Linkage Projects—Selection Report for Funding Commencing in 2016

Overview

The Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to Eligible Organisations to support research and development (R&D) projects which are collaborative between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system, which are undertaken to acquire new knowledge, and which involve risk or innovation.

The objectives of theLinkage Projects scheme are to:

  • support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations, including industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, social or cultural benefits
  • provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research
  • encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system
  • build the scale and focus of research in the national Science and Research Priorities.

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Selection Process

This report outlines recommendations from the selection process for proposals for funding commencing in 2016 received from 16 September 2015 to 11 November 2015. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS).

The ARC prepared funding recommendations for submission to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The recommendations were based on advice from the ARC College of Experts which:

  • assigned independent assessors to review the proposals
  • assessed proposals and reviewed assessments made by independent assessors
  • reviewed applicants’ comments on assessors’ 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, on 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 approved recommendations by the Minister. Unless otherwise specified, figures presented in this report exclude withdrawn proposals.

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Selection Criteria

Selection criteria and corresponding weights for Linkage Projects proposals are:

  • Investigator(s) (20%)
  • Significance and Innovation (25%)
  • Approach and Training (15%)
  • Project Research Environment (10%)
  • Commitment from Partner Organisation(s) (30%)

The ARC assessment and subsequent reporting process for Linkage Projects 2016 used a total of 44 ARC College of Experts members across four discipline panels and was managed in the RMS. A total of 2212 independent assessors’ reports were submitted to the ARC for Linkage Projects 2016.

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Summary of Outcomes

743 proposals for Linkage Projects 2016 were received between 16 September and 11 November 2015, of which one proposal was withdrawn. The overall success rate is 31.1 per cent. With the commencement of continuous applications for Linkage Projects from 1 July 2016, the ARC will provide an annual update in early 2017 detailing the success rate for all proposals received under this scheme for funding commencing in 2016.

Table 1. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funds for successful proposals from Linkage Projects from 2015 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 request (%)

2015

710

252

35.5

$294,055,484

$110,351,748

$86,927,155

78.8

2016

742

231

31.1

$324,634,144

$113,128,253

$81,218,438

71.8

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Approved Funding by Discipline Panel

Table 2. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates and requested and allocated funds for approved Linkage Projects 2016 proposals by discipline panel

Panel*

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate

Requested funds over project life (all proposals considered)

Approved funds over project life (approved proposals)

BEM

165

54

32.7

$80,301,848

$20,140,574

ET

255

81

31.8

$111,199,917

$30,345,904

HSE

184

57

31.0

$65,582,552

$17,519,510

PMI

138

39

28.3

$67,549,827

$13,212,450

Total

742

231

31.1

$324,634,144

$81,218,438

*BEM = Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Environmental, Medical and Health Sciences; ET = Engineering and Technology; HSE = Humanities and Creative Arts, Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences; PMI = Physical, Mathematical and Information Sciences

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Leverage of ARC Funding

Of the 742 proposals considered, 231 were approved with a total approved funding of $81.2 million over the life of these projects. There are 477 Partner Organisations involved with these projects and they have pledged a total (cash and in-kind) of $162.9 million. This represents $2.01 from Partner Organisations for every dollar funded by the ARC.

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Selection Outcomes by Administering Organisation

Table 3. Numbers of proposals, success rates, ARC approved funding and Partner Organisation contributions for approved Linkage Projects 2016 proposals by Administering Organisation

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

Partner Organisation contributions (cash & in-kind) over project life (approved proposals)

Australian Capital Territory

26

11

42.3

$4,073,684

$8,074,326

The Australian National University

21

10

47.6

$3,733,684

$7,561,270

University of Canberra

5

1

20.0

$340,000

*

New South Wales

217

72

33.2

$25,181,762

$56,881,468

Australian Catholic University

6

3

50.0

$1,219,000

$2,817,012

Charles Sturt University

5

1

20.0

$355,000

*

Macquarie University

17

7

41.2

$2,340,445

$5,534,246

Southern Cross University

3

1

33.3

$401,000

*

The University of New England

3

1

33.3

$440,000

*

The University of New South Wales

81

25

30.9

$7,609,952

$18,082,728

The University of Newcastle

22

8

36.4

$2,971,804

$7,608,366

The University of Sydney

34

12

35.3

$4,724,026

$11,434,903

University of Technology, Sydney

20

6

30.0

$1,889,000

$4,344,442

University of Western Sydney

8

2

25.0

$1,099,335

$1,670,543

University of Wollongong

18

6

33.3

$2,132,200

$3,511,862

Northern Territory

1

0

0

-

-

Charles Darwin University

1

0

0

-

-

Queensland

137

43

31.4

$14,280,017

$29,566,761

Central Queensland University

4

0

0

-

-

Griffith University

25

6

24.0

$1,388,464

$2,585,873

James Cook University

5

1

20.0

$490,000

*

Queensland University of Technology

28

5

17.9

$1,729,892

$3,504,469

The University of Queensland

69

29

42.0

$9,906,061

$20,749,650

University of Southern Queensland

2

0

0

-

-

University of the Sunshine Coast

4

2

50.0

$765,600

$1,428,700

South Australia

66

15

22.7

$4,692,299

$7,710,639

The Flinders University of South Australia

8

1

12.5

$300,000

*

The University of Adelaide

38

8

21.1

$2,685,194

$4,079,319

University of South Australia

20

6

30.0

$1,707,105

$2,816,170

Tasmania

11

3

27.3

$1,073,000

$2,019,583

University of Tasmania

11

3

27.3

$1,073,000

$2,019,583

Victoria

207

67

32.4

$23,381,815

$40,738,640

Deakin University

22

5

22.7

$1,956,204

$4,463,088

Federation University Australia

1

0

0

-

-

La Trobe University

6

3

50.0

$848,026

$1,110,384

Monash University

58

17

29.3

$6,361,969

$12,424,164

RMIT University

33

8

24.2

$2,300,975

$3,932,949

Swinburne University of Technology

7

2

28.6

$697,000

$970,000

The University of Melbourne

76

32

42.1

$11,217,641

$17,838,055

Victoria University

4

0

0

-

-

Western Australia

77

20

26.0

$8,535,861

$17,870,100

Curtin University of Technology

30

6

20.0

$1,808,669

$2,915,867

Edith Cowan University

4

0

0

-

-

Murdoch University

8

4

50.0

$1,515,000

$2,305,750

The University of Western Australia

35

10

28.6

$5,212,192

$12,648,483

Total

742

231

31.1

$81,218,438

$162,861,517

*For confidentiality reasons, total contributions by Partner Organisations are not shown in instances in which Administering Organisations are associated with one approved proposal only. The Table 3 total does, however, include the total contributions by Partner Organisations on approved Projects associated with those Administering Organisations.

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Partner Organisation contributions by sector

Partner Organisations were identified as Australian, international, government, non-profit, industry or overseas higher education organisations. The Partner Organisation contributions in these categories for Linkage Projects 2016 proposals approved for funding are shown below in Table 4.

Table 4. Partner Organisation contributions by sector for approved Linkage Projects 2016 proposals

Type

 

Cash

In-kind

Total

 

 

$

%

$

%

$

%

Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Federal Government

 

$2,780,311

5.6

$5,411,878

4.8

$8,192,189

5.0

Australian state, territory and local government

 

$10,190,231

20.5

$29,019,467

25.6

$39,209,698

24.1

International Government

 

$213,000

0.4

$630,166

0.6

$843,166

0.5

 

Sub-total

$13,183,542

26.6

$35,061,511

31.0

$48,245,053

29.6

Industry Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian

 

$18,895,402

38.1

$38,309,199

33.8

$57,204,601

35.1

International

 

$11,318,333

22.8

$18,504,857

16.3

$29,823,190

18.3

 

Sub-total

$30,213,735

60.9

$56,814,056

50.2

$87,027,791

53.4

Non-profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian

 

$2,611,866

5.3

$11,443,669

10.1

$14,055,535

8.6

International

 

$1,009,353

2.0

$1,801,275

1.6

$2,810,628

1.7

 

Sub-total

$3,621,219

7.3

$13,244,944

11.7

$16,866,163

10.4

Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Education International

 

$114,000

0.2

$887,911

0.8

$1,001,911

0.6

 

Sub-total

$114,000

0.2

$887,911

0.8

$1,001,911

0.6

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

$2,500,886

5.0

$7,219,713

6.4

$9,720,599

6.0

 

Sub-total

$2,500,886

5.0

$7,219,713

6.4

$9,720,599

6.0

 

Total

$49,633,382

100.0

$113,228,135

100.0

$162,861,517

100.0

Note: All percentages are shown using rounded figures, and as such may not sum to 100%.

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Partnerships

Linkage Projects proposals represent partnerships between researchers, higher education organisations and other organisations, as well as collaborations between Partner Organisations within projects. These partnerships form congruent and/or complementary linkages in Fields of Research (FoR). There are a total of 566 instances of collaboration with Partner Organisations (including multiple collaborations with a number of organisations) in Linkage Projects 2016 giving an average of 2.5 Partner Organisations involved in each proposal. A summary of the FoR categories identified by applicants of approved proposals and the total Partner Organisation contributions are shown below in Table 5.

Table 5. Proposal data by Field of Research category for Linkage Projects 2016

Field of Research category

Number of proposals approved*

Partner Organisation contributions (cash & in-kind) over project life (approved proposals)

Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

9

$11,223,037

Biological Sciences

20

$13,718,275

Built Environment and Design

5

$2,062,359

Chemical Sciences

9

$5,343,381

Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services

6

$4,586,851

Earth Sciences

6

$5,150,790

Economics

3

$1,361,396

Education

4

$2,120,492

Engineering

74

$54,252,241

Environmental Sciences

17

$12,913,156

History and Archaeology

5

$6,357,056

Information and Computing Sciences

14

$8,469,346

Language, Communication and Culture

2

$1,324,136

Law and Legal Studies

4

$1,946,709

Mathematical Sciences

3

$1,720,419

Medical and Health Sciences

10

$6,039,095

Physical Sciences

5

$3,096,301

Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

7

$4,090,913

Studies in Creative Arts and Writing

3

$863,357

Studies in Human Society

14

$6,785,365

Technology

11

$9,436,842

Total

231

$162,861,517

* Based on the primary FoR

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International Collaboration

Figure 1.   Instances of international collaboration on approved proposals in Linkage Projects 2016

 
Instances of international collaboration on approved proposals in Linkage Projects 2016

Table 6. Instances of international collaboration in Linkage Projects 2016

Country

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Argentina

1

0

Austria

5

3

Bangladesh

1

0

Belgium

8

2

Bhutan

1

0

Brazil

2

0

Cambodia

1

0

Canada

21

4

Chile

4

1

Chilean Antarctic Territory

1

1

China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)

70

17

Czech Republic

1

0

Denmark

7

4

England

45

17

Fiji

1

1

Finland

1

0

France

10

5

Germany

27

9

Greece

1

1

Hong Kong (SAR of China)

4

0

Hungary

1

0

India

7

0

Indonesia

6

2

Ireland

2

1

Israel

2

0

Italy

4

3

Japan

15

4

Kazakhstan

1

0

Kiribati

1

1

Korea, Republic of (South)

4

2

Kyrgyzstan

1

0

Luxembourg

1

1

Malaysia

3

1

Micronesia, Federated States of

1

1

Morocco

1

0

Netherlands

8

0

New Zealand

22

11

Norway

1

0

Oman

1

0

Papua New Guinea

1

0

Poland

1

0

Portugal

1

1

Russian Federation

2

0

San Marino

1

1

Scotland

5

1

Singapore

7

3

South Africa

1

1

Spain

7

1

Sweden

7

1

Switzerland

10

5

Taiwan

4

0

Tanzania

1

0

Thailand

4

0

Turkey

1

0

United Arab Emirates

1

0

United States of America

131

46

Vanuatu

1

1

Vietnam

2

0

Wales

1

0

Total

483

153

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Age and Gender

A total of 3669 participants were named on all proposals considered in this round. Of these, 903 are female and 2754 are male (a small number of participants did not provide gender information). Figure 2 shows the number and success rate of participants in the round by age and gender. The success rate for female and male participants in this round of Linkage Projects proposals is 34.7 per cent and 33.9 per cent respectively. The success rates for each gender have been quite similar over the last ten Linkage Projects rounds (Figure 3). 557 of the proposals considered had a male lead CI, of which 176 were successful, representing a 31.6 per cent success rate. 184 of the proposals considered had a female lead CI, of which 55 were successful, representing a 29.9 per cent success rate.

Figure 2.  Participation and success rates by age and gender for Linkage Projects 2016

Participation and success rates by age and gender for Linkage Projects 2016

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Figure 3. Comparison of Linkage Projects success rates between female and male participants from 2010 to 2016

 Comparison of Linkage Projects success rates between female and male participants from 2010 to 2016

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Science and Research Priorities

Table 7. Approved funding for Linkage Projects 2016 by Science and Research Priority

Priority area

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Approved funds (over project life)

Advanced Manufacturing

120

35

29.2

$13,302,115

Cybersecurity

23

5

21.7

$1,712,626

Energy

48

15

31.3

$4,725,993

Environmental Change

120

44

36.7

$15,170,895

Food

59

13

22.0

$5,825,876

Health

120

30

25.0

$9,396,464

Resources

52

17

32.7

$6,667,575

Soil and Water

46

16

34.8

$5,475,271

Transport

46

18

39.1

$5,883,548

None selected

108

38

35.2

$13,058,075

Total Proposals

742

231

31.1

$81,218,438

Total Proposals within Science and Research Priorities

634

193

30.4

$68,160,363

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

85.4%

83.5%

 

83.9%

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