Overview

The Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme provides funding for research infrastructure, equipment and facilities to eligible organisations to support research.  The scheme enables higher education researchers to participate in cooperative initiatives so that expensive infrastructure, equipment and facilities can be shared between higher education organisations and also with industry.

The objectives of the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme are to:

  • encourage Eligible Organisations to develop collaborative arrangements with other Eligible Organisations, higher education institutions and/or their Partner Organisations to develop and support research infrastructure
  • support large-scale national or international cooperative initiatives thereby allowing expensive research infrastructure to be shared and/or accessed
  • support areas of existing and/or emerging research strength
  • support and develop research infrastructure for the broader research community.

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Selection process

Proposals for projects commencing in 2016 opened on 19 February 2015, and closed on 9 April 2015. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS).

The ARC Executive Director responsible for the LIEF scheme, assisted by ARC staff, prepared funding recommendations for submission to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The recommendations were based on advice from the ARC College of Experts which:

  • assessed proposals and reviewed assessments made by independent assessors
  • reviewed applicants’ comments on assessor reports
  • ranked each proposal relative to the others on the basis of the proposal, the assessors’  reports and applicants’ responses to those assessments
  • assessed and recommended budgets

and, advice from the ARC Eligibility Committee which:

  • considered eligibility issues identified by ARC staff, the ARC College of Experts or independent assessors
  • where required, sought advice from institutions with respect to issues raised
  • made recommendations to the CEO in respect of ineligible proposals.

This report reflects the recommendations of the ARC CEO to the Minister.

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Selection criteria

Selection criteria and corresponding weights for LIEF proposals are:

  • Significance of research to be supported with the proposed research infrastructure (20%)
  • Need and use of the proposed research infrastructure (30%)
  • Nature of the alliance and commitment between the organisations named on the Proposal (30%)
  • Investigator(s) (20%)

The ARC assessment and subsequent reporting process for Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities 2016 was managed in the Research Management System (RMS), and used a total of 15 ARC College of Experts members. A total of 538 independent assessor reports were submitted to the ARC for Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities 2016.

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Funding duration

Funding for LIEF proposals may be awarded for one year, or, for coordinated access to major national and/or international research facilities or consortia, for up to five years.

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Summary of outcomes

The ARC received a total of 173 proposals for Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities for funding commencing in 2016. The overall success rate is 31.2 per cent.

Table 1. Comparison of LIEF proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funding for successful proposals from 2012 to 2016

Funding year

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate

Requested funds over project life (all proposals)

Requested funds over project life (approved proposals)

Funds allocated over project life

Allocation as a percentage of requested funding

2012

170

77

45.3%

$94,683,874

$48,171,800

$28,300,078

58.7%

2013

169

72

42.6%

$85,779,200

$39,774,254

$29,025,000

73.0%

2014

148

63

42.6%

$90,957,567

$48,608,428

$31,982,047

65.8%

2015

159

66

41.5%

$88,629,571

$37,518,648

$28,995,463

77.3%

2016

173

54

31.2%

$120,582,334

$48,358,773

$37,973,900

78.5%

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Selection outcomes by Administering Organisation

Table 2. Numbers of proposals, success rates, ARC approved funding and Collaborating Organisations’* contributions, by Administering Organisation

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate

ARC funding (for approved proposals)

Collaborating Organisations’* contributions (cash & in-kind for funded proposals)

Australian Capital Territory

10

2

20.0%

$13,000,000

$10,634,200

The Australian National University

9

2

22.2%

$13,000,000

$10,634,200

University of Canberra

1

0

0%

-

-

New South Wales

57

19

33.3%

$9,110,000

$14,919,104

Macquarie University

6

2

33.3%

$1,195,000

$2,901,787

Southern Cross University

3

0

0%

-

-

The University of New England

1

0

0%

-

-

The University of New South Wales

18

9

50.0%

$4,245,000

$7,117,436

The University of Newcastle

5

1

20.0%

$155,000

#

The University of Sydney

16

5

31.3%

$2,180,000

$2,813,692

University of Technology, Sydney

3

0

0%

-

-

University of Western Sydney

2

0

0%

-

-

University of Wollongong

3

2

66.7%

$1,335,000

$1,833,756

Queensland

27

3

11.1%

$2,290,000

$4,086,094

Griffith University

4

0

0%

-

-

James Cook University

2

0

0%

-

-

Queensland University of Technology

5

0

0%

-

-

The University of Queensland

16

3

18.8%

$2,290,000

$4,086,094

South Australia

18

6

33.3%

$2,160,000

$4,340,369

The Flinders University of South Australia

1

1

100.0%

$500,000

#

The University of Adelaide

15

4

26.7%

$1,290,000

$3,026,198

University of South Australia

2

1

50.0%

$370,000

#

Tasmania

3

1

33.3%

$600,000

#

University of Tasmania

3

1

33.3%

$600,000

#

Victoria

45

17

37.8%

$7,203,900

$12,288,547

Deakin University

6

1

16.7%

$367,900

#

La Trobe University

1

0

0%

-

-

Monash University

15

6

40.0%

$2,460,000

$4,860,367

RMIT University

4

2

50.0%

$641,500

$772,581

Swinburne University of Technology

2

1

50.0%

$367,000

#

The University of Melbourne

15

7

46.7%

$3,367,500

$5,463,560

Victoria University

2

0

0%

-

-

Western Australia

13

6

46.2%

$3,610,000

$6,227,140

Curtin University of Technology

4

2

50.0%

$1,320,000

$2,314,914

The University of Western Australia

9

4

44.4%

$2,290,000

$3,912,226

Total

173

54

31.2

$37,973,900

$53,288,483

* Collaborating Organisations include the Administering Organisation, Other Eligible Organisations, Partner Organisations and Other Organisations.

# For confidentiality reasons, total contributions by Collaborating Organisations are not shown in instances in which Administering Organisations are associated with one approved proposal only. The total does, however, include the total contributions by Collaborating Organisations on approved Projects associated with those Administering Organisations.

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Selection outcomes by Field of Research (FoR)

Table 3. Proposal data by FoR category  

Field of Research category

Proposals approved*

Total funding from all sources#

Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

1

^

Biological Sciences

9

$13,015,258

Built Environment and Design

1

^

Chemical Sciences

5

$8,029,824

Earth Sciences

7

$32,721,633

Engineering

11

$13,092,686

Environmental Sciences

1

^

Information and Computing Sciences

1

^

Physical Sciences

12

$15,482,705

Studies in Human Society

2

$1,284,258

Technology

4

$3,330,893

Total

54

$91,262,383

* Based on the primary FoR.

# Funding from all sources includes ARC approved funding as well as cash and in-kind contributions from the Administering Organisation, Other Eligible Organisations, Partner Organisations and Other Organisations.

^ For confidentiality reasons, total contributions by Collaborating Organisations are not shown in instances in which Administering Organisations are associated with one approved proposal only. The total does, however, include the total contributions by Collaborating Organisations on approved Projects associated with those Administering Organisations.

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Single-organisation proposals

A single-organisation proposal is defined as a proposal on which only one Eligible Organisation is listed as a contributor to the project. There may be Partner Organisations involved (that is, organisations which are not themselves eligible to apply for and receive funding under the LIEF scheme). Proposals normally are expected to involve two or more Eligible Organisations unless they can demonstrate that collaborative use of the proposed research infrastructure by other Eligible Organisations would not be practicable.

Table 4:     Approved single-organisation proposals for calendar years 2012 to 2016

Year

Total Proposals considered

Total Proposals approved

Total number of single organisation proposals considered

Total number of single organisation proposals approved

Single-organisation proposals as a proportion of total proposals

Single-organisation proposals approved as a proportion of total approved proposals

2012

170

77

19

6

11.2%

7.8%

2013

169

72

14

4

8.3%

5.6%

2014

148

63

17 

6

11.5%

9.5%

2015

159

66

17

5

10.7%

7.6%

2016

173

54

14

1

8.1%

1.9%

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Leverage of ARC funding

Table 5. Leverage of ARC funds for approved proposals

Proposals approved

Approved ARC funding

Number of Collaborating Organisations*

Incidence of involvement of Collaborating Organisations*

Collaborating Organisation* contribution  - Cash

Collaborating Organisation* contribution  - In-kind

Leverage#

54

$37,973,900

72

292

$32,915,547

$20,372,936

$1.40

*Collaborating Organisations include the Administration Organisation, Other Eligible Organisations, Partner Organisations and Other Organisations.

#This represents $1.40 from Collaborating Organisations for every dollar funded by the ARC.

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Strategic Research Priorities

Table 6. Numbers of proposals and success rates by Strategic Research Priority

Strategic Research Priority

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate

ARC funding (approved proposals)

Lifting productivity and economic growth

100

33

33.0%

$15,819,400

Living in a changing environment

28

10

35.7%

$15,944,500

Managing our food and water assets

11

2

18.2%

$1,450,000

Promoting population health and wellbeing

13

4

30.8%

$1,720,000

Securing Australia's place in a changing world

7

2

28.6%

$900,000

None selected

14

3

21.4%

$2,140,000

Total

173

54

31.2%

$37,973,900

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Collaboration

Table 7. Number of considered and approved proposals by number of Collaborating Organisations

Number of Collaborating Organisations*

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate

1

8

0

0%

2

21

6

28.6%

3

41

10

24.4%

4

28

6

21.4%

5

27

12

44.4%

6

15

5

33.3%

7

13

6

46.2%

8

5

1

20.0%

9

2

1

50.0%

10

6

4

66.7%

11

4

2

50.0%

12

1

0

0%

13

1

0

0%

15

1

1

100%

Total

173

54

31.2%

*Collaborating Organisations include the Administration Organisation, Other Eligible Organisations, Partner Organisations and Other Organisations.

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