%

Australian Academy of Science

4

2

$785,757

$328,098

42%

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

1

1

$500,000

$345,000

69%

Australian Academy of the Humanities

1

1

$471,821

$306,467

65%

Total

10

5

$3,022,457

$1,149,565

38%

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Scheme Budget by Financial Year

The allocations from the LASP budget approved for commencement in 2017 are shown in Table 4 below.

Table 4: Approved allocations by financial year

 

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Total

Total

$607,288

$542,277

0

0

$1,149,565

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